DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE - DUI:
If you have been arrested for DUI, there are steps you can take to protect your
rights. If your driver's license has been suspended for refusing to take a
breath test or for taking a breath test and registering an alcohol reading
higher than .15, there are steps my office can take to get your license back.
In most cases, depending upon whether you have had a prior
license suspension, we can usually help you get your license
back in about a week. Not all DUI arrests in South Carolina trigger an
immediate license suspension. An Individual's privilege to drive
is suspended for a refusal to take the breath test or for taking the breath test
and registering a blood alcohol reading of .15 or higher. If you take the
breath test and the result is under .15 your license is not immediately
suspended even though you are charged with DUI.
It is important to know that a DUI arrest is different from a DUI
conviction. Once you have been arrested, usually by a blue uniform traffic
ticket, your court date is set and written on the ticket. The date and
location of the court is also written on your traffic ticket. All DUI
convictions lead to a driver's license suspension.
The original trial date scheduled is a bench trial, which is a trial by
judge. You have the right to a jury trial in South Carolina and the right
to a discovery motion, to see what evidence exists. You have other rights
including the presumption of innocence and the right to confront witnesses.
The burden of proving guilt is upon the state or city which made the
arrest. The prosecution must prove that your ability to drive was both
materially and appreciably impaired beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury.
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be a humiliating
experience. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI you have most
likely been placed in handcuffs, read your rights and placed in the back of a
police car. You have been seen transported and locked up in an unknown
jail. You have spent the night in jail and your car has been towed.
Than you must appear before a judge, many times in handcuffs and leg shackles,
to have bond set. Once the bond is set you must make arrangements for
someone to post the bond to secure your release. In addition you must
locate your car, retrieve your car and pay for the towing. Your license may be
suspended and you have a short amount of time to request an administrative hearing
and jury trial. All of this is often stressful and confusing.
At the Law Office of M. Gregory McCollum we can take every necessary step to
protect your rights. The first is protecting your right to a jury trial.
The second is requesting all the evidence the police have collected against you.
Other rights include, your right to be presumed innocent and the right to
confront witnesses at trial.
Practicing criminal law since 1988 has taught me many things about the legal
process and about the people accused of DUI. What I have learned is that
many good, hardworking, and responsible people get arrested for DUI. Many
times people are arrested for driving after having consumed alcohol. This
is often referred to as drinking and driving. It is not against the law in
South Carolina to drive if you have had something to drink unless your ability
to operate the motor vehicle is both materially and appreciably impaired.
If you have been charged with DUI, contact my office and ask for an appointment;
you have the right to consult with an attorney, so that you can proceed with an
understanding of how you will be affected. You should always consult an
attorney before making assumptions about how the law will be applied to your
While it is not practical to go back and summarize all of the cases
Attorney Greg McCollum has defended since 1994, select cases and more recent
case summaries are provided as representative cases. Keep in mind that no
attorney, however successful, wins every case. Effective, quality
representation, however, will almost always make a significant difference in the
end result. Some cases are dismissed outright. Some cases go to
trial. In some cases, the charges are reduced and a plea deal is reached.
What will happen to each case is determined by a variety of factors. Some
of those factors include the strength of the state's evidence, the availability
and reliability of witnesses and whether the police followed proper
procedures. Those factors are unique to each case, and there are many
different factors which will determine the outcome of a case.
Most people do not want to go to court and many people
do not want to go to trial, however, unless your lawyer is prepared to try your
case, and has a reputation that he is willing and able to go to
trial, and that he is capable of effectively challenging the state's evidence,
then the prosecution is less likely to negotiate.
In reality, most cases do not go to trial, but the ability of your
lawyer to go to
trial and effectively defend you will determine what type of outcome or
disposition you will be offered by the prosecution.
Following are some examples of representative cases which are produced
for information purposes. Not all cases are listed. Additionally,
the facts and circumstances of each case is unique. The result reached in
your case may be different because of different circumstances. This
information is provided to give to you some information regarding what has
happened on past cases.
What will happen on your case, depends upon many factors. Having an
experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer is one of those factors. Every
case is unique and different defenses are available on different cases. If you
are interested in a consultation, please contact the Law Office of Greg McCollum
for an appointment.
Following are some examples of cases that Attorney Greg McCollum has handled.
