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South Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

Drugged driving defense in South Carolina

South Carolina charges related to drugged driving are different compared to charges relating to driving under the influence of alcohol. In many drunk driving cases, authorities are able to pinpoint an individual's blood alcohol content as over the limit. However, in the case of drugged driving, there may not be any kind of test that can prove whether the driver had the drugs in his or her system or not while driving.

That said, verifiable proof that a substance was present in an individual's bloodstream is not always required to prove that he or she was guilty of drugged driving. Indeed, police might find evidence of illegal drugs or pharmaceuticals inside an accused person's vehicle. They might use that evidence along with evidence from failed field sobriety tests to convict the individual.

How do police detect allegedly drunk drivers?

Law enforcement officers are constantly patrolling the roadways to enforce the rules of the road. One of the most common things they look out for are people who might be operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. So, how do police identify suspects to pull over for drunk driving offenses?

The primary thing that officers look for is erratic driving behavior. If a police officer notices a driver speeding, swerving, driving too slowly, failing to yield to other vehicles or failing to stop, the driver could be pulled over for further investigation. Just because an individual is pulled over for strange driving behavior, though, does not mean that an arrest will occur. If the diver offers a legitimate excuse for the erratic driving, for example, then he might be let off the hook with just a warning or a minor ticket.

How can parents support teens not to engage in underage drinking?

All South Carolina parents want the best for their teenager, and sometimes, it takes clear communication to teach teenagers the information they need to so they stay on the right track with their growth and development. One vital topic where clear communication is needed involves underage drinking. How can parents effectively convince their teens not to engage in this kind of behavior?

The best approach for parents to take involves building a supportive and trusting relationship with their children. Research shows that teenagers tend to delay participating in illegal alcohol consumption if they have a close and trusting relationship with their guardian or parent. Also, even if the teenager does participate in underage drinking, having a good relationship with his or her parents may help prevent the teen from having serious problems with alcohol later on down the road.

Do I need a criminal defense attorney for a traffic citation?

Whether it is a speeding offense, a drunk driving charge or just running a red light, traffic violations are the most common way that South Carolina residents find themselves in trouble with the law. Indeed, traffic offenses are one of the few criminal violations that an extremely honest, up-standing and rule-abiding citizen might find him or herself being charged with, even if the person was trying his or her best to follow the law. That is because people often break traffic laws by accident when they do not mean to and this can result in serious criminal consequences.

In addition to traffic citations and speeding tickets that happen after a driver accidentally breaks the law, many drivers are also accused of violations that they never even committed. No matter what the case happens to be relating to your traffic citation, a criminal defense attorney with experience in traffic defense can help.

Vital drunk driving statistics

Drunk driving accidents happen every day in South Carolina and the rest of the United States. Sometimes, simply knowing the facts and figures relating to drunk driving is enough to motivate people to avoid drinking and driving. However, no matter how careful one is when out with friends, it is still quite easy to mistakenly get behind the wheel when you think it is still safe to drive.

Believe it or not, an average of 30 people are killed every single day in the United States after being involved in a drunk driving-related automobile crash. A total of 10,322 DUI-related fatalities happened in 2012, representing about 31 percent of traffic deaths that year.

What are the punishments related to a cocaine-related drug crime?

A large portion of cocaine-related arrests in South Carolina happen after police perform a routine traffic stop. During a traffic stop, if police have reason to suspect a driver may have contraband materials inside his or her automobile, they can order a search of the car. This is when authorities might discover drugs like cocaine inside the vehicle.

Individuals who are arrested and accused of cocaine possession, may wish to familiarize themselves with the law and potential punishments associated with this drug crime.

Is South Carolina doing enough to prevent drinking and driving?

Approximately 35 years ago, a devastated mother created an extremely successful grassroots advocacy group called Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In order to mark its 35th anniversary this year, the group created a new national slogan that reads, "No More Victims." The group has also published statistics on each state's drunk driving fatality rate.

Unfortunately, South Carolina ranks the highest out of all other states in drunk driving fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013 statistics show that 335 people died in DUI-related traffic crashes that year.

Is marijuana possession still a drug crime in South Carolina?

A lot of people are asking if South Carolina will jump on the bandwagon and legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes like other states have. As it stands, this has yet to occur in South Carolina and the possession, sale and trafficking of marijuana is still considered a drug crime. Since marijuana is classified as a narcotic and a controlled substance in our state, it is important that everyone is fully aware of the laws that pertain to the substance.

In South Carolina, possession of marijuana is considered to be a misdemeanor if the amount is under one ounce. Someone convicted of possessing under one ounce of marijuana could face a short jail sentence ranging from 30 days to one year and/or fines ranging from $100 up to $2,000. The length of the jail sentence and/or the size of the fine can change within this range depending on if it is the first, second or third such offense.

What are the marijuana drug laws and penalties in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, as in other states, the penalties for marijuana vary depending on many factors, like how much of the drug you have in your possession and how many offenses you have on your record. It is a good idea to know what some of the most basic penalties are, which are listed below.

If you have one ounce of marijuana or less, this is going to be a simple possession charge. If it is your first offense, you could see jail time, but it will not exceed 30 days, or you could be given a fine that ranges from $100 to $200. If it is your second offense or a subsequent one, your jail time cannot exceed a year, and the fine will range from $200 to $1,000.

Avoid drunk driving charges this holiday season

The best way to avoid a drunk driving charge is to avoid getting behind the wheel of an automobile after you have been drinking. However, some South Carolina residents find themselves in situations where it is difficult to determine whether they are sober enough to drive. Indeed, there is a line when it comes to drinking and driving, and sometimes individuals are not sure whether they have crossed it.

Driving after consuming alcohol always comes with risks because even with a small amount of alcohol in your system, it can affect the smell of your breath. If a police officer pulls you over and suspects you have indeed been drinking, then you may be subjected to a breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests.

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