Need a DUI Attorney in
Dorchester County, South Carolina?
The DUI defense attorneys at the Seaton Law Office:
- Have over 20 years of experience defending driving under the influence charges in South Carolina courts, including DUI first, second, third, or fourth and subsequent offenses, DUAC charges, and felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury or death,
- Knows the local courts, prosecutors, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, implied consent hearing officers, and South Carolina DUI laws, and
- Will get your case dismissed, find an acceptable resolution, or try your case to a jury of your peers.
When you choose our Dorchester County, South Carolina, DUI defense firm to handle your case, you will receive personal attention directly from your DUI lawyer.
We make communication with our clients a priority, will answer your questions, and will keep you up to date on what is happening in your case throughout the process.
The DUI lawyers at the Seaton Law Office care about their clients and take DUI defense seriously.
Our DUI lawyers have years of experience
defending clients against alcohol related charges
We defend DUI and Alcohol-related offenses like:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) first offense in the magistrate or municipal courts,
- DUI 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or subsequent offenses in the Dorchester County General Sessions Court,
- Driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration charges (DUAC) or “DUI per-se charges,”
- South Carolina’s “DUI for minors” law, or “zero tolerance” law for underaged drivers,
- Boating under the influence (BUI) charges,
- DUI-related child endangerment charges,
- Open container violations,
- Public drunkenness charges,
- Public disorderly conduct charges,
- Breach of peace charges,
- Felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury, and
- Felony DUI resulting in death.
The DUI attorneys at the Seaton Law Office understand that, if you are charged with DUI or a DUI-related offense in South Carolina, you are facing serious consequences that may affect your criminal record, your driver’s license, your job, your reputation, your family, your finances, and even your freedom.
We provide an experienced, thorough, and aggressive DUI defense for our clients. The Dorchester County DUI lawyers at the Seaton Law Office will do everything legally and ethically within our power to get your case dismissed, negotiate a resolution that is acceptable to you, or win your case in a jury trial.
When you call our office, we will:
- Meet with you personally to answer your questions, learn about your case, and help you to determine whether our law firm is the right fit for you,
- Request an implied consent hearing on your behalf,
- Help you to obtain a temporary alcohol license (TAL) to get you back on the road,
- File motions to get copies of all evidence the state intends to use against you including incident reports, the roadside video, the Datamaster room video, witness statements, and breath, urine, or blood alcohol test results,
- Locate and interview witnesses that will testify against you and potential defense witnesses,
- Identify and gather any evidence that may help your case using subpoenas, FOIA requests, discovery motions, supplemental discovery motions, and motions to compel,
- Review SLED’s records on the Datamaster machine used for your test and the officer who administered the test,
- Advise you as to any expert witnesses you may need for consultation, testing of evidence, or testimony at trial regarding the field sobriety tests or blood alcohol test results,
- Negotiate with your prosecutor to get your case dismissed or to get your ticket rewritten to a non-DUI offense, and
- Try your case to a jury if the prosecution does not dismiss your case or make an offer that is acceptable to you.
UNDERSTANDING Driving under the influence
IN DORCHESTER COUNTY
DUI Defense in Dorchester County, South Carolina Magistrate and Municipal Courts
If you are charged with first-offense driving under the influence in Dorchester County, South Carolina, your case will be heard in either the magistrate court or one of Dorchester County’s municipal courts.
If you were arrested within city limits, your case will be heard in that city or town’s municipal court which could be Summerville, North Charleston, Ridgeville, St. George, Harleyville, Reevesville, or Lincolnville.
If you were arrested outside of city limits, your case will be heard in the Dorchester County magistrate court.
Contact your DUI attorney immediately, because you have deadlines you must meet early in your case including:
1. Filing a jury trial request before your initial court date, and
2. Requesting an implied consent hearing within 30 days of your arrest.
What is the Difference Between DUI and DUAC?
Sometimes, police officers will charge a person with “driving under an unlawful alcohol concentration,” or DUAC, instead of DUI.
What’s the difference?
