Aggressive DUI Lawyer in Columbia, SC

Were You Charged with a DUI? Call (803) 402-8544

When you are charged with a DUI, your freedom, finances, reputation, and driving privileges are all at stake so whom you hire to represent you matters. You can rest assured that when you choose The Steele Law Firm, LLC, you will receive aggressive and responsive representation from a former prosecutor and experienced Columbia DUI defense attorney. I will analyze the evidence against you and work tirelessly to position you for a favorable outcome whether that be a dismissal of charges or reduction in offense. If we decide to proceed to trial, I am fully prepared to defend your rights and fight for you in a court of law.

Call (803) 402-8544 today to request your free consultationwith my firm.

Penalties You May Face if Convicted

The State of South Carolina takes Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges extremely seriously and aggressively patrols the roads and highways for offenders. Sometimes people get wrongly accused of driving under the influence and are forced to face serious consequences and hard choices that can impact their family, their employment, and their finances. Additionally, insurance costs may also increase dramatically. Evidence can be mishandled by law enforcement, and rights can be violated.

The penalties for a DUI conviction depend on the circumstances.

First DUI Offense:

  • Fine of up to $400
  • Imprisonment between 48 hours and 30 days
  • Driver's license suspension for 6 months

Second DUI Offense:

  • Fine between $2,100 and $5,100
  • Imprisonment between 5 days and 1 year
  • Driver's license suspension for 1 year
  • Ignition interlock device installation

Third DUI Offense:

  • Fine between $3,800 and $6,300
  • Imprisonment between 60 days and 3 years
  • Driver's license suspension for 2 years
  • If the third offense occurs within 5 years of the first conviction, driver's license suspension is for 4 years
  • Ignition interlock device installation

Fourth DUI Offense:

  • Imprisonment between 1 and 5 years
  • Driver's license revoked permanently

DUI Causing Bodily Injury or Death:

  • Fine between $5,100 and $10,100
  • Imprisonment between 30 days and 15 years (when great bodily injury occurs)
  • Imprisonment between 1 year and 25 years (when death occurs)

(S.C. Code of Laws Sections 56-5-2933, 56-5-2941, and 56-5-2945)

Because the punishments and consequences of a DUI conviction are so severe, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Columbia criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and fight for you. I am a former state prosecutor who has handled DUI cases on both sides of the courtroom aisle. Let me put my experience to work for you. Call me today for a free consultation and we will get started right away.

Defenses that I may be able to assert on your behalf include:

  • The arresting officer did not have probable cause when making the initial traffic stop: Generally, when police pull someone over, they must have a specific reason for doing so. That means they must have observed you doing something wrong, such as not stopping at a red light or weaving between lanes, in order for them to stop you. Probable cause is not a hunch that you broke the state's DUI law, and if your arrest was based on anything other than articulable grounds that you were driving under the influence, evidence obtained may not be admissible in court.
  • The field sobriety test was improperly administered: Law enforcement officers must adhere to specific protocol when subjecting you to field sobriety tests (FSTs). Failure to do so could be grounds to have the evidence thrown out at court. Additionally, if you agreed to take an FST, your performance on them could have been affected by something other than intoxication. Factors such as your natural physical coordination, stress level at the time of the stop, level of fatigue, or clothing might have made it difficult to successfully complete the FST, which caused the officer to believe you were under the influence.
  • The chemical tests was improperly administered: After a DUI arrest, you may have been subjected to a chemical test, such as a breath test or blood draw. The machines used to administer the tests must be calibrated and maintained to ensure they provide accurate results. If the requirements were not met, your analysis may have been skewed. Additionally, there are a number of factors that could render test results inaccurate, such as your consuming food or taking prescription medications prior to being subjected to the tests.
  • The officer did not read your rights before questioning you: When law enforcement officers arrest you, they must inform you of your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. This helps ensure that you don't provide any self-incriminating statements. If the officers fail to Mirandize you, anything you said during the interrogation may not be used as evidence at trial.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Columbia, call my officetoday at (803) 402-8544.

Serving the cities of Blythewood, Camden, Cayce, Chester, Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Rock Hill, Sumter, West Columbia, and Winnsboro.

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