DUI Defense for Repeat Offenders from an Attorney with Experience
Help when you’re facing 2nd, 3rd, or multiple DUI offenses in Columbia & Charleston
South Carolina law takes a harsh stance against driving under the influence (DUI) or driving with an unlawful alcohol content (DUAC) — especially repeat offenses. If you have multiple convictions within a 10-year period, you will face increasingly escalating penalties. For example, depending on your criminal history, you could be facing:
- Up to seven years in prison per offense
- Fines and court costs exceeding $20,000 per count
- Loss of driving privileges, sometimes permanently
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
These are only the direct legal consequences of a conviction. The collateral consequences have a far broader sweep. Your job, reputation, gun rights, and other liberties may also be at stake.
At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. in Columbia and Charleston, we provide trusted DUI defense for those facing escalated DUI charges. Our founding attorney views repeat DUIs through the lens of both sides. As a former prosecutor, he knows how the state handles these cases. This perspective gives him the ability to anticipate and counter the prosecutor's strategy. We understand that you are always innocent until proven guilty, no matter what has happened in your past.
“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.” - Attorney Hough
What’s the difference between first-time and multiple DUI convictions?
Here in SC, first-time DUI offenders may be able to perform community service in lieu of jail time. They’re also required to attend substance abuse treatment and have their license suspended for six months. They may also be mandated to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle.
Penalties for repeat offenses, however, are much more severe and increase as the number of offenses increase. You can end up losing your constitutional rights and spend years in prison. And, if you have multiple DUI or DUAC convictions on your record, they stay on your record forever – making you a target for law enforcement and prosecutors.
What are the penalties for repeat DUI or DUAC convictions in Columbia & Charleston?
Every state in the country takes DUI very seriously – even more when it’s a repeat offense. If an individual gets a second or third offense within ten years of a first conviction, he or she may be labeled a habitual offender and even be charged with a felony.
DUI/DUAC second offense
The penalties for a second offense are broken down by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level and also come with significant fines.
- Refusal to take breath test/BAC less than .10 – Minimum of five days to one year in prison.
- BAC 0.10 to 0.15 – Minimum of 30 days to two years in prison.
- BAC 0.16 or above – Minimum of 90 days to three years in prison. Additionally, fines and court costs may exceed $13,000.
A second offense results in a one-year suspension of license.
DUI/DUAC third offense
The penalties for a third offense are broken down by BAC level and also come with significant fines.
- Refusal to take breath test/BAC less than .10 – Minimum of 60 days to three years in prison.
- BAC 0.10 to 0.15 – Minimum of 90 days to four years in prison.
- BAC 0.16 or above – Minimum of six months to five years in prison.
A third offense is also a felony under SC law, and results in two years’ suspension of license.
DUI/DUAC fourth offense
The penalties for a fourth offense are broken down by BAC level and also come with significant fines.
- Refusal to take breath test/BAC less than .10 – Minimum of one year to five years in prison.
- BAC 0.10 to 0.15 – Minimum of two years to six years in prison.
- BAC 0.16 or above – Minimum of three years to seven years in prison. Additionally, fines and court costs may exceed $20,000.
A fourth offense is also a felony under SC law, and results in permanent revocation of license.
Multiple DUI offenders face license suspension and the costs of a mandatory ignition interlock device. Additionally, the state requires anyone convicted of a DUI to file an SR-22 insurance certificate with the DMV in order to regain his or her driving privileges, which can be much more costly than a regular car insurance policy. This period typically lasts for three years. Depending on the number of offenses, an individual could lose his or her driver’s license indefinitely.
Given these substantial and ever-increasing penalties, not only to your wallet but to your constitutional rights and freedom, it’s vital you work with an experienced and strategic DUI defense attorney if you’re facing charges.
What happens if I’m arrested for driving with a suspended license in SC?
If you’ve been convicted of DUI, DUAC or refused to take a breath test, your driver’s license may have been suspended. Do not drive when your license is suspended – this is a separate crime with separate penalties. Depending on the number of offenses, driving on a suspended license can result in anywhere from 10 days to three years in jail, fines and court costs of over $2,000, as well as permanent revocation of your license.
How can a Columbia DUI defense attorney help me with my case?
Every case, no matter how seemingly watertight, has weaknesses. We excel at identifying those weaknesses and using them to your advantage. Lawyer Randy Hough has handled more than two thousand DUI cases, day in and day out for over 25 years. He consistently rises to the challenge of analyzing opportunities for a strong defense.
We approach every case with the dedication and determination it takes to win.
You can count on us to take the initiative and go the extra mile. We leverage every opportunity for success to fight for the best possible outcome.
Finding weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, building a strong DUI defense for you
At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we take an aggressive stance on addressing and minimizing all possible ramifications of a DUI or DUAC charge. With so much on the line, don't entrust your rights to anyone but a trusted and experienced DUI attorney. 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.