It’s been a long night. You had a couple of drinks at the bar with your friends, and on the way home an officer pulled you over. You did not use your turn signal, the officer says. Now he says that he smells alcohol, and he is asking you to step out of the car.
Field sobriety tests on the roadside, an eternity spent standing in a room with a breathalyzer machine and a police officer, fingerprints, photographs, a long night in a cold cell with a thin blanket and insufferable cellmates, the worst breakfast you’ve had in your life, and a stress-filled bond hearing in a tiny courtroom filled with people who were arrested the night before.
Here you are, finally, breathing clean air again as you walk down a sidewalk towards the fence topped with razor-wire looking for your ride. What’s next?
DUI cases can end in many different ways. How your case will end depends in part on what you do early in your case – for example, you need to consult with a Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you do not miss deadlines or make costly mistakes.
In the meantime, here is a preview of what could happen at the end of your SC DUI case.
What Factors Influence DUI Case Outcomes?
Prosecutors and judges will consider many factors when deciding what to do with your case or how to sentence you if you are found guilty. These factors include:
- Your criminal history. If you have prior DUI charges, even if they were not convictions, the prosecutor is going to consider this when they decide whether to dismiss, offer a reduced charge, or take you to trial. If you are convicted, your prior offenses will also determine the length of your prison sentence.
- The results of the breathalyzer test.
- Whether there were children in the car with you.
- Whether you were driving a commercial vehicle or heavy equipment.
- Whether you were charged with other crimes in addition to the DUI offense.
- Whether you caused a car accident and if any person was injured or killed. Victims from any car wreck will be notified of your court dates and they will be given an opportunity to speak to the court about what they think your punishment will be…
- The strength of the state’s case. If the prosecutor knows that you have valid defenses and that your attorney will try your case, they are more likely to dismiss the case or make a reasonable plea offer.
What Are the Possible Outcomes of a DUI Case in SC?
Depending on the factors listed above and others, there are many possible outcomes for your case. Some of these include:
- The DUI charge may be dismissed and your case is over.
- The DUI may be dismissed in exchange for a plea to reckless driving or other offense.
- The DUI could be dismissed, rewritten as a reckless driving charge, and sent to pretrial intervention (PTI).
- You could be convicted of a DUI (plead guilty to the DUI charge or found guilty of DUI at trial), after which you will be sentenced by the court.
- You could be acquitted of the DUI charges at trial.
Get Help With Your SC DUI Case
The one thing that may make the most difference in the outcome of your DUI case is whether you retained an experienced Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer after your arrest. Coastal Law, LLC, has a proven track record of helping our clients to get their DUIs dismissed, negotiate reduced charges, or take their cases to trial, and we can help.
Call us today at (843) 488-5000 to schedule a free consultation or complete our online contact form.