Charleston DUI Arrest
Being arrested and charged with a DUI or DUAC is obviously a serious criminal offense. Defending a Charleston SC DUI case is a process that begins after you are released from jail the next morning. Both DUI and DUAC are misdemeanor offenses. However, a conviction or plea to either charge will result in a permanent criminal record as well as substantially higher liability insurance rates for the foreseeable future. And, there is currently no provision to have your record expunged. Ever. Some other potential consequences include loss of driving privileges (6 months for first offense or 1 year for a second DUI), SR-22 insurance for 3 years, loss of job or professional license (CDL), and even possible jail time under certain circumstances. This is why it is critical for anyone facing this ordeal to immediately consult with an experienced Charleston DUI attorney and find out what options may be available. Each case is different, but the structured review and evaluation process is always the same. It is never a good idea to represent yourself in criminal cases, but especially with a DUI or DUAC. The DUI laws are complex, and the potential penalties are harsh, even for a first time arrest. You will need the advice and counsel of a seasoned Charleston DUI lawyer. We would be honored to be considered in your search for a DUI attorney.
Here’s Who We Are
- Robert Reeves is both a civil and criminal litigator with over 27 years trial experience and is licensed in South Carolina and North Carolina. Mr. Reeves has completed NHTSA training and has earned certificates in both DWI Investigation and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as well as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) courses. He is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- Tom Holland is a former South Carolina prosecutor and Assistant Solicitor with the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, violent crime prosecutor with the Sixth Judicial Circuit, and Lancaster City Solicitor. He also served as an Special Assistant United States Attorney as well as General Counsel for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Holland is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Carolina Lancaster.
- Zac Fry is also a former South Carolina prosecutor with the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. He was assigned to the Centralized DUI Court and has prosecuted several hundred DUI cases before becoming a DUI defense attorney.
Here’s Our Approach
First, we start every case with the same premise that the law provides. Always remember that you are innocent unless the State of South Carolina can prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury of your peers. We do not approach our cases trying to negotiate a plea deal. Before we can make any real recommendations, we have to first evaluate all of the evidence and see if the State has a prima facie case and can get to a jury. Then, we next examine how you actually appear on video to see if you truly look impaired. Every case is unique, but juries generally decide guilt on how you appear. Few individuals are able to perform the odd balancing tests in field sobriety tests. Officers and troopers can because they have practiced these tests many, many times. For a first time attempt, virtually all “fail.” Juries largely make their decisions on how you sound (slurred speech, incoherent speech) and how you stand and walk under normal conditions (standing during the eye exam (HGN) and walking from your vehicle towards the testing area).
Just because you have been charged does not automatically mean you are going to ultimately be convicted. Quite the contrary is true. There are many hurdles and defenses between an arrest and a conviction. The State of South Carolina has the entire burden of proof on all issues. Prosecutors have to convict you by convincing all six (6) or twelve (12) jurors unanimously that you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That is a high bar to meet. Our job is to find problems in the State’s evidence where we can show reasonable doubt or where the police committed legal error during their DUI investigation.
Here’s How We Do Our Job
There are many law firms in the Charleston SC area that market aggressively for DUI , DUAC, and BUI cases. Actual experience, however, in handling these complex cases can vary dramatically. Our law firm offers a state-wide practice that focuses its criminal defense on DUI, DUAC, and BUI arrests. We employ a “team approach” in evaluating and developing individualized strategies in each case. Every arrest is unique, and each case has different factors to consider. Little facts can sometimes make a big difference in outcome. We always thoroughly prepare our cases and get ready as if we are going to trial. We feel this is the most effective approach and will recommend a trial if we believe this is in your best interest. You, of course, will make all decisions in your case after our advice and counsel. But first, we have to carefully investigate every aspect of your case, including all video (roadside and breathalyzer room), officer notes, and any witnesses, with the primary goal of having the charges dismissed for legal error. We do not begin our review with a goal of “getting a reckless driving” plea offer. While evaluating potential legal challenges, we also evaluate how a jury might perceive the video evidence at trial. How does our client appear on the police video? Do they appear tired or unsteady for other reasons or do they appear “drunk” or “impaired”? Videos in DUI cases should be carefully reviewed and considered before making any recommendations on trial or plea. Once the comprehensive review of your file is completed, we will then be able to sit down with you and present viable options and our considered recommendations. Of course, the ultimate decision of whether to accept a plea offer or go to trial is always yours – the client.
