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Facing a DUI arrest? You’ve come to the right place.

We are here to help after a DUI arrest. We know you have questions, and after helping hundreds of individuals with a variety of situations we are here to get you answers. No DUI case is ever hopeless. There are a variety of legal defenses and techniques that can give anyone a chance at avoiding a conviction regardless of the facts and circumstances of their arrest. We want to help you:

  • Restore and preserve your driver’s license
  • Avoid jail time
  • Prevent a conviction
  • Not face SR-22 Insurance & ADSAP

When you contact our office for a free consultation you’ll meet one on one with an experienced DUI defense attorney. You’ll have a chance to explain your situation, your specific concerns, and ask any questions that you have. We’ve seen over and over the relief people feel after learning their legal rights to try to fight a DUI arrest. No case is hopeless, including refusals or ones with high BAC readings. If your license was taken by the police officer, we can help restore it, usually within just a few business days.

Get started on your case today. Contact us for your free consultation.

Why choose this office?

  • James Snell is the author of the book “South Carolina DUI Defense: The Law and Practice”, published by Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company.
  • We have successfully helped over 400 area residents charged with DUI avoid a conviction. We are regularly appearing in all area DUI courts in Lexington, Columbia and surrounding areas.
  • All of our attorneys have completed training pursuant to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration curriculum in the area of DUI Detection & Field Sobriety Testing, as well as drug-based DUI in the course Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).
  • James Snell has argued DUI law before the state’s Court of Appeals, creating legal precedent and defenses that apply in every DUI case in the state (including yours today!)
  • All of our attorneys are members of the National College for DUI Defense, and have completed its intensive Summer Session held at the Harvard Law School
  • James Snell has presented continuing legal education material to South Carolina magistrate judges in the field of DUI law
  • Although no lawyer can ever promise a specific outcome, we believe that if your DUI case is not dismissed or otherwise resolved to your satisfaction, it should be fully contested in court.
  • James Snell has completed training in the operation of the Datamaster DMT, the breath test device used by law enforcement throughout South Carolina
  • We can file the paperwork necessary to challenge a DUI arrest and restore a license fast! Typically, the same business day we are hired (so you can legally get back on the road as quickly as possible).

Additionally, we handle cases involving the following:

  • Felony DUI & DUI w/ Death
  • Second-Offense DUI
  • Third-Offense DUI
  • Appealing a DUI Convictionf

Depending on your charge, you may lose your legal right to fully challenge your case as early as ten days after your arrest. Call us right away to begin you case.

South Carolina DUI Penalties

The penalties for those convicted for first-time DUI in South Carolina are dependent on the blood alcohol content (BAC) that police are able to establish in court. Typically, the police obtain the BAC level from the reading provided by the breathalyzer machine.

According to South Carolina DUI Law (S.C. Code §56-5-2930)

A person found with a BAC of <0.10 can face the following:

  • A fine of approximately $992 or imprisonment for no less than 48 hours or more than 30 days

A person found with a BAC of 0.10 - 0.16 can face:

  • A fine of approximately $1,227 or imprisonment for not less than 72 hours of more than 30 days

A person found with a BAC of >0.16 can face:

  • A fine of approximately $2,480 or imprisonment for not less than 30 days or more than 90 days

The penalties continue to escalate for repeat offenders, and by the time individuals reach their fourth offense the maximum penalties include a mandatory three to seven-year imprisonment.

In addition to the criminal penalties, there are also the administrative penalties. These include:

  • Mandatory license suspensions
  • High insurance rates
  • Costly expensive alcohol and drug education course
  • A suspended commercial driver's license

What about reckless driving reductions?

Many people think that they will automatically receive a reduction to reckless driving. While it may have been true 20+ years ago that many 1st offense DUI defendants easily received that type of offer, law enforcement takes these cases much more seriously today. As a result, most DUI defendants do not receive this type of offer (instead the common “reduction” is to a DUAC, which is almost exactly like a DUI).

While many of our clients want to obtain a reduction to reckless driving (there are several significant benefits), it’s not appropriate for every client or in every circumstance. When appropriate (and at our client’s direction), we even turn down reckless driving offers to seek a more favorable outcome.

Possible Companion Charges

If you have been charged with a DUI, there may be other charges that accompany your offense. There are several charges that may accompany a DUI and may be prosecuted at the same time. These may include:

  • Open Container
  • Leaving the Scene \ Hit & Run
  • Child endangerment
  • Driving under suspension
  • Failure to stop for a blue light
  • Resisting arrest
  • Drug Possession

These companion charges may serve to substantially increase the prospective jail times and/or fines you face. Some may include an additional driver's license suspension period.

How many drinks can I have and still legally drive?

There is no definite answer to the question, "How many drinks can you have and still legally drive in South Carolina?" This is because the answer is unique to each individual and each circumstance, taking into account factors like weight, sex, age, type of drink, food eaten, and time of day. South Carolina DUI law is based on the concept of making driving impaired illegal. This means that DUI is not based on any specific amount of alcohol in your system, but rather how the alcohol affects your driving ability.

Although it is not against the law to drink and then drive in South Carolina, the only way to guarantee that you remain legally able to drive is to refrain from drinking and driving. Many individuals are arrested after police believed that they were impaired when they thought they were safe to drive. Because of this, many individuals who voluntarily take the breathalyzer score higher than they anticipate. For this reason, we typically advise individuals who have been drinking to refuse to take a breathalyzer test.

Administrative License Suspension in South Carolina

If you refused the police officer's request to submit to a breath sample or if you submitted and registered a 0.15 or higher, your license will be suspended for a period of six months or longer. This is in addition to any suspension that you may incur as a result of your DUI charge. If you allow this suspension to stand, you will also be required to register and complete an alcohol course called ADSAP prior to ever regaining your license. This is due to South Carolina's implied consent law.

To protect our client's rights, we file a request to challenge the implied consent suspension with the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings (OMVH). We normally can do this the same day we are hired (or first thing the following morning, depending on what time we’re hired). We have a runner deliver the necessary paperwork to the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings to avoid mail delays and ensure the quickest delivery.

Within just a few days of this request being received, you will be eligible to receive an unrestricted license allowing to you drive anywhere in South Carolina. This license is not route restricted, and no interlock device, SR-22 insurance or ADSAP course is required. This license remains in-effect until the decision is made by the Office of Motor Vehicles about the suspension request.

Contact our firm today if you face DUI or related charges in Lexington, South Carolina.

Former Client Experiences

  • “Outstanding”

    Former Client

  • “Thank you so much for handling my case for me. Since the first moment I talked with you I felt a sense of relief. I knew I had found a true professional, how relieved I was every step of the way. I will never forget your help.”

    Former Client

  • “Thank you for being so kind and understanding and getting me out of the mess I got myself into…”

    Former Client

  • “Thanks to you and your staff, a heavy burden has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can't thank you enough.”

    Former Client

  • “You absolutely exceeded every possible expectation I had. I'm simply amazed at how quickly you got results for me. I am beyond happy that I hired you.”

    Former Client

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  • Super Lawyers
  • Premium Rating
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
  • Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating - Top Attorney DUI

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