Arrested for DUI in the Town of Lexington?
The Law Offices of James R. Snell, Jr. LLC
The Town of Lexington is an incorporated municipality located in Lexington
County. It maintains a full time police force which patrols its jurisdiction
24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The police not only make arrests for
DUI, but also other state as well as municipal law violations.
There are numerous Town DUI cases made for several reasons:
- The police have been trained to take a zero tolerance approach, meaning
that if they believe that a motorist is under the influence they will
always make an arrest.
- Many motorists have to drive through the Town in order to go from Columbia
to neighborhoods and other communities.
- The Town's good tax base maintains a large police force, and with no
other crime to speak of there is an emphasis placed on traffic enforcement.
The Town of Lexington is one of fourteen possible state and local agencies
operating in Lexington County with the authority to arrest and prosecute
drunk driving offenses. The information contained on this page is specific
to those who were arrested by the Town Police (black and white cars),
and who's ticket references a Court address of 111 Maiden Lane, Lexington,
We also assist those who's license was suspended at the time of their
DUI arrest obtain a legal license fast, which is usually within 3-4 business
days after we are retained. In order to provide this timely assistance,
we need to be contacted as soon as possible after the arrest, and in no
even more than thirty days later.
How the Town Processes Uncontested DUI Cases
The Court date on your ticket is a bench trial. It is to appear in a regular
term of Traffic Court. There, you will be expected to either plead guilty,
no contest, or immediately try your case. There are no reductions in penalties
for those who plead guilty or no contest to DUI. Everyone who does so
will face the same penalties, including the criminal sanctions imposed
by the judge and the driver's license penalties imposed automatically
for the DUI.
DUI fines in Lexington will be a minimum of $1,022, and anyone charged
with a DUI 1
st is at risk of being sentenced to up to thirty days in jail.
Anyone who chooses to appear at the initial date on their ticket and try
their case typically will do so without the benefit of pre-trial discovery,
and without the ability to determine if the police did or did not follow
all necessary DUI arrest procedures. For this and a variety of other reasons,
anyone who is interested avoiding a DUI conviction or in negotiating a
reduced charge (such as reckless driving) would be advised to consult
with an attorney before going to Court.
If you are planning on going to Court by yourself in the Town for a DUI
offense bring the full fine, and bring a driver. You will not be allowed
to driver your car home.
How We Handle Town of Lexington DUI Cases
We begin all DUI defense cases in the same way.
Our first step is to file a written request for a jury trial with the Town Court. This
automatically cancels the court date written on the ticket. Our client
is no longer required to appear on that date. This procedure is specifically
approved by the South Carolina Supreme Court, and is authorized by all
We also file three motions. Two are discovery motions pursuant to Brady and Rule 5 of the South Carolina
Rules of Criminal Procedure. Those motions will cause the town police
to turn over the evidence in the case, including the roadside video. This
evidence is important for our evaluation of the case. The other motion
filed is pursuant to Rule 6 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure,
and it requires the police to produce all witnesses related to any laboratory
analysis. This is especially important in cases with urine or blood testing.
The next event will be a police roster. This is an event where the Town Court notices hundreds of defendants
to appear. This is usually held a few times a year. This is usually several
months after the initial court date. At the police roster we will discuss
your case with the police and town prosecutor.
Normally one of the following two items will occur:
- You will be offered a reduced charge that is acceptable to you (such as
- Your case will not be resolved and will continue on for a trial date
If you have multiple charges they can be resolved at the roster too. For
example the police may be willing to dismiss charges such as open container,
driving under suspension, or marijuana possession, as part of plea negotiations.
A DUI charge cannot be referred to PTI under state law, but many other
charges can. If your case is resolved at the roster through PTI or a plea
there is a judge there who you will go in front of that same day. If your
case is continued for trial you will leave. Trial dates are normally set
3-12 months later.
If your case is continued for trial we will receive a court notice a couple
of weeks prior to the next event. It is called a jury strike, and it is
an opportunity to assist in selecting six jurors for the case. There is
another round of negotiations that occur at the jury strike, so many cases
that could not be resolved at the roster for whatever reason can be resolved
at this time. Normally the trial date is scheduled with the same day,
or within two weeks of the jury strike.
The Town currently has two judges who serve as trial judges. These are
different than the judge who presides over bench trial that was originally
written on the DUI blue traffic ticket.
Can you win a Town of Lexington DUI case?
You should know that legally and ethically, no lawyer can ever promise
you a result or guarantee you any result on a DUI case. It is impossible
to advise anyone what the chances are for success in any single case until
there has been an opportunity to evaluate all of the evidence, including
the materials produced by the police as part of the discovery process.
With those caveats, you should know that we have obtained dismissals,
not-guilty verdicts, pre-trial intervention referrals, and favorable plea
bargains in our Town of Lexington cases.
No matter what the situation was that led to a Lexington DUI charge, no
case is ever hopeless. We have found that a thorough review of the circumstances
of an arrest, combined with the availability of an aggressive courtroom
defense can result in outcomes more favorable than first thought possible.
A DUI conviction is so serious that everyone charged, no matter what the
circumstances are, should consult with a lawyer prior to appearing in Court.
Why hire the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC?
Attorney James Snell has been defending clients with criminal charges in
the Town of Lexington since 2004. During this time, he has represented
numerous individuals charged with DUI, and other traffic and criminal
offenses. Our goal is to provide high quality legal and client service.
This includes a commitment to try make sure our clients are as comfortable
as possible while their cases are pending, which includes keeping them
up to date on important developments and making sure that they understand
the specific defense strategies that will be employed on their behalf.
Mr. Snell is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. This is
an organization made up of DUI attorneys from around the country. Since
becoming a member Mr. Snell has attended educational courses taught by
some of the most highly regarded DUI lawyers in the country. These courses
include the 2013 CLE in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a 2014 CLE in San Diego,
Our office recently acquired a DataMaster machine. This is the same type
of equipment used in the Lexington County Detention Center to take breath
samples from those arrested for DUI. We acquired this machine to ensure
that we can be as familiar as possible with the operation and maintenance,
to better serve our clients when we raise these issues in Court.
Mr. Snell has received training in DUI Detection and Field Sobriety Tests
pursuant to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This
training assists us in evaluating the procedures used by the police in
making a DUI arrest, and in challenging false and unfair evidence in Court.
Mr. Snell's legal advocacy has also created precedent for DUI cases
throughout South Carolina, including in the Town of Lexington Municipal
Court. In an appeal from a Lexington County Magistrate Court, Mr. Snell
was able to have the South Carolina Court of Appeals reverse a DUI conviction
due to the police officer conducting a portion of the required arrest
procedures off camera. This was held to be a violation of the mandatory
recording provisions contained in state law. Although the Magistrate had
suppressed that portion of the evidence, the Court of Appeals held that
the correct remedy was a dismissal of the case. This ruling now benefits
all DUI defendants in South Carolina.
- Past President of the Lexington County Bar Association (2008)
- The National Trial Lawyers "Top 100" South Carolina Criminal
- South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Call for a Free Consultation
If you are facing any Town of Lexington DUI, traffic, or criminal offense
contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC for a free initial
consultation. You will have an opportunity to meet personally with Mr.
Snell who will review the circumstances of your arrest and answer any
questions that you might have. Please bring copies of all paperwork that
you may have related to your arrest to the initial appointment.