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Can you really go to jail for a South Carolina DUI?

Can you really go to jail for a South Carolina DUI?

A popular myth is that DUI offenders in South Carolina do not face any risk of being sentenced to jail. This is not true, and even those without a prior DUI offense face jail time.

Even the base level first time DUI offense carries a possible 30 days in jail. This can be assessed by the Court against anyone who pleads guilty or no contest to DUI. It also can apply to someone who is convicted after a trial. Other DUI offenses carry a possibility of even more time. First time offenders of serious Felony DUI cases can face up to 25 years in prison.

Although many of those sentenced as a first offense will be sentenced to pay a fine, there are several cases that present a "red flag" that a Court may wish to impose a jail sentence. Examples include:

  • Testing with a high blood alcohol concentration
  • Driving with passengers in the car
  • Driving with young children in the car
  • Being involved in an accident (even a minor fender bender)
  • Arguing, resisting or being rude to the arresting police officer
  • Using profanity at the time of arrest
  • Being under the influence or in possession of drugs
  • Driving under suspension or without car insurance
  • Excessive speed
  • Being stopped for running a stop sign or light, or crossing the center line
  • Having other pending charges \ warrants
  • Possessing a firearm while intoxicated
  • Having multiple DUIs pending at the same time

Some police officers also routinely ask the Court to impose a jail sentence for their DUI cases, even when one of the above-listed example or other similar circumstances do not exist.

The best way to prepare against the possibility of being sentenced to jail for DUI is to remember to take your case seriously. All DUI offenses in South Carolina are serious. In addition to helping our clients challenge the DUI arrest we also assist in preparing a case for the Court against a potential jail sentence.

If you or a loved one is facing any Lexington or Columbia DUI contact the defense attorneys at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. We offer free consultations at our office. Appointments are scheduled by calling 1-888-301-3532.


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