If arrested for a Tega Cay DUI, DUAC, or felony DUI, you need to know what to expect. We know you have questions and need answers. And you don’t want to be “pitched” or told how serious a DUI charge is. So let’s start with information about the process. First, our credentials:
Tega Cay DUI Attorneys
Robert J. Reeves (firstname.lastname@example.org) 803.554.4157
Tega Cay DUI lawyer Robert Reeves is an experienced trial litigator in both criminal and civil courts. He has practiced law for over 27 years since 1989 and is licensed in both South Carolina and North Carolina. Mr. Reeves is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, National College for DUI Defense, and the South Carolina Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers. In addition to legal experience, Mr. Reeves has completed “DWI Investigation and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing” as well as “Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).” This police training is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Zachary E. Fry (email@example.com) 803.250.9424
Tega Cay DUI attorney Zac Fry is a former DUI Court prosecutor. Zac started his legal career as a law clerk for the resident Judge for the Eighth Judicial Circuit. After that, he went to the Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and became an Assistant Solicitor. After his prosecutor training, Zac transferred to the York County Centralized DUI Court in Rock Hill.
While at the Solicitor’s Office, Zac personally prosecuted over 400 DUI arrests and tried numerous cases to verdict. His experience representing the State of South Carolina prepared him to convict someone of a Tega Cay DUI. Zac now applies that knowledge and experience to aggressively defend those arrested. Like Mr. Reeves, Zac is personally available to clients even after regular hours.
Here in Baxter Village or Charlotte
We are your neighbors. Our office is located above the Grapevine Wine Bar in Baxter Village. Our address is 1012 Market Street, Suite 205, Fort Mill. To meet with us, just come down Highway 160 to the Starbucks. Turn onto Market Street and go three blocks to the Baxter Commerce building. If more convenient to meet in Charlotte, we have an office there also. That address is 301 South McDowell Street, Suite 814, Charlotte. Either way, we make this easy. Just let us know what is better for you.
Defending a Tega Cay DUI
Many clients initially feel like they have “lost” before they even begin. Fortunately, this is not the law. Just because you are arrested does NOT mean you are guilty. Furthermore, the State has to PROVE you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A DUI arrest is a process. So is the defense. Here is what we do. First, we collect all State evidence and review it in full. While reviewing, we consider both legal and factual issues. Furthermore, we evaluate every part of your case. From the initial stop, field sobriety tests, arrest, Miranda warnings, and breath testing, we look at it all. If proper procedures are not followed, we file Motions to suppress evidence or possibly even to dismiss your case.
Next, if there are no legal errors, we see how you appear on video. Almost everyone knows what “drunk” looks like and sounds like. Consequently, we compare what we would expect with how you act on video. Because few ever do well on roadside sobriety tests, we are not as concerned. However, we do look closely at how you talk, stand, and walk normally. Since “drunk” is easy to recognize, we look at your case through the eyes of a jury.
Penalties for First Offense Tega Cay DUI
For a first offense DUI, there is a $400.00 fine and up to 48 hours in jail or community service. If your BAC is between 0.10 – 0.16, you pay a $500.00 fine and up to 72 hours jail or community service. Greater than 0.16, the fine increases to $1000.00 and up to 30 days in jail. Also, you must have SR-22 insurance for three (3) years, even if you do not own a vehicle. In addition, you must complete the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) and pay $100.00 for a restricted license. And finally, ignition interlock is required for refusal of breath testing or BAC greater than 0.16. Worst of all, a DUI conviction is a permanent criminal record that cannot be expunged.
DMV Suspension Hearing / Temporary Alcohol License
The most immediate concern of every client is when can they legally drive again. They need to get to work, pick up children, etc. In fact, there are actually two (2) aspects to a Tega Cay DUI arrest. First, there is the criminal case where you have rights. Then, there is the civil case where you have privileges. Rather, driving is a privilege, not a right. If your license is taken, you be given a Notice of Suspension (blue form) when released from jail. We handle this DMV challenge for you as part of our representation.
Our office completes the required form and mails it to the SCDMV in Columbia. The cost to the State of South Carolina is $200.00. After 7-10 days, you should receive a letter authorizing a Temporary Alcohol License (TAL). This license costs an additional $100.00 but allows you to drive pending the outcome of your DMV hearing. In approximately 45-60 days, a DMV hearing will be scheduled in Chester at 8:00 a.m. If there is a legitimate issue, we challenge whether your refusal was willful. If you did exercise your right to refuse, there is no defense. The only way to win is if the arresting officer does not show up. Here, you win by default because the burden of proof is on the State.
Mandatory Video DUI Law
Everything from the initial police stop to breath testing must be recorded in South Carolina. We love video. Video takes away the “he said, she said” scenario of arrests. By law, every police vehicle has video recording equipment. Recording must begin when the officer activates “blue lights.” From that point forward, all interactions are saved for later review. Most importantly, certain events, including field sobriety tests, arrest, and Miranda warnings must be recorded. Also, the breath testing procedure has to be recorded. If not, potential legal remedies include suppression of affected evidence or, in some situations, dismissal of the DUI charge outright.
Right to Jury
Most clients prefer to resolve their case without going to trial. We understand. Fortunately, most Tega Cay DUI cases end by plea agreement. However, we still prepare every case as if we are going to trial. After all, a good defense starts with a good offense. And if your case cannot be resolved, we are ready. At trial, we focus on both legal and factual issues. If there are procedural mistakes, we highlight them to the jury. In addition, we stress how you appear on video and why sobriety tests are not reliable indicators of impairment. In the end, juries convict or acquit based on what they see and hear for themselves.
License Suspension Issues
Under South Carolina law, you give your “implied consent” to breath testing simply by driving on our roads. However, under the 5th Amendment, you have the right to refuse to give a breath sample. Nevertheless, if you exercise this fundamental right, there are immediate civil consequences with your license. Even if you are later acquitted in the criminal case, you can still lose your license or driving privileges for six (6) months. It gets a little confusing. We know the importance of being able to drive. Try not to worry. This is what we do. We will give you answers and choices. Then, you are able to decide what is best for you and your family. In the end, we will get through this together. Call us now and let’s start your defense.