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"An arrest is not a conviction."

DUI Defense Lawyer in Charleston and Columbia SC

Dedicated DUI Defense from An Attorney with Over 25 Years’ Experience

We know what’s at stake when facing DUI charges in Columbia or Charleston, SC

People from all walks of life get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). It's a charge that transcends all boundaries of social status and levels – whether you’re a private citizen, a member of the military, or a college student. Unfortunately, a DUI charge and conviction also carries far-reaching consequences.

You face significant fines, jail time, and even a potential prison sentence. A conviction could deprive you of your driver's license and, along with it, your mobility. It could also strip away your gun rights — a critical issue for hunters and military personnel — and derail your reputation and job prospects.

At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we will fight the charges. Our experienced criminal defense attorney takes a big-picture approach to fight for the best possible outcome. Our strategy will consider all the ways a criminal charge can impact your priorities and goals in life.

Our mission for your DUI case? To win

Based in Columbia and Charleston, DUI defense attorney A. Randolph "Randy" Hough has devoted his entire career to criminal law. He has handled more than 2,000 DUI cases, first as a prosecutor, then as a defense lawyer. This means he has a well-rounded perspective on how to handle these cases.

As a firm, we approach every case with a steadfast focus on winning. Our attorney has a talent for unearthing every avenue toward success. Every case has weaknesses. We have what it takes to find them — and use them to your advantage.

You can rely on us for dedicated legal representation in any type of drunk driving or drug-related DUI charge, including:

  • First-time DUI charges. Even if you don't have a prior criminal record, a first-time DUI charge poses serious consequences. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life.
  • Repeat offenders. The penalties for a DUI conviction become harsher with each subsequent offense. We understand how to handle repeat charges.
  • Refusing a breath test.Breath test refusal could result in a lengthy suspension of your driver's license, mandatory alcohol classes and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). Our lawyer can assess your situation to develop a strong defense strategy.
  • DMV administration hearings. Requesting a DMV hearing may put a hold on your license suspension until the date of your hearing. It also gives you time to work with your attorney on your defense.
  • Ignition interlock devices (IID). You may be required to install an IID in your vehicle if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, or refused a breath test.

We can also help you pursue options to keep your driving privileges.

“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.”    -    Attorney Hough

What are DUI and DUAC charges? What are the possible penalties?

South Carolina Code § Article 23 describes the various charges and penalties involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drugs, or narcotics. Our state breaks down drunk driving charges into two types – DUI and DUAC.

  • DUI. A person can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence when law enforcement believes his or her faculties are materially and appreciably impaired. DUIs can be charged and prosecuted on the testimony of the officer alone.
  • DUAC. Driving with an unlawful alcohol content, on the other hand, is driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level at or above the legal limit of .08%. This limit must be proven by prosecution.

Regardless of which charge you face, both are criminal charges that will remain on your permanent record with no chance for expungement. Attorney Hough works to keep your record clean, avoiding the potential significant consequences of a DUI conviction.

Penalties for DUI and DUAC in Columbia, SC

Our DUI attorney has a track record of success in getting clients’ charges minimized, reduced, or dismissed. Remember, an arrest is not a conviction – no case is hopeless.

Potential penalties for a DUI or DUAC conviction can include:

  • Community service
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Job loss
  • Loss of driver’s and CDL license
  • Loss of gun rights
  • Mandatory alcohol treatment or drug counseling
  • Significant fines
  • Suspension of license
  • Up to 90 days in jail for a first offense, prison time for a subsequent offense.

The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. also aggressively defends clients against other criminal charges, including assault, arson, kidnapping, and charges against college students. We also handle drunk driving defense.

What is a felony DUI?

If your DUI causes great bodily injury or death to another, it becomes a felony DUI. Under state law, a DUI/DUAC becomes a felony DUI when evidence shows:

  • Physical harm to another person that results in great bodily injury or death
  • The driver violated one or more traffic offenses
  • The acts of the driver were the proximate cause of the injury or death

Simply, this means that the person’s death would not have occurred if not for the actions of the driver. A felony DUI conviction can result in up to 25 years in prison per count, depending on the severity of the circumstances and injuries.

How long will a DUI stay on my record?

Although many misdemeanors can be expunged from your criminal record over time, a DUI is not one of them. A DUI or DUAC conviction will stay on your record forever. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced Columbia or Charleston DUI attorney on your side to fight these charges. Having a criminal DUI conviction on your record can prevent you from finding a job – especially if you drive for a living or need a car to get to work. Any time you’re pulled over for even the most minor offense, the police officer will see the DUI on your record.

At the writing of this writing, under the current law, the only way to have a DUI or DUAC arrest removed from your record is if:

  • The charges are dismissed
  • You’re found not guilty at trial

Attorney Hough will sit down with you to discuss every possible option for your defense and work to keep a DUI arrest or conviction off your criminal record.

Columbia and Charleston DUI defense attorney with experience handling 2,000+ cases

If you are facing drunk driving or drug-related DUI charges, get dedicated legal representation from an attorney who will address the big-picture impact of the charges — not just the immediate legal consequences. At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we work to protect both your freedom and your future. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Columbia or Charleston, please call 803-771-4119 or fill out our contact form.