Here’s Our Team
Although part of a larger personal injury and criminal defense law firm with a South Carolina statewide practice, we have offices here in Charleston SC in order to better serve our clients charged with “driving under the influence” (DUI), “driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration” (DUAC), or “boating under the influence” (BUI). Our focus here in the Charleston SC area is defending those clients arrested for drinking related offenses.
Robert J. Reeves (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DUI attorney Robert J. Reeves is both a civil as well as criminal defense attorney. In a civil case, the plaintiff has the burden of proof, has to assemble the evidence, prepare witness testimony, and present expert witnesses. And, to win, Mr. Reeves must persuade all twelve (12) jurors by unanimous verdict. In criminal cases, by comparison, the State of South Carolina has the entire burden of proof and must convince all jurors to prevail. To win in criminal court, Mr. Reeves only has to convince one (1) juror to “hang” the jury and require the State to either retry the case or negotiate a reduced plea offer. Mr. Reeves is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a seasoned trial attorney and is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 for SC.
Thomas W. Holland Sr. (email@example.com)
DUI attorney Thomas Holland is a former South Carolina prosecutor. He was previously an Assistant Solicitor with the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Union County. He has also been a violent crime prosecutor with the Sixth Judicial Circuit as well as a Lancaster South Carolina City Solicitor. Mr. Holland has been appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and was General Counsel for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to his law practice with the firm, he also teaches Criminal Procedure and Policing/Criminal Courts an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Carolina, Lancaster campus. From his years of experience and training as a prosecutor, Mr. Holland now defends individuals wrongfully charged. While able to represent persons charged with criminal offenses all the way to murder, Mr. Holland focuses his criminal practice on DUI, DUAC, and felony DUI cases.
Zachary E. Fry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DUI attorney Zachary E. Fry began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Eugene C. Griffith, Jr., resident Circuit Judge for the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Newberry. After completing his clerkship, Zac was hired and trained by the Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office as an Assistant Solicitor. He was assigned to the Centralized DUI Unit in Rock Hill. While there, Zac prosecuted over 400 DUI cases as a solicitor. He has tried multiple cases all the way to jury verdict. Zac’s experience with the State has trained him on what it takes to convict. He now takes that experience to defend individuals charged with DUI, DUAC, or felony DUI.
Our Commitment to You
One of the most frustrating and common complaints about lawyers is that they never return phone calls. Or, in the alternative, you can only get a paralegal or secretary on the line. With our practice, you never have to worry about us calling you back. Every client has our lawyers’ personal cell phone numbers and direct email addresses. Your case is important to us, and we know it is important to you. We honor the trust you have placed in our firm with your case. And, we work very hard to earn your loyalty in the future. Although we have talented paralegals who work for us, we never forget that we work for you. Sometimes, clients just need to speak directly with their attorney. They are worried and not sleeping well. If they could only get an answer, they would be put at ease. We pride ourselves on being available to our clients, even on weekends and holidays, to address their concerns. Great service is more than just a pledge to us. It’s the way we do business. It’s what you should expect when you hire a lawyer.
Arrested for DUI in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, has been rated for many years as one of the very best places to live and vacation by travel magazines. Those who are born here know it and rarely leave. Those who come to visit learn about it and then return year after year. Charleston offers a rich blend of real history combined with new and innovative growth. We have The Citadel and the College of Charleston. We have a busy and thriving port which now hosts the Carnival Cruise ship Fantasy. We have new industry and technology firms, and, of course, tourism. In short, we here is Charleston have it all. Unfortunately, we also have some of the highest DUI arrest rates in South Carolina. And whether you are from here or just visiting, a DUI conviction will be on your record forever. That’s why we are here. We are local Charleston SC DUI lawyers. Before deciding which firm to retain, we hope you will carefully consider our lawyers’ credentials and experience in your search for a Charleston DUI attorney. We would be honored to meet with you and go over options during this difficult time.
We defend those arrested and charged with DUI, DUAC, BUI, and Felony DUI. We practice our craft for clients throughout Charleston County and Berkeley County, including Charleston, North Charleston, Town of Mount Pleasant, James Island, Daniel Island, Johns Island, the Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach.
Call Us Now
For more information about SC DUI laws and your legal options, please contact one of our attorneys to personally review the particular circumstances of your case. You’ll sleep better once you know what to expect and how to proceed. We look forward to hearing from you. You can call Robert Reeves directly on his mobile phone 843-901-0380 or email email@example.com.
*The law firm of Robert J. Reeves P.C. offers its criminal defense services throughout South Carolina. We are based in Fort Mill, South Carolina. For our clients and cases in the Charleston area, we may associate local counsel and share our legal fees.