Florence Criminal Defense Law Blog

What can be used against me in court for a DUI?

South Carolina cracks down hard on people who are accused of driving while under the influence. Because of that, the penalties can add up fast and cause you a lot of damage. Parham Law Firm, LLC, is here to help if you have been accused of a DUI related crime. Today, we'll take a look at three things to double-check from your traffic stop.

First, was your stop illegal? Contrary to what some people think, police cannot pull you over without probable cause to do so. "Probable cause" does have some wiggle room within its definition, however. It can include things like aggressive driving, weaving, or not stopping fully at stop lights. It can even be for reasons unrelated to driving, like having an expired plate sticker.

Multi-agency investigation leads to federal indictments

People who live in South Carolina and hear about criminal drug charges should know that there are a wide variety of these types of charges and offenses. It should never be thought that all cases are the same. Some people might be arrested and later charged with a misdemeanor while others can find themselves facing felony charges and even federal offenses. The penalties associated with these various crimes can be wildly different as well.

Most people know that felony crimes are more serious than misdemeanor offenses and therefore they can lead to longer or more severe consequences. When a person is charged with a federal offense, the severity can increase even further. According to a report by ABC Columbia, there are today 26 people who have been charged with multiple federal offenses in both South Carolina and in Georgia.

How could so many charges result from one arrest?

Have you ever been detained for a traffic offense, charged with a DUI or arrested for possession while in your vehicle? If not, you may be shocked at the number of charges the state of South Carolina might attempt to levy against you for what seems like a straightforward event. 

If you were under suspicion of a crime, understanding these charges and the related processes would probably be instrumental in your defense. That perspective would be even more critical if police were to detain, arrest or question you regarding the matter. Here is why it is important to know how your rights relate to your situation before you speak about your case.

Defending yourself from an underage DUI in South Carolina

If you are a driver under the age of 21, it is important that you know how the law holds you to a higher standard regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. If you are 21 years old or older, you can consume alcohol and then drive as long as your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is lower than 0.08 percent. However, if you are under the age of 21, you will be breaking the law if you drive with a BAC over 0.02 percent.

Being charged with a DUI as a minor in South Carolina can have a far-reaching effect on your future. This is why it is very important that you take swift action to adequately defend yourself. There can be many reasons why you should not be charged with a DUI after having a BAC reading.

What should you know about implied consent laws?

South Carolina is a state that takes driving while under the influence (DUI) charges very seriously. If you are a driver who is currently facing this type of charge, you could find yourself dealing with heavy and severe penalties. Because of this, it's important to know about DUI law basics. This includes implied consent laws.

What is an implied consent law, exactly? According to FindLaw, this law is applicable in every state. Under it, a driver implies that they consent to a breath analysis test, chemical tests, and field sobriety tests when they apply for their driver's license. Though police officers cannot force you to take breathalyzer tests simply due to the nature of the test itself, your refusal does come at a cost.

Understanding constructive possession

Here at the Parham Law Firm, LLC, in South Carolina, many of our clients face drug charges of one kind or another. All of these cases have one thing in common, however.

Whatever type of drug charges you face, the prosecutor cannot convict you of any alleged drug crime unless and until (s)he proves that you actually owned, possessed or controlled the particular drugs involved in your case.

What happens after a DUI?

In South Carolina, drunk driving charges are taken very seriously. Driving while inebriated can cause grave injuries to yourself and others, and it can also cause a great deal of property damage depending on how many other vehicles are involved. From a legal perspective, those found guilty will also be faced with a variety of harsh penalties, as explained by Very Well Mind.

Fines

Crime reform bill targets reduced prison population

Many people in South Carolina might automatically lump everyone convicted of a criminal offense into one big bucket. That, however, is quite unrealistic and even unfair. There is a big difference between being convicted of drug trafficking marijuana and being convicted of first-degree murder. This type of difference is an essential element of a new crime reform bill that is making its way through the state legislature right now.

A law passed in 2010 actually got the reform movement started and this new bill aims to keep it going. Part of the goal of the new bill is to reduce the load on state prisons while simultaneously giving some convicted of nonviolent offenses a better opportunity to rehabilitate and get their lives back on track in a more positive way.

Drunk driving defense strategies: Which one will work for you?

If you never drive under the influence of alcohol, you never have to concern yourself with a DUI charge. However, good people make bad mistakes all the time, which could lead you to a run-in with the law.

A DUI arrest is stressful enough, but this doesn't even take into consideration what you'll go through in the time leading up to your court date. Furthermore, when your day in court arrives, it's only natural to be nervous.

1 dead in alleged South Carolina drunk driving accident

Charleston, South Carolina, had gone nearly a month into the new year without a traffic fatality, but all that changed on Saturday when a drunk driver allegedly ran a stoplight and collided with another vehicle. The driver in question now faces felony charges of reckless homicide, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury and driving under the influence resulting in death. 

The accident occurred at the intersection of Columbus and Meeting streets, blocks away from the waterfront, very early on Saturday morning. The 30-year-old male driver of a pickup truck allegedly ran a red light and crashed into a sedan headed through the intersection, hitting the sedan on the passenger side. The force of the collision reportedly caused the sedan to smash into a building on the corner of the intersection. When arriving at the hospital where the pickup driver was receiving treatment for injuries sustained in the collision, authorities arrested him upon allegedly finding him impaired.