Unless you’re comfortable fighting a war alone against trained prosecutors and law enforcement with all of the power and resources of the State behind them, you need a DUI lawyer in Charleston or North Charleston.
What should you not do if you’ve been charged with a DUI in Charleston?
Do not attempt to represent yourself.
Although everyone has the right to represent themselves in any SC court case, you have too much at stake here. If you were going into battle against a trained soldier equipped with the best gear the government could buy, you would not step into that arena alone unless you had the same training and the same equipment as your opponent.
Even trained, competent attorneys will look for the best DUI defense attorney that they can find when they are charged with DUI. “Only a fool represents himself” is a phrase that I have often heard repeated by attorneys who have found themselves in court as defendants.
Do not hire an inexperienced attorney for your DUI case.
Many times, I have come across people who assume that I know all about real estate law because I am an attorney. I may be familiar with the basics, but I am not an expert in real estate law simply because I have a law degree.
Similarly, a real estate attorney who does not regularly defend DUI cases is probably not going to have the experience and skill needed to effectively represent a DUI defendant. They can, but it is not recommended. DUI defense is one of the more complex areas of criminal law in South Carolina, and attorneys will only become proficient in DUI defense through constant study and trial practice.
You need a DUI defense lawyer who is familiar with the huge volume of statutes, caselaw, and regulations that make up SC DUI laws. You need a Charleston DUI lawyer who knows how to use that knowledge to get your case dismissed or to win your case at trial.
What’s Required to Be Charged With a DUI in Charleston?
A DUI conviction requires the state to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that 1) you were driving, 2) while intoxicated, 3) to the extent that it materially and substantially impacted your ability to drive.
A DUI arrest only requires probable cause that you were driving under the influence. If a Charleston police officer feels that there is enough evidence of intoxication, they will take you to jail. Also, every thing that the officer does from the initial contact until the moment the officer leaves you at the jail is carefully calculated to gather the necessary evidence of intoxication.
How do Police Gather Evidence in a DUI Case?
A Charleston DUI case usually begins with a traffic stop. The officer will ask for license and registration and, if they suspect that you have been drinking, they will almost always initiate a conversation about it with “how much have you had to drink tonight?”
If the officer thinks you may have been drinking, they will ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform roadside field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn, and one-leg-stand tests.
If the officer determines that you are under the influence, they will then handcuff you and transport you to either the jail or the police station for a breathalyzer test or, in some cases, to the hospital for a blood test.
What Kind of Evidence Will I See at My Trial?
Your conduct from the moment the officer turns the blue lights on until you are booked into the jail will be recorded for use as evidence at your trial. The officer will attempt to get you talking. Everything that you say on the roadside, as you are being transported, or at the jail may be evidence at your trial.
The officer will testify as to how you performed poorly on the field sobriety tests, and, unless you refused to blow, your breathalyzer result will be used as evidence at your trial. If they took a blood sample from you, a toxicologist from SLED will testify about the results of the
Why Do People Retain Russell D. Hilton?
When people are facing DUI charges they want a local DUI Lawyer in Charleston who is familiar with local procedures, courts, prosecutors, and police. They want an experienced DUI defense attorney who can maximize their chances of getting their case dismissed or winning it at trial.