Some local South Carolina Police Officers were called to the scene of a fight outside a bank’s ATM between two males. By the time the police arrived, there was only one male and a female outside, surrounded by multiple bystanders who had witnessed the prior altercation.
According to the police reports, the male’s face was extremely swollen, and he was completely inebriated, yet refused to have any medical treatment for his injuries. Apparently the female he was with was also very intoxicated as well. Due to her intoxicated state, she was unable to provide the police with the information they needed to find the initial culprit.
All the man would say is that he was assaulted by another man, who hit the man repeatedly, and then fled from the scene. He said he only knew the assailant by his “street name,” and could not give any other identifiable information. The victim said that he and the female pulled up to the ATM machine, when they noticed the assailant pulling in behind him. The suspect then leapt out of his vehicle, walked up to the victim’s window, and began to argue with him.
Apparently the assailant claimed that the victim owed him money for a long time, and he wanted to get “what he was owed.” He then repeatedly punched the man in the face. The victim jumped out of his vehicle at this point, and the two men were in a full on brawl.
When onlookers began to gather, the suspect jumped into his vehicle and sped away. The officers were forced to interview eye witnesses for more information, because the victim and his female passenger were too intoxicated.
The couple was forced to take a taxi cab home, because they were too drunk to drive in that condition. They left their vehicle at the scene and were to come pick it up the next day. In fact, the officers even offered to have a police officer patrol the lot to ensure the safety of the vehicle.
The victim did not heed the officers advice, and must of forgotten that the cops were patrolling the lot, when he came back later to get his car, and was still intoxicated.
When he got into his vehicle and began to drive away, he was arrested for a DUI.
So what happens in South Carolina when you receive your first DUI?
According to S. C Gen Stat. Section 56-5-2950, the state allows DUI convictions to be tried in front of a jury of so requested within 5 days by counsel. It is your choice whether or not you want the judge or the jury to serve as the fact-finder. S. C Gen Stat. Section 56-5-2950(2012).
When you have been charged with your first offense of a DUI in South Carolina, and your Blood Alcohol Level is less than a .015, your offense can be considered a misdemeanor, but will remain on your driving record forever. Unfortunately, there is no way to expunge a DUI from your record; misdemeanor or felony. Having the misdemeanor on your record can affect you for the rest or life.
Future employers are allowed to access this information, as it is public record. Insurance companies will raise your rates, and you will have a more costly insurance bill every year.
Furthermore, if you refuse to have your BAC level tested ( also known as “refusing the breathalyzer”) on your first offense, your license will AUTOMATICALLY be suspended for 90 days. If it is your second offense and you refuse, then your license will be suspended for double the time, at 180 days.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999, for more information on how we can help you with your case. Visit our main page at www.rjrlaw.com