Hire A Trusted DUI Lawyer In Charleston To Safeguard Your Rights
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a mistake that can have significant legal and personal consequences. A DUI conviction can lead to steep fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time. It can also impact your job and cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. Since the stakes are high, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
At Young & Young, Attorneys at Law, we can help you understand the severity of your charges and ensure your rights are protected. We will also aim to minimize the effects of your charges on your future. Our DUI lawyers regularly defend clients in Mount Pleasant, the City of Charleston, Charleston County and the surrounding communities.
Why We Are The Best Choice For Your DUI Case
Adam and Kelley Young are former state prosecutors who have strategized a wide range of cases on both sides of the law. With so much at stake, you are in good hands with these courtroom veterans who have tried dozens of cases and negotiated hundreds of plea agreements.
Since Adam and Kelley know the local court system inside and out, they tag-team to investigate and develop solid strategies. Throughout their years of practice, they have cultivated strong professional relationships with local prosecutors, law enforcement and court personnel.
Adam Young has an AV Preeminent* peer-review rating through Martindale-Hubbell. He was also selected as a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, which is a professional, invitation-only organization composed of premier trial lawyers from each state or region who demonstrate superior qualifications in terms of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile.
Adam and Kelley were also selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers, a distinction given to no more than five percent of the state’s lawyers every year.
Young & Young, Attorneys at Law, has also been recognized by Expertise.com and Avvo for being a top-rated criminal defense attorney and DUI attorney.
If you want your case handled by an experienced DUI attorney with a track record of success, contact the firm to schedule a free consultation by calling 843-619-7755 or complete an online contact form.
Attorneys Kelley and Adam Young genuinely care about your legal concerns. They are devoted and understand that the outcome matters. They work as a cohesive team and (against all odds) successfully achieved our desired results. They explained the legal complexities of the case in a down-to-earth and straightforward way and efficiently advocated for our best interest. I highly recommend them for your legal concerns.
Outstanding DUI Defense Backed By Results
Over the years, our firm has represented numerous clients facing DUI charges, securing successful outcomes in many challenging cases. While we cannot share every victory, we can share some of our most recent ones.
These case results represent a small fraction of our experience and success. Each case is different, and these results do not guarantee future results, but they do guarantee our dedication and expertise in DUI cases.
Felony DUI case dismissed
Our client was charged with felony DUI with great bodily injury, facing a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. After strong plea negotiations and using our experience to point out legal issues with the case, the felony DUI was dismissed. As a result, our client did not have their license suspended and avoided any jail time.
Third DUI or subsequent case dismissed
Our client had a long history of alcohol abuse and was charged with a third DUI or subsequent, which meant the client had at least two prior convictions for DUI-related offenses. Using our legal experience of the intricacies of DUI law, we successfully had our client’s original charge dismissed. Our client avoided a license suspension and prison time.
DUI and associated drug paraphernalia charges dismissed
Our client was arrested and charged with DUI and drug paraphernalia. The prosecutor argued the DUI was based on the client being under the influence of drugs. We successfully challenged the evidence and negotiated to have the original charges dismissed, and our client avoided a license suspension.
What Does It Mean To Be Impaired?
Impairment refers to a state where an individual’s capacity to operate a motor vehicle safely is significantly compromised due to the consumption of alcohol, illicit substances or prescription medications.
Given that the effects of these substances can vary from person to person, legal standards such as “per se” laws establish specific measurable thresholds. For instance, some states consider motorists with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher to be automatically impaired. Likewise, in certain regions, the mere presence of specific drugs in the bloodstream is considered indicative of impairment.
Legal Process For A DUI Conviction
While DUI arrests are routine for local law enforcement, they are anything but routine for local motorists. South Carolina drivers should know that a DUI charge can be a multipart affair. From start to finish, a typical DUI conviction consists of:
- The traffic stop
- Field sobriety testing
- The arrest
- Processing with data masters at the police station
- Subsequent court hearings
To perform a DUI stop, law enforcement must have a valid reason to pull you over. They cannot stop you without a reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence – such as by swerving or varying your speed. If law enforcement stops you regardless, you can file a pretrial motion to suppress evidence. In a DUI case, this makes any evidence gathered improperly impermissible for use in court, including results from sobriety and breathalyzer tests. A possible, though not guaranteed, outcome in this scenario is for a case to be dismissed entirely.