These are provided to give you information which may be helpful. Often, people
think that because they were arrested and charged with a criminal offense that
there is nothing they can do about it, and that the situation is hopeless or
futile. It is important to know that an arrest and charge is only an accusation,
and that a person is not automatically deemed to be guilty. In some cases the
person is innocent, in other cases the state lacks sufficient evidence to
convict, and sometimes the person has been charged with a greater offense than
the state can prove, which can result in charges being reduced or dismissed
completely. What can or will occur on your case can not be predicted with
absolute certainty. The practice of law is not a science dependent on absolute
rules. Law must be interpreted and applied to a particular set of facts, which
may or not be proven. What will happen to your case depends upon several factors
and each case is unique.
When reading results from past cases it is important to know that any result
Attorney Greg McCollum may achieve on behalf of one client does not necessarily
indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Sample Cases Handled by Attorney Greg McCollum
State vs John Doe (2010)
Driving Under the Influence (.18)
The client was arrested in 2010 by the South Carolina Highway Patrol and charged with driving under the influence with a BA (blood alcohol) level of .18 as a result of submitting to the data master test pursuant to his arrest. His license or privilege to drive in South Carolina was suspended because he “blew over a .15” After retaining our office, an administrative hearing was requested and he received a temporary alcohol license permitting him to drive while waiting for the administrative hearing. At the administrative hearing the state failed to prove that the test was properly administered and his privilege to drive was reinstated allowing him to get his regular drivers license back.
The DUI case was placed on the Horry County Central Jury Court Docket and Scheduled for trial for the Term of Court beginning February 28, 2011. Prior to trial the client accepted a plea to reckless driving, which is a six (6) point moving violation with the DUI charge dismissed. The client was able to enter the reckless driving plea by affidavit, pay a fine of four hundred forty four ($444) dollars without being required to appear in court.
State vs John Doe (2010)
Driving Under the Influence
This client was arrested on May 3, 2010 by the South Carolina Highway
Patrol and charged with Driving Under the Influence. Because he refused to
take the Data Master and give a breath sample his Driver's License was suspended
the night of his arrest. He retained the Law Office of M. Gregory
McCollum, shortly after his arrest. We requested an administrative hearing
to contest his refusal to give a breath sample, which allowed him to get a
temporary alcohol restricted driver's license until the hearing.
On August 12, 2010, the Administrative Hearing Judge granted the client's
request to dismiss or rescind the driver's license suspension allowing the
client to reinstate his regular driver's license.
The case was set for trial for the March term of Jury Trials in the Myrtle Beach
Magistrate Court. The Defendant was allowed to enter a Guilty Plea to
Reckless Driving. The Driving Under the Influence was dismissed.
State vs. Jane Doe (2009)
Driving Under the Influence
Failure to stop for a Blue Light or Siren (Running from the Police)
Possession of Cocaine 1st Offense
The client was accused of Driving Under the Influence and accused of
refusing to stop her vehicle as the police pursued her in a police car with the
blue lights flashing. She was accused of driving over a bridge where
police cars and Emergency Medical Technicians were at an accident scene of an
unrelated automobile accident. The police alleged that the client wrecked
her car on the bridge while attempting to driver between an ambulance and the
guardrail. The ambulance was stopped on the bridge with
its emergency lights flashing. The case was resolved without a jury trial.
Because of charges, the case was split between two Courts. The traffic
offenses were set in the Central Traffic Court, while the Failure to
Stop for Blue Lights or Siren and the Drug charge were set in the Circuit Court
of General Sessions. The client pleaded guilty to
Reckless Driving and paid a fine of Four Hundred Forty Four ($444.00)
Dollars. The charges of Failure to Stop for a Blue Light or Siren, and the
drug charge were referred to Pre-Trial Intervention without an admission of
guilt to be dismissed once the requirements of PTI are completed.
State vs. John Doe
Driving with Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC)
This client was arrested on August 9, 2008 in Myrtle Beach after a
State Trooper located a car that had been wrecked against a guardrail on Grissom
Parkway. When the State Trooper stopped to investigate, the vehicle aws
empty and appeard abandoned. According to the South Carolina Highway
Patrol, the client emerged from a wooded area
nearby and allegedly admitted to being the driver. The police
alleged that the client failed field sobriety tests and he was arrested for
Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration after blowing a .19 on the data
The case was set for jury trial to begin on March 2, 2011. Prior
to jury selection, the morning of the trial, the client was allowed to enter a
guilty plea to Reckless Driving and pay a fine of Four Hundred Forty Five
($445.00) Dollars. The DUAC charge was dismissed.