Third-Offense DUI in South Carolina
Help from a Lexington Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a third offense for driving under the influence, this is a serious charge. It is important to understand, however, that no case is hopeless. Just because you were arrested does not mean that you will be convicted in court. There are several defenses that are available and the state must still comply with all of the technical requirements for a DUI arrest.
Penalties You Could Face in Lexington, SC
The penalties for those convicted of third-offense DUI are greatly enhanced from both a first- or second-level offense. The penalties are as follows:
- For blood alcohol levels <0.10, a jail or prison sentence of 60 days up to 3 years and a fine of approximately $7,000 - $12,000
- For blood alcohol levels of 0.10 through 0.16, a jail or prison sentence of 90days up to4 years and a fine of approximately $10,000 - $15,000
- For blood alcohol levels greater than 0.16, a jail or prison sentence of 6 months up to5 years and a fine of approximately $14,000 - $20,000
Where are third-offense DUIs prosecuted?
DUI third charges are prosecuted in the court of general sessions. Unlike first or second DUI offenses, they must be tried by a circuit court judge and cannot be referred (unless plead down) to a magistrate or to transfer court. In addition, those convicted of third-offense DUI in South Carolina will also face an additional license suspension, mandatory SR-22 coverage, required alcohol and / or drug counseling as well as a requirement for the installation of an interlock device.
Although the underlying DUI law is the same, third-offense DUI cases are substantially more serious due to the substantial possibility of a jail or prison sentence. To schedule a consultation to discuss your third-offense DUI case, please contact a Lexington criminal attorney at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. We can provide you with the resources, tools, and guidance you need to get through your situation. Our services are available for individuals in Lexington, Columbia and many other parts of the state of South Carolina.