SOUTH CAROLINA DUI ATTORNEY | FORT MILL | ROCK HILL
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE OUR FIRM
FREE OFFICE CONSULTATION AND CASE REVIEW
Arrested for DUI or DUAC in York County? Then you need an experienced, local DUI attorney. Based here in York County, our DUI lawyers aggressively defend those arrested for DUI, DUAC, or felony DUI. Our DUI attorneys handle cases in Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Tega Cay, Lake Wylie, and Indian Land.
Our consultations are free. After all, we are interviewing for a job. Furthermore, we hope to be your DUI attorney. But most importantly, we will give you information that will help you sleep better tonight. Here, we outline what you’re facing and what we can do to help. Keep reading. Then call us.
While each case is different, our approach is always the same. If hired, we fully investigate the State’s evidence against you. Consequently, our DUI lawyers carefully analyze all video recordings. In South Carolina, there must be video at the street during arrest and in the breath testing room. Afterward, we develop an individual defense strategy for your case. Once we have evaluated your case in full, we sit down with you and go over every part of your case. Next, we answer your questions and make recommendations. Throughout your case, we pledge to work hard so you can make good decisions. We have your back.
ROBERT J. REEVES
DUI attorney Robert Reeves is a practicing trial lawyer with over 27 years of litigation experience. He is licensed in both South Carolina and North Carolina. To improve his DUI credentials, Mr. Reeves underwent the same training as the police through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He earned certificates in DWI Investigation and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. In addition, he completed the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course. Finally, Mr. Reeves is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. And he is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100.* You can reach Mr. Reeves directly even after regular office hours.
FORMER DUI PROSECUTOR
Zac Fry is a former York County DUI Court prosecutor. Now, he evaluates DUI cases from both sides and uses his previous training to develop personalized defense strategies. After clerking for a Circuit Court judge, Zac became an Assistant Solicitor at the Solicitor’s Office here in York County. While there, he was assigned to the DUI Unit in Rock Hill and prosecuted over 400 DUI cases. Given his background, Zac has extensive courtroom experience and works with Mr. Reeves as part of a DUI team. You can also reach Zac directly even after regular business hours.
HOW WE FIGHT DUI CASES
Because the State has the burden, we make sure they can actually prove their case against you. In addition, we never accept you are guilty just because you are charged. So how do we do our job? First, we look for legal errors. If we find them, we file motions to suppress certain evidence or even dismiss your case. Next, if no legal errors, we evaluate how you appear on video from a jury’s perspective. After we finish our review of all evidence, we sit down and review our findings. Finally, we answer your questions and go over your options including any plea offers.
Now that you know what you are facing, you can decide how best to proceed. All final decisions are yours. Of course. While we guide you and make recommendations, you are always in charge. After all, it is your case and your life. But we are beside you every step of the way. Don’t worry. We’re here.
STRAIGHT ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
When you ask us questions, we give you straight answers. While you may not like all answers, most just want the truth. Consequently, we are respectful but candid. If your case does not look good, we tell you and negotiate a plea offer. If you have more than one option, we explain them and give our recommendation. Either way, you make all major decisions after our counsel. Together, we will get through this ordeal. And you will come out stronger when it is over. We are here and will stand by you.
CHOOSING A DUI ATTORNEY
While there are many lawyers in York County, only a few practice criminal defense. And even fewer focus on DUI cases. So how do you choose one DUI attorney over another? Here, we suggest a way you can choose the “best DUI lawyer” for your case. Of course, only you can decide who is “best.” Because every case is different, a DUI attorney cannot make an honest assessment until they have evaluated all of the evidence. Beware of lawyers who claim they can “get your case dismissed” during a first meeting or phone call. Instead, you should carefully compare actual DUI experience and credentials. Ask hard questions. For example, what percentage of their practice is DUI defense? And when was the last time they tried a DUI case in court?
In the end, you have to decide who is the best DUI attorney for you and your family. Relax. You will know. Just look for the lawyer who gives you the most confidence but also puts you at ease. And make sure they will take your calls after you hire them. The number one complaint is that lawyers do not return phone calls or messages. At our firm, we honor your trust and return all calls the same day. In fact, every client has our personal cell phone number and email address. We will be there when you need us.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FRIENDS OR FAMILY
With so many lawyers around, almost everyone “knows” a great DUI attorney. Friends, family, even coworkers tell you who they like. While this may be a good place to start, don’t stop there. Rather, before making a final decision, do your own research. At a minimum, compare different lawyers for yourself. Look at their qualifications and actual DUI experience. After you narrow your choices, schedule a time to meet with them. And if they charge an initial consultation fee, keep searching.
Once in front of them, ask hard questions and get a feel for their personality. Can you work with this person? Invest the time. It’s worth it. In the end, the decision of who to hire is critical and can make a real difference. So make the best choice after evaluating several different DUI attorney firms. From our primary office in Baxter Village / Fort Mill, our York County DUI lawyers defend clients in Rock Hill, Tega Cay, Clover / Lake Wylie, and York. We go where we’re needed.
