Charleston SC DUI or DUAC
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC)
Being arrested and charged with a DUI or DUAC is obviously a serious criminal offense. Defending a DUI or DUAC case is a process and begins right after you are released from jail the next morning. Both DUI and DUAC are misdemeanor offenses. Contrary to what you may hear, this is not a felony (unless you cause serious injury or death). However, a conviction or plea to either charge will result in a permanent criminal record. And, there is no provision to have your record expunged under current law. Ever. The potential consequences include loss of driving privileges (6 months for first offense or 1 year for a second DUI), substantially higher car insurance rates (SR-22 insurance for 3 years), loss of job, and even possible jail time under certain circumstances. That’s why it is critical that anyone facing this ordeal immediately consult with an experienced DUI attorney and find out what options may be available. Every case is different, but the structured review and legal considerations under South Carolina DUI law are always the same. It is never a good idea to try and represent yourself in criminal cases, but especially with a DUI or DUAC. The 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 DUI lawyer. Here’s what our DUI lawyers offer. We would be honored to be considered in your search for a DUI lawyer.
Our Credentials and Experience
- Robert Reeves is both a civil and criminal litigator with over 25 years trial experience and is licensed in South Carolina and North Carolina.
- Tom Holland is an actual former South Carolina prosecutor. He is also an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster campus) where he teaches criminal law and police courses. He has over 20 years legal experience and is licensed in South Carolina and Virginia.
- Mr. Reeves has completed NHTSA training like police officers and has certificates in both DWI Investigation and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as well as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) courses.
- Mr. Reeves is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- He is also a former Registered Nurse (RN). That medical background and training is helpful in evaluating DUI cases involving prescription or other drug based impairment arrests.
How We Approach DUI Cases
First, we start every case with the basic premise that the law provides. Always remember that you are innocent until the State of South Carolina proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We do not begin our representation trying to negotiate a plea deal. We must 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.
How We Prepare and Defend Cases*
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.
Our DUI Attorney 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.
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.
Attorney Thomas W. Holland, Sr., is a former SC prosecutor who has been in practice for over 20 years since 1994. During his career, he has been an Union and Lancaster County Assistant Solicitor as well as General Counsel for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. In total, Mr. Holland has over ten (10) years of prosecutorial experience that he now uses to aggressively defend those persons charged with DUI and DUAC. He is also an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster campus) where he teaches Criminal Procedure as well as Policing and Criminal Courts. Mr. Holland is licensed to practice law in both South Carolina and Virginia.
We Call You Back Promptly
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 the Charleston area
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.
*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 associate local counsel and share our legal fees.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.