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Defending DUI Charges in Lexington

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, South Carolina.

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 bail bondsmen.

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 reckless driving)
  • 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, California.

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.

Professional Affiliations

  • Past President of the Lexington County Bar Association (2008)
  • The National Trial Lawyers "Top 100" South Carolina Criminal Trial Attorneys
  • 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.
If you have anymore questions contact us today.

Take Advantage of Our Informational Videos

  • Arrested for DUI? See how our firm can get your license back today.

    Arrested for DUI?

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    Learn more about reasonable doubt and how it can effect your verdict.

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