How to Fight a South Carolina DUI
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you might believe that your fate is sealed. Perhaps the officers took evidence at the scene, placed you in cuffs, and impounded your car. It may seem like your legal future is bleak.
Indeed, it might be. A DUI can have serious and long-lasting ramifications, including criminal and administrative sanctions, and other non-legal consequences. A DUI conviction can act as a blemish on your personal history, making it harder to get a job or secure a loan, not to mention ever driving a car again.
But the reality is that a charge is just a charge, and as with any other criminal matter, a DUI arrest still carries the presumption of innocence. In contrast to what an officer might like you to believe, he is neither judge, jury, nor jailer or DMV agent, and an arrest for a DUI need not necessarily wreak havoc on your personal or professional life.
As John Mussetto, a Greenville, SC, DUI attorney and owner of the Law Office of John M. Mussetto explains, a skilled attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. And the difference between a conviction and an acquittal or dismissal of charges can be vast. With a conviction comes possible jail time, fines, higher insurance premiums, and a host of other hardships. If the charges are dismissed or you’re found not guilty, the DUI matter will usually pretty much vanish.
Since the burden is on the state to prove that you were driving above the legal limit, says the Greenville, SC, DUI attorney, the protections of the Bill of Rights come to bear on the entire process, and open up police officers and the prosecution to scrutiny. As Mussetto, the DUI attorney from Greenville, SC, explains, police officers are bound by numerous restrictions and regulations, and in many cases, if it can be shown that they overstepped their lawful bounds, the charges will be thrown out.
But usually, it takes an experienced attorney to effectively poke holes in the government’s case. It is essential that an attorney understand the relevant 4th Amendment principles, and be familiar with policing and the forms of evidence used in such cases, explains Mussetto, the Greenville, SC, dui attorney. Of course, it would often be better if South Carolinians were well versed on their rights before they brushed up against the strong arm of the law.
An example why knowledge is such a potent defense: Mussetto explains that motorists never have to participate in a field-sobriety test. While officers will often try to compel a driver to walk the line or otherwise provide them with evidence that they’re intoxicated, a motorist can simply refuse to participate in the process, and hamper law enforcement from building an easy case against him.
Greenville, SC 29601
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.