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Underage DUI

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 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.

If you would like to discuss your, or a love ones, DUI with our office call us today at (803) 359-3301. 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.

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  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo
  • Accredited Business by the Better Business Bureau
  • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National College for DUI Defense

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