The Unanticipated Consequences of a DUI Conviction in SC.
DUIs are expensive.
And I don’t just mean the attorney fees. A DUI conviction has many hidden costs that most people don’t consider – not just the financial costs, but the possibility of jail time, unanticipated effects on your license, your ability to work, the stress and embarrassment of multiple court appearances, and the effect on your family.
What’s the point?
No one should plead guilty to a DUI offense in SC unless their DUI defense attorney has investigated their case and prepared it for a possible trial – even in the worst cases, we have found that there is often something that we can use to get your case dismissed, to win it at trial, or to negotiate an outcome that our client is happy with.
A DUI conviction in SC is never just a fine. So, what are the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction and why should you fight the charges?
The Financial Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Many people do not realize that it is usually less expensive to hire a great DUI defense attorney than it is to plead guilty to a DUI in SC. How could that be?
The hidden financial costs of a DUI conviction can include:
- Fines and court costs that can end up costing thousands of dollars;
- The costs associated with an implied consent license suspension including the fees for ADSAP, monitoring of an ignition interlock device on your car, and reinstatement fees;
- Insurance premiums – you will be required to purchase SR-22 insurance and maintain it for a minimum of three years – longer if you miss a payment; and
- Loss of your job and difficulty getting another job with a DUI conviction.
Loss of Your Driving Privileges
Don’t underestimate the financial and emotional cost of losing your driver’s license. Loss of your license will affect your ability to earn an income and support your family, besides the embarrassment and emotional toll that not having a license brings.
Following an arrest for DUI in SC, your license is at risk in several different ways:
- Implied consent suspensions – if you refused the breathalyzer or if you took it and the result was greater than .15, your license is automatically suspended. We can often get it back if we request a hearing within the time limits, but, if you do not request a hearing or if you lose the hearing, you will lose your license and you will be required to complete the ADSAP program, and you may be required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle;
- Suspension after a DUI conviction – similar to the implied consent suspension – but separate – if you are convicted of DUI in SC, your license will be suspended, you will be required to complete ADSAP, and you may be required to have an ignition interlock device on your car before you can drive again;
- License revocation – if you have three or more “major” traffic violations within three years, you will be declared a habitual offender and your driving privileges will be revoked for five years. “Major” offenses include DUI, DUAC, and reckless driving…
Other Collateral Consequences of a DUI Conviction in SC
A SC DUI conviction is permanent.
Because it is a traffic violation and a criminal offense, it can never be expunged, and it will show up every time a potential employer does a background check.
What are some other collateral consequences after a DUI conviction?
- You will most likely never work in a job that requires driving, and you will be excluded from consideration by many other employers simply because you have a criminal record;
- You will not be able to travel to certain countries – before traveling, you will need to research whether the country you are traveling to will let you in with a DUI conviction on your record;
- Financial aid for school – there are several state and federal scholarships that you will no longer be eligible for after a DUI conviction, and any alcohol-related offense may affect your eligibility for financial aid including loans;
- Professional licensing – if you have an occupational license, such as a doctor, nurse, or truck driver, a DUI conviction can trigger the licensing body to take action against you. It can also be a factor in the licensing board denying a license if you apply in the future.
- Housing – some housing may be denied to you based on your criminal history; and
- The emotional toll on you and your family – even years after the case is over, the DUI conviction is preventing you from driving, finding a job, or providing for your family. Years later, you may still be paying outrageous insurance premiums or still fighting to get your license back. The stress that this adds to your life may have been avoidable…
Myrtle Beach, SC DUI Defense Lawyers
Your SC DUI defense attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm will do everything legally and ethically possible to help you get your case dismissed, find an acceptable outcome, or win your case at trial to help you avoid the long-lasting consequences of a DUI conviction.
Call us now at (843) 839-4111 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.