Best defense options to avoid DUI conviction in South Carolina

Nothing can ruin a fun evening out with friends more than seeing flashing lights in your rear view mirror and realizing that a police officer is pulling you over in a traffic stop. If you roll down your window and the officer asks if you'd mind stepping out of your car, it's a real game changer because this often means he or she suspects you of drunk driving. The old cliche that prosecutors can use everything you say and do against you in court may just be true.

That's why it is crucial to know your rights ahead of time and how to quickly access support when you need it. While it's never a good idea to act aggressively, try to flee or directly oppose a police officer who is making a lawful request, you are not required to answer any questions beyond those pertaining to your identification or that of your vehicle. In fact, if you wind up facing DUI charges, it doesn't necessarily mean the court will hand down a conviction.

Positive outcomes often hinge on strong defense strategies

Taking field sobriety tests or a Breathalyzer, riding to a county jail in the back of a police car and spending even a few hours behind bars is enough to make your blood pressure soar for sure. Beyond the immediate aftermath of a traffic stop that results in DUI charges, however, you will likely face your biggest challenge yet if you want to fight the charges in court. The following defense strategies may be helpful in your situation:

  • It is sometimes possible to convince the court that you only got behind the wheel after consuming alcohol because you were trying to avoid a bigger risk. You would have to prove that you were in some sort of danger and that driving with alcohol in your system was the lesser of two evils at the time.
  • Perhaps you were not aware that the beverages you drank earlier in the evening contained alcohol. If that's the case, you can fight against DUI charges by claiming involuntary intoxication.
  • A police officer must have a specific and reasonable cause for pulling you over in a traffic stop. If you hire an experienced defense attorney to help you avoid conviction, it may be possible to challenge evidence on the grounds that the officer in question did not have a valid reason for stopping you in the first place.
  • In addition to an officer's cause for making a traffic stop, if your personal rights are violated at any time during the stop or subsequent arrest or booking process, an attorney can ask the court for dismissal of all charges against you or, at least, to deem certain evidence inadmissible in court.

This list is by no means exhaustive and the type of defense that may suit one person's situation may not be the most viable option for you. This is why it helps to discuss all your options with someone who has successfully navigated the criminal justice system in the past.

Many South Carolina drivers turn to criminal lawyers who have experience fighting DUI charges to help them obtain the best outcomes possible in such situations.

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Riesen DuRant, LLC
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Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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