The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, represents clients charged
with DUI in all Lexington and Richland County DUI Courts. Contact us today
at (888) 301-6004 if your son, daughter or other loved one has been arrested
for DUI or any underage drinking offense.
When you contact our office you will be scheduled to personally meet with
a DUI Defense Attorney. Please bring copies of your ticket and any other
paperwork you received from the police or Bond Court. At this appointment
you will have a chance to explain the circumstances of your arrest to
an attorney and ask any questions you have about South Carolina DUI Law
and available defenses. There is no charge or obligation for your first
meeting with our office.
Don't Go to Court Alone
When your child is arrested for DUI it is usually accompanied by them receiving
a traffic ticket giving them a Court date. It is imperative that you consult
with an attorney prior to this date to learn about your legal rights.
The Court is not able to provide legal advice and parents are not allowed
to represent their children in Court (unless the parent is a licensed
South Carolina attorney). If you go to Court without an attorney and without
your child knowing their legal rights and defenses it can result in them
being convicted of a very serious crime.
Juvenile DUI Defenses
Drivers under the age of 21 or 18 have the same rights when stopped for
suspicion of DUI as older adults. This includes the right to remain silent,
the right to not consent to police searches of their car, the right not
to do field sobriety tests and the right not to cooperate with the breathalyzer
test. Anytime these rights are violated by the police or the law is not
followed this can be used in Court as part of the defense.
Under Twenty One = Zero Tolerance
Most police agencies treat DUI as a zero tolerance offense. This means
that an officer will always make a DUI arrest when he believes that it
is more likely than not that someone was driving while impaired. South
Carolina DUI law actually mandates that a driver under age 21 automatically
lose their license if they cooperate with a blood alcohol test (like the
breathalyzer) and register at least 0.02. This is substantially lower
than the adult limit for automatic suspension of 0.15. The Zero Tolerance
approach does not mean that significant legal or factual defenses may
exist to help obtain a pre-trial dismissal or a not-guilty verdict.
DUI Creates a Lifetime Criminal Record
DUI is the only criminal offense prosecuted in the Municipal or Magistrate
Court that cannot be removed later from their criminal record through
the expungement process. If your child is arrested and convicted of DUI
they may be explaining their criminal record for the next 30, 40 or 50
years. An arrest is not the same as a conviction; hiring a DUI Defense
Attorney for your child can give them access to the necessary legal strategies
to give them the best chance of a dismissal of their DUI.
No PTI for DUI
Many parents and young people falsely assume that because they know other
teenagers who were arrested for drug possession, theft or assault and
whose charges were resolved through PTI or a conditional discharge that
the same should be true of their first time DUI arrest. This is not so
and prosecutors are not allowed by S.C. law to refer anyone's DUI
case into pre-trial intervention.
Call a Lexington DUI Defense Attorney
If you would like to discuss your or a love one's DUI or other criminal
arrest with our office call (888) 301-3532. Free consultations are available
at our office located at 123 Harmon Street, Lexington S.C. For those unable
to travel to our office a fee based telephone consultation is also available.