A DUI arrest can also happen at a DUI checkpoint, where law enforcement officers stop all vehicles traveling on a designated road. While this practice may seem to violate the concept of reasonable suspicion, it has been upheld as legal by the U.S. Supreme Court. From the perspective of officials and for the sake of public safety, the benefits of these checkpoints are viewed to outweigh the intrusion imposed upon drivers. While some states have banned DUI checkpoints, South Carolina is not among them.
What Does A DUI Investigation Entail?
Most drivers are startled to realize that they are under investigation for driving under the influence – especially if they thought that they were being pulled over for a routine traffic violation or something like a broken taillight.
Here is how a DUI investigation generally unfolds:
- Observation: The police officer’s observations are often an important part of the prosecution’s DUI case, so you can generally expect the officer to be looking for any signs of drug or alcohol use. The officer will look for things like slurred speech, droopy eyes, bloodshot eyes, fumbling and confusion when they approach you and initiate the conversation.
- Leading questions: Officers may try to get an admission that you have been drinking. They may open their conversation with you by flat-out asking if you are coming from a bar or a restaurant that serves alcohol and whether you have had anything to drink. It is wisest to deflect these questions by asking the officer why you were stopped. If that fails, it is best to decline to answer. You have a right to avoid self-incrimination, and you can exercise that right at any time.
- Field sobriety testing: The walk-and-turn, one-legged-stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus test have become fairly familiar to a lot of people through their use in media, but these standardized field sobriety tests are very unscientific and subjective. They cannot be used in court. Drivers can and should refuse to participate in them.
- Preliminary breath testing: A preliminary breath test uses a portable device to estimate your blood alcohol content (BAC) based on the quantity of alcohol molecules in your breath. An officer may ask you to take one to obtain probable cause for a DUI arrest. Most drivers do not realize that they have the right to refuse these.
Only once an officer decides that they have enough probable cause (evidence) for a DUI request are you required under implied consent laws to submit to a chemical test to determine your BAC.
Reinstating A Suspended Driver’s License
In South Carolina, a DUI conviction or refusing a breathalyzer test will result in a driver’s license suspension. Furthermore, if you lose your license and are later pulled over while driving with a suspended license, you can be taken to jail and face an even longer license suspension.
You don’t want to risk more penalties. Our DUI lawyers can help you get your license back. Reinstating your driver’s license is a lengthy process that is best handled by an experienced attorney. We can defend you against DUI charges and represent you at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administrative license hearing as well. As former prosecutors, we can identify weak points in the state’s case against you. We know what questions to ask and what arguments to make at each step of the case.
The Impact Of A DUI Charge On Your Criminal Record
DUI offenses are not traffic violations; they are misdemeanors that will remain on your criminal record permanently. You can be charged with a felony under certain circumstances, including a third or higher DUI offense or a drunk driving offense that causes an accident or injury.
The penalties for conviction of a first-offense DUI in South Carolina may include:
- Jail time or probation
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Fines, fees and court costs
- Alcohol abuse screening and education
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
Subsequent DUI convictions will result in increased penalties, such as mandatory jail sentences and the permanent loss of your driver’s license.
Why You Should Hire A DUI Attorney
Many people charged with drunk driving simply assume that they will be convicted. However, before you plead guilty, it is wise to speak to a DUI attorney to make sure that you understand all your options. There may be ways to contest the charges and protect your criminal record and driver’s license.
Learn more: How to find the right DUI lawyer
At Young & Young, Attorneys at Law, our founding attorneys are former prosecutors and experienced criminal defense lawyers. They know what evidence to look for in a DUI/DWI case. Our attorneys can review the police report and test results and quickly assess your case. If the prosecution’s case against you is weak, you may be able to argue for the charges to be reduced or dismissed altogether. If the prosecutor does not negotiate fairly, we will be prepared to take the case to trial. Our DUI lawyers represent adults, college students and juveniles in Charleston and the surrounding communities.
Consult With A DUI Accident Lawyer For Free
*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.