When you are charged with DUI, the prosecutor must prove:
1. That you were driving a motor vehicle (driving does not mean sleeping behind the wheel or sitting in the car),
2. You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while you were driving, and
3. You were intoxicated to the extent that your faculties to drive were materially and appreciably impaired.
Your BAC could be greater than .08, but the state must still prove – beyond any reasonable doubt – that your faculties to drive were materially and appreciably impaired before you can be convicted.
If you are charged with DUAC, the prosecutor must prove:
1. That you were driving a motor vehicle, and
2. That your BAC was .08 or greater.
It doesn’t matter whether your faculties to drive were impaired – only the BAC result matters.
DUI Defense in Dorchester County, South Carolina General Sessions Court
If you are charged with DUI second, third, or fourth and subsequent offense, or felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury or death, your case will be heard in the Dorchester County Court of General Sessions.
You will not need to file a written jury request, but you will still have a 30-day deadline to request your implied consent hearing, and you will have “roll call” dates where you must appear in court unless your attorney confirms that you have been excused.
Implied Consent Hearings in Dorchester County, South Carolina
If you refuse the breathalyzer test in South Carolina, or if you take the test and the result is .15 or greater, your license is automatically suspended under South Carolina’s “implied consent” law.
You may be able to get your license back, however, if you request an administrative hearing, or implied consent hearing, within 30 days of your arrest.
Once you request the hearing, you can get a “temporary alcohol license” (TAL) that allows you to drive without restrictions (other than no alcohol) until your hearing date.
If you win the implied consent hearing, your license is restored.
If you lose the implied consent hearing, you will need to enroll in ADSAP, and, depending on the circumstances, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) before you can drive again.
In either case, the implied consent proceedings are separate from, in a different court than, and have no impact on your DUI case in criminal court.
They are very good at what they do! Go see them today and be worry free!
– Kipp Cavadias
Great Lawyer, will definitely use again when needed. Thank You Beau!
– Charles McGee
He truly cares about his clients!! A wonderful lawyer!!
– Lamarr Richardson
Common Questions About
DUI CHARGES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
WHAT IS A FELONY DUI IN DORCHESTER COUNTY?
“Felony DUI” doesn’t just mean “a DUI that is a felony.”
Although “ordinary” DUIs may be classified as felonies, “felony DUI” is a specific criminal offense that is charged when there is an auto accident and another person dies or is seriously injured.
The elements that the state must prove include:
- The defendant was driving a motor vehicle,
- While driving, the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- The defendant committed “any act forbidden by law or neglect[ed] any duty imposed by law in the driving of the motor vehicle” – this means the defendant was “negligent,” and
- Their negligence “proximately cause[d] great bodily injury or death to another person.”
Felony DUI charges are aggressively prosecuted in Dorchester County, and, if there is a conviction, prison time is a likely consequence.
CAN I GET A TEMPORARY LICENSE AFTER A DUI-RELATED SUSPENSION?
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to get a temporary DUI license after a DUI-related suspension.
The types of temporary DUI licenses in South Carolina include:
- Temporary alcohol license (TAL): allows you to drive, after you have requested an implied consent hearing, until the date of your hearing.
- Provisional license: allows you to drive after a first-offense DUI conviction when the BAC result was .14 or less.
- Route-restricted license: allows you to drive after a first-offense DUI conviction when the BAC result was .15 or greater or after a second or greater offense DUI, but you can only get the route-restricted license once in your lifetime.
- Ignition interlock device (IID) program: in some cases, you may be required to install an IID before you can drive or you may have the option of installing an IID when other temporary licenses are not available.
HOW DO YOU WIN AN IMPLIED CONSENT HEARING IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
If you win your implied consent hearing, your license is restored to you. But how do you do that?
You may win your hearing if:
- Your DUI attorney shows that there was no probable cause for the DUI arrest,
- The breath test was not “properly offered” to you (if the officer failed to follow South Carolina implied consent law or SLED policy and procedure while administering the test),
- You “did not actually refuse” the test,
- The arresting officer or Datamaster operator does not show up for your hearing, or
- The arresting officer or Datamaster operator declines to testify at your hearing.
Ready To Speak With An Attorney?
Let’s discuss the details of your case and see if we can help.