1. Get a Hanahan, SC DUI Defense Lawyer on Your Side Immediately.
If you have been charged with DUI in Hanahan, SC, you cannot afford to procrastinate or waste time – there are deadlines that you must meet early on in your case.
– Initial court dates:
If you are charged with DUI in the magistrate or municipal (city) court, and you do not appear at your initial court date (found on your blue ticket), you will be convicted in your absence and a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
If you appear at your initial court date with no attorney, the court will expect you to 1) plead guilty or 2) have a bench trial with no jury and no legal representation (AKA a long slow guilty plea).
– Implied Consent Hearing Requests:
If the DMV does not receive your implied consent hearing request within 30 days of your arrest on your original implied consent form provided to you during your arrest, you will lose your right to a DUI administrative hearing.
Even more importantly, the State is preparing your case for trial, and there is a trained DUI prosecutor on the other side of your case. You should also have a trained DUI defense attorney on your side.
2. Know your court dates and do not miss any appearances.
Whether you are charged with DUI in Hanahan magistrate or municipal court or General Sessions Court for a DUI 2nd offense or greater, there are some “danger points” where you could end up back in jail for missing a court date.
– Initial court dates.
DUI 1st offense charges in magistrate or municipal court come with an initial court date that you can find on your blue ticket.
If you do not appear at this initial court date (and you or your attorney has not requested a jury trial or gotten a continuance from the court), you can be convicted in your absence and a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
– Roll call dates.
If you are charged with DUI 2nd offense or greater, your case will be in General Sessions Court.
You will have two initial “roll call” dates that you must attend unless your attorney has confirmed that you are excused, and, if you miss these roll call dates, the prosecutor will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Keep in close contact with your attorney, let them know when you receive any notices or correspondence from the court, keep track of your hearing dates, and diligently attend every court appearance unless you have confirmed with your attorney that you have been excused.
3. Request an Implied Consent Hearing.
Your implied consent proceedings are separate from your DUI proceedings – they are in the administrative law court, and you must request a hearing to set it in motion.
If you do not request your implied consent hearing immediately, you will lose your right to a hearing, and you cannot come back later and request one.
Your best option is to immediately consult with your Hanahan DUI defense lawyer and allow them to request the hearing on your behalf. If this is not possible, do not waive your right to a hearing by doing nothing!
Fill out the implied consent hearing request form that was given to you when you were arrested, and mail it in with the required fees to the address provided on the form.
Then, when you retain a DUI defense attorney, provide them with the documentation showing you have requested your hearing and copies of any correspondence that you have received from the DMV.
4. Do not drive if your license is suspended.
You may have heard of SC’s “revolving door” of license suspensions and revocations. This is where it begins.
If your license is suspended and you are caught driving, you will be charged with driving under suspension.
If you are convicted of driving under suspension, your license will be suspended again – consecutive to the original suspension.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Hanahan, SC, then:
- Your license will be suspended as a consequence of the conviction, and
- The DUI conviction, along with other traffic violations, can result in the revocation of your license as a habitual traffic offender.
Fight your charges, do not accept a license suspension if there is any way out of it, and do not drive if your license is suspended.