PENALTIES FOR FIRST OFFENSE DUI
If convicted or plead guilty, a DUI or DUAC charge results in a permanent criminal record. Furthermore, there is no expungement under current law. Ever. In addition, your license (or driving privilege) is revoked for 6 months. And you have to obtain SR-22 insurance for 3 years even if you do not own a vehicle. You may be eligible for a restricted license. However, to qualify, you have to enroll in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) and pay a $100.00 fee. Then there are court costs, fines, community service, and possibly even jail. Depending on your BAC reading, court costs and fines are between $997 and $1229. And finally, you can face jail time or community service for up to 30 days.
If your BAC is 0.15 or greater, or you refuse breath testing, “ignition interlock” is required in your vehicle. While suspended, you can only drive vehicles with this device installed. Of course, these penalties apply only if the State can prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
THE NEXT STEP
After reviewing our website, the next step is to call our firm and schedule a personal meeting. Once we have more information, we answer your questions and give some initial guidance. Once we have all the State’s evidence, we discuss options and make recommendations. In the end, you make all decisions. We work for you.
If you decide to hire us, we pledge to fight hard and do our best for you. We know you are counting on us. Don’t give up just because you have been charged. An arrest does not always mean conviction. DUI defense is a process. Searching for an experienced York County DUI attorney begins that process. We appreciate the anxiety you are feeling. Let us take some of the worries away. Thank you for considering our firm. Call now and let’s start your defense.
For more information about your DUI charges, here is a summary of the laws. We hope it helps you understand what you are facing:
DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE (DUI) – SECTION 56-5-2930
As everyone knows, it is illegal to drive “drunk” or “impaired.” However, DUI laws apply to any motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, in any combination. You can drink and then drive but cannot be “materially and appreciably impaired.” At present, the “legal limit” is 0.08. However, you don’t have to be “legally drunk” to be charged with DUI. Even if your BAC reading is below 0.08, the State can still prosecute if they can prove you are unsafe to operate a vehicle. If your BAC is 0.05 or below, you are statutorily presumed to not be impaired. But watch out for drug-based impairment issues here.
Make note, the legal term “any motorized vehicle” includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and golf carts. Yes, even golf carts. If you drink and then drive around the neighborhood, you can be arrested for DUI. Also remember that “drunk driving” or “impairment” can result from alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) and/or drugs (prescription, illegal, natural). Even if you follow your doctor’s prescription, you can be arrested for DUI if you appear impaired. However, to prove drug-based impairment, the State will need blood/urine test results or a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to testify at trial.
DRIVING WITH AN UNLAWFUL ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (DUAC) – SECTION 56-5-2933
Here, the State has to prove a “blood alcohol concentration (BAC)” of 0.08% or greater. While many lawyers think this is a lesser charge, DUAC is the same now as DUI. And there is no benefit to pleading to a DUAC. When the law changed, the penalty for DUAC is the same now. In fact, this law was actually passed to make it easier for the State to convict. In that regard, “bad driving” is not required like in a DUI case.
Previously, an officer would dismiss the original DUI charge and then rewrite a new ticket for DUAC. Then, the DUAC conviction would show on your driving record but did not result in a permanent criminal record. However, this “loophole” has since been eliminated. And now, there is no difference between a DUI and a DUAC. In reality, the only advantage might be to say you accepted a plea offer on the advice of your lawyer rather than being convicted at trial. Only in really bad cases would we suggest this option.
FELONY DUI – SECTION 56-5-2945
While most DUI arrests are misdemeanors, a DUI becomes a felony if an accident involving “great bodily injury” or death occurs. Consequently, a multi-car or single-vehicle accident with serious injury results in a felony DUI. Here, the only difference is serious injury or death. If charged with a felony DUI, you face potential time in prison.
“Great bodily injury” creates a “substantial risk of death” or causes “serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment” to any body, member, or organ. There are defenses to felony DUI. First, you challenge the impairment like in any other DUI case. Or, you argue there is no connection between the accident and any alleged impairment. And finally, you dispute whether “great bodily injury” or causally related death resulted. As you might expect, these cases are difficult to win in front of a jury. Better to win by Motion, if possible, than risk a jury.
Felony DUI penalties increase dramatically. If convicted in a serious injury case, the mandatory fine is between $5,100.00 and $10,100.00 and imprisonment between thirty (30) days to fifteen (15) years. If death results, the mandatory fine increases to $10,100.00 to $25,100.00 and imprisonment of one (1) year to twenty-five (25) years. And to be clear, this is time in prison in the South Carolina Department of Corrections, not the local county jail.
IMPLIED CONSENT TO TESTING – SECTION 56-5-2946
By driving in South Carolina, you consent to chemical tests if arrested for DUI. If you refuse, your driver’s license (or driving privilege) is automatically suspended for 6 months. And if your BAC reading is 0.15 or greater, your license is also suspended. Once charged, you have 30 days to request a DMV hearing and challenge this suspension. In addition, you can request a Temporary Alcohol License (TAL) while waiting for your DMV hearing date. But if you do not file in a timely, your 6-month suspension will begin. This is the civil license suspension for DUI. Furthermore, there can be a second DMV suspension if convicted of the criminal charge. Don’t worry. While this is scary, we are here to help guide you through this process.
*To read the actual DUI statutes yourself, click here.
*Membership in professional legal organizations shows our commitment to DUI criminal defense.
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