Frequently Asked Questions
- How long will it be before I can get my Temporary Alcohol Restricted License (and drive my car legally)? If you have been arrested and get us the ticket the day you bond out, we can overnight your ticket to Columbia that day with the proper fee ($200.00) and all the appropriate paperwork. Generally speaking, you will receive a letter in the mail from the DMV advising you that you are eligible for a T.A.R.L. (Temporary Alcohol Restricted License). We usually receive notice from the DMV within three (3) to five (5) days, allowing the client to go to the nearest DMV office and obtain the T.A.R.L.
- If I am convicted of Driving Under the Influence, do I have to carry SR-22 insurance? Yes. If you plead guilty, are found guilty at a bench or jury trial, or plead “no contest” to DUI (or DUAC), the State of South Carolina’s Department of Insurance will require you to carry SR-22 insurance for a minimum of three (3) years.
- Do I have to meet with you in person to retain your firm to represent me? No, it is not required, but we prefer to meet and speak with you in person. You can do your entire telephone interview from a remote location as long as you can mail, fax or scan a copy of all of your documents (keeping a copy for yourself). We can begin representing you immediately. Our firm accepts all major credit cards, cashiers’ checks and wire transfers in order to send a letter of representation and to immediately begin getting you back on the road legally.
- Do I have to pay you the full fee all at once? No. We require a reasonable retainer with a signed Retainer Agreement as required by the South Carolina Bar Association. You can make a regular payments over the next several months if you execute a Promissory Note committing to a payment plan.
- Will I have to pay for a trial if my matter doesn’t go to a trial? No, not if we are successful in resolving it without the need of time-consuming preparation of you and your witnesses. Most cases involve a clear juncture where the prosecutor will make an offer to your attorney. If you choose to decline the State’s offer, then the additional fee for trial preparation will be required as the additional work begins. These terms and conditions are clearly set out in our Retainer Agreement and will be discussed in full before you retain our services. We will not charge you for a service until that service is needed.
- Do I have to show up for the original court date? Generally–no. There may be some instances where having the defendant present in court may prove beneficial. As a general rule, however, our office will make the initial court appearance or request a jury trial on your behalf and will advise you of the outcome of that appearance if there was any substantive dialogue with the officers upon return to the office.
- Do I have to show up for the Pre-Trial Conference and Motions Hearings? Generally speaking, no, but sometimes our motions will require your testimony as a witness or rebuttal witness. You will be made aware of this strategy well ahead of time and we will prepare you for your testimony.
- What if I missed my court date already? If you have missed your Court date and wish to challenge the criminal charge, please contact us immediately. We will file a Motion to Reopen the case so that you regain the opportunity to have us defend you in you in Court. Be aware that a Bench Warrant may have been issued for your arrest. If you are unsure, we will be glad to check on your status with the Clerk of Court.
- How long is the Implied Consent Suspension? The suspension period depends on the reason that your license was suspended to begin with. If you were suspended for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer, your privileges to drive will be suspended for a period of at least six (6) months. If, however, your license is suspended for taking the test and registering a breath alcohol content of .15 or greater, your license will be suspended for a period of at least thirty (30) days. We challenge the suspension in order to gather facts surrounding your arrest and in an effort to win back your driving privilege and avoid that suspension.
- How long is the suspension resulting in a conviction for DUI or DUAC? The suspension period for a conviction to DUI 1st offense or DUAC is six (6) months. The suspension period for subsequent convictions is greater and is outlined in more detail in the “suspension” portion of our website. Please read the Implied Consent page for a more detailed explanation of Implied Consent Hearings. We can help you quickly get a TARL and get you back on the road legally.
- What is the cost of ADSAP?
The cost for ADSAP is Five Hundred ($500.00) Dollars plus the cost of any recommended treatment or counseling. Not all persons who enter and complete ADSAP are required to engage in further treatment or counseling. This is determined by the professionals at ADSAP on a case-by-case basis.
For more information on ADSAP, please visit the following site:
- If I am willing to go to alcohol counseling, will the court find out about it and it be used against me? No. If you choose to undergo any sort of alcohol treatment program, our office will hire the professional through our offices so that all treatment remains confidential and protected by attorney/client privilege.
- Can you guarantee that if I hire your firm, I won’t be convicted of a DUI?
No. Absolutely not! It is unethical and extremely foolish for an attorney to guarantee you a particular result. If an attorney tells you he/she can guarantee a dismissal, ask for that in writing.
An experienced DUI attorney greatly increases your chance of avoiding a conviction simply by their experience in handling so many cases, their familiarity with the existing case law and their ability to challenge the officer effectively in court. An experienced and ethical DUI attorney might have a strong feeling about the weaknesses a case may have, but still cannot guarantee what a judge or jury might do in a court of law.
- If I hire your firm and we get the DUI dismissed, do I get my legal fees back since the state couldn’t prove their case? No, you don’t get the state to reimburse you for hiring us. On the bright side, you will be entitled to get back the money you posted for bond, if you paid it directly to the court and the DUI was dismissed. Our fees are clearly set out in our Retainer Agreement and we will answer any and all questions you might have before you sign that agreement. We welcome your call.