Your words and actions matter greatly when you are charged with a crime. It is important to follow the following guidelines if you want the best chance of having a criminal defense law firm successfully defend your case.
Whether you need a DUI attorney, a criminal traffic attorney, or any other kind of criminal defense lawyer, please reach out as soon as possible after you are charged with a criminal offense. The sooner you can involve a trusted criminal law firm, the more smoothly your case will proceed.
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for a crime, it is critical that you seek professional legal counsel as quickly as possible.
If you are going to safeguard your livelihood, property, and freedom, you need experienced legal representation. Criminal law defense attorneys at the Columbia SC law firm of Burriss and Ridgeway have solid courtroom experience and take every possible action to manage this potentially stressful experience. We help make the process as smooth as possible and ensure that you are well-positioned for success.
Our lawyers defend your rights utilizing all possible means to reduce your risks associated with the charges.
The law firm of Burriss & Ridgeway handles cases in Magistrate, State, and Federal courts. Our experienced criminal law team looks forward to assisting you.
Each state has different laws but most traffic offenses are classified and penalized based on the local law, any prior convictions of the offender, and if the offense led to property damage, bodily injury, or death.
Traffic infractions are not criminal offenses. Misdemeanors and felonies are both criminal traffic offenses.
Most driving-related offenses fall into this category which is the least serious type of traffic offense. A traffic infraction is an act or omission that does involve breaking the law but is not criminal.
This type of offense is usually a “strict liability” offense which means that the driver can be convicted whether they intended to break the law or not.
Penalties generally involve a traffic ticket, a fine, points on the driver’s record, and/or traffic school. If a driver gets enough points, their auto insurance premiums go up and eventually, their license may be suspended.
Traffic infractions are often prosecuted in traffic court, not criminal court. Drivers who plead not guilty must come to court for a trial by judge. Sometimes a driver can skip court by pleading guilty and paying the fine in advance (by mail or online).
Each jurisdiction has its own laws to decide what criminal traffic offenses are misdemeanors and which ones are felonies. And certain traffic offenses that would usually be infractions can become criminal offenses if they are egregious enough. Misdemeanors can also become felonies in certain situations like if a driver has offended before or if the offense involves significant damages, injuries, or death.
Repeated offenses may carry greater charges and may cause a misdemeanor charge to become a felony. A traffic offense may be increased to a felony if someone is injured, a death occurs, property is destroyed, or there is a threat of injury or property damage.
If you are caught committing a misdemeanor, expect to be taken into legal custody immediately. You’ll have to post bond to get out of jail. And you will need a good criminal defense attorney.
Felonies are the most serious kinds of crimes. They involve the greatest potential threat for danger to other people and property. You’ll want to connect with the best criminal law attorney you can find if you find yourself in this situation.
Penalties for a Traffic Misdemeanor generally involve a prison sentence to the county jail of less than one year and a maximum fine of $1000 in most states. But most misdemeanors result in only a few days in jail if any at all.
Penalties for a Traffic Felony are greater. They often involve greater fines and can include a prison sentence of more than a year. Someone who has committed a traffic felony may have their license suspended or permanently revoked. They may have to go to driver’s training and their record will have points added to it. Other penalties include that the person’s car may be impounded, they will have a criminal record, and they may need to have a breathalyzer installed in their car in order for it to run.
Drug laws exist to help protect people from substances that could be dangerous to use or abuse without proper medical supervision. Some medications/drugs can cause people to become addicted and to be willing to harm themselves or others.
In the interest of public and personal safety, the government regulates these substances to try to prevent astronomical economic, societal, and relational costs that abuse of these drugs may create.
Most state drug laws address smaller crimes like simple possession. Charges under this category are usually classified as misdemeanors and punishments usually involve probation, short local jail sentences, and fines.
Most federal drug laws address bigger issues like trafficking and convictions for these kinds of charges carry harsher punishments and longer sentences.
Federal trafficking penalties are steep. The penalties become more and more severe the greater the quantity of illegal substances that were trafficked.
First Offense: 10 – 100lbs
First Offense: 10-28g
A controlled substance is a drug/medication that has a significant potential for abuse or addiction. It is called “controlled” because the government creates laws to direct its use or distribution.
There are various classifications of controlled substances called, “schedules” under federal and state law.
It’s estimated that drug and alcohol abuse costs society over $110 billion a year.
“2018 Crime in South Carolina” publication based on incident reports submitted to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) by state and local law enforcement agencies http://www.sled.sc.gov/documents/CrimeReporting/SCCrimeBooks/2018%20Crime%20In%20South%20Carolina.pdf
If you have criminal charges against you relating to drug use, possession, distribution, or drug manufacturing, you need the best criminal lawyers on your team.
South Carolina imposes strong penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC). DUI and DUAC laws determine blood alcohol level legal limits, testing rules, and penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The goal is that drivers should not be impaired so that they can operate their vehicles safely.
0.04% = a commercial driver could be convicted of a DUI and would be unable to drive a commercial vehicle for one year if they:
Don’t try to handle DUI charges yourself. Look for the best DUI lawyer you can find who can help you launch a DUI counterattack against your charges. A quality criminal law office can provide the resources you need to fight this and to protect your rights throughout the process.
Anyone who drives a vehicle in the state of South Carolina automatically gives consent for drug and alcohol testing by law enforcement. A driver who refuses blood alcohol content (BAC) testing can expect to have their license suspended for 6 months for a first offense or 9 months if they have had a prior DUI or license suspension in the past 10 years.
If you are charged with a DUI, you need a good DUI lawyer near you ASAP. Do not attempt to handle your legal case yourself, it will not end well. Choose a criminal law firm near you that has experience and can help you wisely navigate the legal system.
Statistics from NHTSA.gov in 2018
Total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in SC
Total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in USA
An average of 1 alcohol-related death occurred every 50 minutes during 2018.
Average cost of a DUI – According to a survey by NOLO, the average overall reported cost was about $11,900 including all attorney costs, fines, car insurance premium increases, and lost wages.
DUI or DUAC – Misdemeanor
DUI or DUAC – Misdemeanor
DUI or DUAC – Misdemeanor
DUI or DUAC – Felony
Sometimes, in addition to these penalties, an ignition interlock may be mandatory when the driver is permitted to drive again.
Judges may also require drivers to have a DUI assessment, complete a DUI program, or go to a drug treatment program as part of the penalty.
We’ll be glad to meet with you to see if we can help you put your life back together, minimize your penalties, and work to protect your rights during your legal battle.