Florence Criminal Defense Law Blog

Cameras and IIDs

If a person has been arrested for a suspected drunken driving offense in South Carolina, they will want to get educated about their defense options and any potential penalties they could face if they are eventually convicted of an impaired driving charge. One penalty that may be associated with a driving under the influence charge is the required use of an ignition interlock device. 

The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services explains that even if a drunk driving charge is a first offense, a driver might be ordered to install and use an IID. This could happen if the blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent or greater at the time of arrest. People may know that an IID requires drivers to supply a clean breath sample every time they want to drive their vehicles. But, one thing that many people in South Carolina might not know is that an IID system might be taking their picture every time they take a breath test.

New expungement law to proceed

Just because a person is arrested and even convicted of a crime in South Carolina does not mean they should not have future opportunities to get their life back on track. After a person has served a jail sentence or completed any other portion of their consequences in connection with a criminal conviction, their ability to get a job can be hindered by the very fact that they have a criminal conviction on their record.

An expungement is the process by which a prior conviction can be removed from a person's record, thereby increasing their chances of being able to find good employment and becoming a positive member of their community. This can be a big contributor to people not getting stuck in a negative cycle.

Criminal convictions may make you ineligible for scholarships

Paying for college is expensive, but students in South Carolina have some hope of help. The Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship enables eligible college students to pay for the cost of attendance for up to eight terms.

The program, also known as the LIFE Scholarship, is valid for use on a student's first associate's degree, one-year program, two-year program leading to a baccalaureate or professional degree.

Devices aimed at detecting pot in drivers

While South Carolina is not one of the states that has passed legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, it does allow some legal use of the drug for medicinal purposes. Given this, it is important for people who use pot for any purpose to know about the advances being made by some in an attempt to arrest drivers for impaired operation due to pot.

As explained by NORML, a charge of marijuana possession in South Carolina may be a misdemeanor but other charges such as drug trafficking might be felonies. It is unclear what an impaired driving due to marijuana might be classified as.

Some say DUI laws need an overhaul

Residents in South Carolina who are arrested for suspected drunk driving should know that there are many factors that may contribute to the future outcome of their cases. Certainly evidence that may be used against them could include breath, blood or urine tests results showing a blood alcohol content at the time of their arrest. They may also have been asked to participate in field sobriety tests and these results may contribute to the case outcome. 

However, there are other factors that are important to note and these are essentially administrative procedures that officers are legally bound to follow. If these procedures are not adhered to, a defendant may have new opportunities to have a case dismissed or have charges reduced.

Will a misdemeanor hurt my job search?

If you have ever been arrested in Nebraska for any reason, even if you were never convicted for any charge, you can likely attest to being afraid of many things during the process. Immediate concerns can include the cost of any fines or legal help as well as whether or not you will have to spend time in jail. Longer-term concerns eventually surface and are likely to include how you will find a job if you have an arrest or misdemeanor conviction on your record. As Monster explains, this may be more possible than you think.

Certainly criminal background checks are part and parcel of hiring processes for most companies today. However, a study done by the Charles Koch Institute and the Society for Human Resources Management found that more than 80 percent of hiring managers felt applicants with criminal records could be just as useful to a company as those applicants without any criminal blemishes in their pasts.

Multi-month investigation leads to arrests

People in South Carolina who are facing criminal charges might feel they are in a tough situation, but it is important that they and others remember that defendants do have rights. These rights are present even before an arrest takes place. For example, it is not legal for police officers to just barge into someone's home and conduct a search of the premises without a search warrant or appropriate legal cause.

Equally important is how a search warrant was obtained. Three people who were recently arrested in Newberry County will likely want to understand what is involved in obtaining a search warrant as part of their defense. As reported by WISTV.com, local law enforcement are said to have been watching a particular residence over the course of several months in part due to reports and complaints from neighbors in the area.

Can you get in trouble for driving without a license?

In South Carolina, you need a driver's license on your person at all times whenever you drive. But did you know that there's a difference between driving on a suspended or revoked license and driving without a license on your person?

FindLaw explains that driving without a license is categorized as a misdemeanor. This can include several different scenarios. For example, if you forgot your license at home and are pulled over, you can be ticketed for that. In this case, it may be considered a traffic violation. If you have your license but it isn't valid, that can also count. A driver's license that isn't valid may have expired, or could be missing necessary stickers, signatures, or other qualifications.

Attending college linked to an increase in criminal activity

Your child always followed your rules and the law during high school. They did their homework, got home at a reasonable hour and generally grew up just like you hoped. You felt thrilled. You assumed you raised a responsible child who would leave for college and become a responsible adult. As a parent, that felt like tremendous success.

What you need to know is that college attendance plays a big role in how children develop. It may reduce crime rates prior to arrival on campus, but then a dramatic shift means that young college students become more likely to commit crimes than those who did not go to college at all.

South Carolina's speeding laws

To many people in South Carolina, getting a speeding ticket is something that is almost bound to happen at some point. While it may feel like a small incident and easy to shrug off, that is not always the case, especially when it feels unclear to the driver as to why exactly a ticket was issued in the first place.

A common misconception that a lot of motorists have is that as long as they are driving at or under the posted speed limit, they cannot be given a ticket for speeding. This is not actually true. As explained by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, a designated speed limit does not grant drivers the unilateral right to travel at that speed at all times but only when all of the influencing conditions make that a safe speed at which to travel.