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Divorce, Family Law and Criminal Law

Rock Hill DUI Lawyer (and Impaired Driving)

Man being arrested and in need of DUI Attorney

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is one of the five most common criminal charges in York County, South Carolina. Drunk drivers are a law enforcement priority in South Carolina because of a high rate of alcohol related crashes. You may also be charged with DUAC (driving with unlawful blood alcohol concentration) depending on the circumstances. If you are facing a DUI arrest (or DUAC arrest), now is the time to get help from a DUI lawyer to protect your future.

Nathan Sheldon is a former prosecutor and member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, he will guide you through the court process after a drunk driving arrest, including working hard to keep your driving privileges and keep you out of jail.

While his office is located in Rock Hill, Nathan Sheldon also regularly represents clients charged with DUI and other impaired driving charges in Lancaster County and Chester County, SC.

Call 803-504-3411 now to schedule your consultation.

What is DUI?

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. It is one of several laws in South Carolina that can be applied to drivers when alcohol is present. The law says that a person cannot operate a motor vehicle if they are “materially and appreciably” impaired by alcohol.

In South Carolina, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is considered driving under the influence. You can also be charged with DUI if your BAC is between .05 percent and .08 percent and there is other evidence to show you were impaired. South Carolina law also makes driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC) essentially the same as DUI, since the penalties for DUAC are the same as for DUI.

South Carolina DUI Penalties

Misdemeanor DUI Cases

First and Second Convictions for for DUI where nobody was seriously injured or killed include a number of potential penalties:

  • Jail Time
  • Fine
  • License Suspension or Revocation
  • Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
  • Ignition Interlock Device

With the tougher DUI penalties (called Emma’s Law) that went into effect in October 2014, you could be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car even for a first conviction.

Felony DUI

DUI can be a felony in South Carolina if:

  • The driver has two previous DUI convictions
  • The DUI involved severe injury or death to another person

Why Hire an Attorney to Fight a DUI Conviction

Even a first-time conviction will result in:

  • A Criminal Record
  • Some or All of the Criminal Penalties Above
  • Mandatory Special Insurance
  • Possible job loss
  • Possible loss of Scholarships and Opportunities
  • Travel Restrictions

If you have been charged with DUI, you are fighting for your future. You are facing jail time, substantial fines, loss of driving privileges and a required alcohol and drug program. But those are just the penalties you face in court.

If you lose your ability to drive to work, will you be able to keep your job?
If you have access to a company vehicle, you may lose your job as the result of a conviction on your driving record. And with a DUI conviction on your record, you may have a more difficult time finding a new job.

DUI convictions can also result in a loss of college scholarships. You may even have to change your vacation plans, as even misdemeanor DUI convictions in the United States can result in you being denied entry into Canada.

First DUI Cases in York and Union Counties

Since 2012, all first offense driving under the influence, DUAC, and related charges are handled by the The 16th Circuit DUI Unit in the centralized DUI magistrate court. These cases originate with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, York County Sheriff’s Office and multi-jurisdictional checkpoints.

First DUI offenses carry strong penalties, including jail time, a fine of up to $400 (nearly $1,000 with surcharges and assessments added on), and 6 months suspension of your driver’s license.

Hire an Experienced Defense Attorney to Help You

Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer near you will help you navigate the court system, making sure you have sound legal advice with every decision involved in your case.

Make sure you are protecting your rights and your future. Get help with DUI Defense Today.

Call 803-504-3411 now to schedule your consultation.

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