- How do I get out of jail?
- Can I get my DUI charge dismissed?
- Will I go to prison? And,
- Will I lose my driver’s license?
As your DUI lawyer investigates your case, negotiates and tries to get your case dismissed, and prepares your case for a possible trial, however, you may have some more practical, procedural questions – like, what happens after a DUI arrest?
When is my court date, where is my court date, and is there anything I should be doing to help my lawyer defend my case? Is there anything I should not do?
Below, I’ll discuss what happens after a DUI arrest in Myrtle Beach, some things that you can do to help your case, and some things that you should not do after a DUI arrest.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Myrtle Beach, SC?
What you do and say during and immediately after a DUI arrest can definitely have an impact on how your case turns out.
During the arrest and when you arrive at the jail, your conduct and the things you say are most likely being recorded. The most important thing to remember during and immediately after a DUI arrest? Do not give the police evidence that they can use against you…
What to Do After a DUI Arrest
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Myrtle Beach, there are some general rules that will help you when your case gets to court. For example:
- Be polite and respectful when talking to the officer;
- If you agree to take the Field Sobriety Tests, listen carefully to the instructions and follow them perfectly. If you are not comfortable taking Field Sobriety Tests on the roadside, don’t do it (but understand the officer is most likely going to arrest you if you do not take the Field Sobriety Tests);
- At your bond hearing, if you do not have an attorney present, tell the judge whether you have a job, if you live in the local community, and if your family lives in the local community; and
- Most importantly, call a DUI lawyer immediately – if you cannot get a DUI lawyer before your bond hearing, call your attorney as soon as you are released from the jail.
What Not to Do After a DUI Arrest
Although there are some things that you can do to help your case, the things you shouldn’t do are probably even more important. For example:
- During the arrest and at the jail, do not let the officer engage you in conversation – be polite and respectful, but do not say anything that is not necessary. When the officer asks you questions, politely tell them that you do not want to answer questions;
- In most cases, it is not a good idea to take the breathalyzer test – even if you think you will “pass” it, remember that the threshold of .08 is low, just a few drinks can put you over .08, and the machine does not always give an accurate result;
- At your bond hearing, do not make any statements about your case – the bond judge is only there to set your bond and you do not need to tell the judge what happened during the traffic stop and arrest; and
- Do not plead guilty to a DUI offense at your bond hearing – some bond judges understand the severity of the consequences for a DUI conviction and will not take a DUI plea at the bond hearing. If the bond judge asks you to plead guilty, however, say no and ask the court to set a reasonable bond so you can go home and consult with an attorney…
What Happens When I am Released from Jail After a DUI Arrest?
Your Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer will begin investigating your case, gathering evidence from all potential sources including:
- Discovery requests to the officer or assistant solicitor who is prosecuting your case;
- Witnesses – including fact witnesses who saw the traffic stop or sobriety witnesses who can testify as to how much you had to drink and whether it affected your ability to drive;
- SLED’s database – including reports on the Datamaster machine if you took the breathalyzer test and information on the arresting officer/ Datamaster operator;
- FOIA requests for any documents or statistics that are relevant to your case; and
- Expert witnesses – including accident reconstructionists, Datamaster experts, SFST experts, or medical experts when they are needed.
Your attorney may request a jury trial if your case is in the magistrate or municipal court, prepare your case for trial, attempt to negotiate a dismissal or reduced charges, or try your case to a jury, depending on the facts of your case and your goals.
SC DUI Defense Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC
What happens after a DUI arrest in Myrtle Beach may depend on whether you call your DUI defense lawyer immediately – do not delay, because the state is already building their case against you.
Call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or send an online message to talk with a Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer today.