DUI Penalties in Lexington, SC
What happens to me if I am convicted in Court?
DUI is considered a serious criminal offense in South Carolina. When you
are arrested this means that you have been formally accused of the crime.
You are not convicted unless you plead guilty, plead no contest or are
found guilty after a trial.
If you are convicted of a first offense DUI offense in South Carolina you
will face two sets of penalties. The first is the criminal penalty imposed
by the judge. This will be dependent on your blood alcohol level (BAC).
Those penalties are as follows:
- For a BAC of <.10 a fine of approximately $992 or imprisonment for not
less than 48 hours or more than thirty days.
- For a BAC of .10 - .16 a fine of approximately $1,227 or imprisonment for
not less than seventy two hours of more than thirty days.
- For a BAC of >.16 a fine of approximately $2,480 or imprisonment for
not less than thirty days or more than ninety days.
Jail time is a very real possibility in nearly any DUI case, even for those
with no prior criminal record.
The second set of penalties are the administrative penalties imposed by
the Department of Motor Vehicles. Neither the judge nor the police officer
has any control and you will face them for all first offense DUI or DUAC
convictions. Those penalties are:
- A requirement that you obtain and maintain SR-22 automobile insurance
- A requirement that you enroll and complete alcohol counseling (you could
actually go to jail if you fail to do this)
- A suspension of your driver's license
Additionally for cases where the court determines that there was a refusal
to provide a breath, blood or urine sample, or a sample of more than 0.15%
was given, there is an additional requirement to install and maintain
an ignition interlock device (at the defendant’s expense).
In addition to these formal penalties there are other consequences of a
DUI conviction that you will face including:
- A publically available criminal record that cannot be expunged
- A possible loss of current employment or ability to pass a background check
in the future
- Loss of full international travel privileges (some countries will not allow
you to enter with a DUI conviction on your record)
- Increased automobile insurance rates
- Escalated penalties for an additional DUI or DUAC charge
The only way to avoid the penalties that go with a DUI conviction is to
not be convicted in the first place. We advise everyone who has been arrested
for any South Carolina DUI, DUAC or other serious criminal offense to
consult with an attorney before you appear in Court. We provide no cost
consultations at our office located in downtown Lexington at 123 Harmon
Street. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a DUI defense
attorney about your case contact us today at (888) 301-3532. Cases are
accepted in Lexington, Columbia and throughout South Carolina.