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The Impact of Mandatory Sentencing on a SC DUI

Date: November 23, 2015
Category: DUI Defense

The impact of mandatory sentencing when you have been charged with SC drunk driving offenses means that all judicial discretion is removed upon conviction.  In the past, the fate of those convicted of driving under the influence was in the hands of the judge, but now courts enforce mandatory penalties that remove the judge’s ability to do any more than find guilt or innocence in a case.
 
Several factors are taken into consideration upon conviction, and they affect the sentence assigned upon a guilty verdict. The leading factors in South Carolina DUI penalties are based on –

  1. The number of previous DUI (or DWI) offenses you have
  2. Your blood alcohol count (BAC) at the time of arrest
  3. The circumstances under which you were arrested

For example, the consequences of a DUI first offense are a six month license suspension, a fine up to $1,000, community service, and a jail term up to 90 days. However, if property was damaged as in the case of a car accident, or if a life was lost or another individual injured, you can expect that the mandatory sentence for the first offense DUI will be the minimum penalty you will face.
 
Second, third, and fourth time offenders are treated much more harshly by judges who may feel that the offenders failed to learn a lesson from the sentence received during their previous convictions. In these cases, judges can impose fines up to $10,000 and require permanent license revocation (this penalty is reserved for fourth time offenders).
 
Mandatory sentencing is meant to serve as a “wake up call” to those with first time DUI offenses without injuries, and to severely punish repeat offenders. For more information or to obtain counsel regarding your South Carolina DUI Penalty, please call us at 803-799-7900.