south carolina dui defenses

A DUI conviction in South Carolina is a life-changing event. If a case ends with a conviction, penalties include mandatory jail time, the payment of heavy fines, and a lengthy loss of a driver’s license. Understandably, people will want to avoid this outcome if possible. As a result, it is important to understand the potential South Carolina DUI defenses and how they apply to a specific case.

The team at Truslow & Truslow PA is ready to explore your options. They work to explain the state’s DUI laws and what a prosecutor must prove at trial. They also aim to evaluate the evidence in your particular case to evaluate potential avenues for defense during every court session.

South Carolina DUI Defenses that Apply Before a Trial

South Carolina’s DUI statute requires prosecutors to prove two main concepts. According to South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930, a prosecutor must show that a person was driving a vehicle and that they lacked the proper ability to control that vehicle due to impairment by drugs or alcohol. Prosecutors must prove both these concepts beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defending against these allegations can begin long before a case goes to trial. Courts will always hold pre-trial sessions that serve as an opportunity for attorneys on both sides to argue important points of law. These are a chance for an attorney from Truslow & Truslow PA to weaken the State’s case.

Common issues that may arise during these pre-trial sessions include:

  • Whether a traffic stop that led to a DUI arrest was legal
  • If the police officer involved in the arrest properly used a breathalyzer system
  • Questions of whether the location for the traffic stop falls under the jurisdiction of South Carolina’s DUI statute

If a defendant and their attorney can successfully argue one of these points, it may lead to a judge ruling out key evidence in the case. In some instances, this may lead to an outright dismissal of the charges. As a result, it is crucial to have an attorney ready to conduct an in-depth investigation into the case as quickly as possible.

Defenses Against DUI During Trial

In some cases, pre-trial hearings do not result in a dismissal of DUI charges. When this happens, it is important to be able to make strong arguments during DUI trials. 

Arguments here often revolve around a police officer’s thoughts and motivations for making a DUI arrest. For example, a lawyer from Truslow & Truslow PA may ask a police officer why they made a traffic stop, why they decided to conduct field sobriety tests, and why they interpreted the results of those tests as evidence of alleged intoxication.

Trials also give drivers a chance to tell their side of the story. They could explain why their driving appeared to be erratic or why their behavior made it seem as though they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Of course, defendants never need to testify at trial, but the team at Truslow & Truslow PA is ready to help them provide effective testimony in court.

An Attorney at Truslow & Truslow PA Could Provide More Information About South Carolina DUI Defenses

People facing allegations related to DUI in South Carolina need to protect themselves. This includes presenting evidence in court and making the right arguments before a case goes to trial. A lawyer from Truslow & Truslow PA could help make these points in court.
Many cases revolve around evidentiary issues, such as the legality of a traffic stop, or whether the South Carolina DUI statute applies to this specific case. Others will have important moments during trial where an attorney could cross-examine a police officer to question the motivations of their actions or the appropriateness of their conclusions. Reach out to an attorney now to let them get to work preparing your South Carolina DUI defense.