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