Protecting Your Rights. Defending Your Freedom.

The Rapid City DUI Defense Attorney Who Fights For You

It only takes one lapse in judgment to change your life. If you have a DUI charge on your record, it can follow you around and wreak havoc on your life. That's why you should hire a qualified Rapid City DUI lawyer to work toward getting a reduced sentence or reduced charges.

At Andrews Law Office, LLC, help is available for clients from all over South Dakota, including out-of-town drivers passing through the complicated DUI process. Lead attorney Paul Andrews is a former Boston lawyer and served as a federal prosecutor, so his experience handling complicated cases and ability to see disputes from both sides is unparalleled.

9 Ways To Challenge A DUI Charge

Questions About DUI

Notable DUI Laws In South Dakota

Typical DUI Penalties in Rapid City

9 Ways To Challenge A DUI Charge: How I Approach Your Case

No one has the same experience when charged with a DUI. However, Paul has noticed some common themes when defending his clients, many of which have consistently popped up over the years. Here are a few example themes and how Paul can implement them as a defense in your legal strategy:

Traffic Stop And Probable Cause

Did the police believe they had probable cause to arrest you for a drunk driving charge? Did they have factual evidence against you that supports those beliefs? If they can’t prove otherwise, the legitimacy of accusations they made against you could be questioned.

Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)

These tests are often riddled with flaws, as you could still fail these tests even though you’re sober. Plus, police officers don’t always conduct them appropriately.

Breathalyzer Or Blood Tests

Breathalyzers aren’t always a reliable indicator of how much blood alcohol content is in your system; numerous factors could set it off. For example, it could detect a breath mint or mouthwash as alcohol. Additionally, countless police departments nationwide have been found to have faulty Breathalyzers, either because they are old and outdated or because officers calibrate them improperly.

Chain Of Custody

In blood test cases, your defense attorney will assess the chain of custody of the blood sample.

Officer’s Conduct And Reports

Alongside lacking probable cause, there can be other types of misconduct by authorities during a traffic stop that could serve as a strong defense in your DUI case. 

Witness Testimonies

Accounts of the events before or leading up to your DUI could provide additional context not provided by police or prosecutors. 

Video And Audio Evidence

Visual and audio documentation could invalidate or contradict evidence brought by the police and prosecutors.

Medical Conditions And Prescription Medications

You may have a medical condition or a reaction to a medication prescribed to you that caused you to act like you were driving under the influence or that caused you to fail the breath test, blood test or field sobriety test.

Your Criminal History

If you have a clean criminal record, showcasing this may place you in a more positive light in front of a judge and a jury.

Have more questions about how to approach your DUI defense strategy? Call my office today at 605-638-9728 to discuss your options. 

Answers To Common Questions About DUI In South Dakota

If you are facing charges, you want answers as soon as possible to questions such as those below.

What happens when you get arrested for DUI in Rapid City?

You have to keep in mind that when the police arrest you for drunk driving, you are at the beginning of a complicated process. You will face several difficult situations in the coming days, but you should understand the penalties you face:

  • Loss of license: For a first offense, you may lose your license for at least 30 days and up to a year at the court’s discretion.
  • Jail time: First-offense drunk driving convictions risk up to 1 year in jail.
  • Fines: The court may order up to a $2,000 fine in addition to jail time.

South Dakota’s penalties for drunk driving can increase in severity depending on the number of previous convictions.

Additionally, these penalties are for those with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between .08% and .16%. Should a person’s BAC exceed .16%, they may face even steeper legal challenges.

Keep in mind that the penalties for any drunk driving charge only matter in the case of a conviction, which is not certain. Andrews Law Office, LLC, can make an important impact on your case.

What if it’s a first-time DUI?

You may have an outstanding opportunity to seek a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) if the evidence against you is strong but this is your first DUI arrest. With an SIS, as a first-time offender, you may benefit from the following:

  • A sealed criminal record, with no reported conviction if you complete the requirements
  • Probation instead of jail time
  • Conditions that a prosecutor and/or judge may impose

To increase your chances of succeeding if you are fortunate enough to have an SIS instead of an immediate conviction, work closely with a defense attorney to ensure that you meet all conditions. If you fail, your original conviction will stand. Also, if you were given an SIS in the past, you will not be eligible for it a second time, even though no conviction is on your record from the previous time.

As a Super Lawyer, Paul has the skills and the credentials to provide you with an aggressive, creative and strategic defense to fight off your drunk driving charges.

Can you refuse a Breathalyzer in Rapid City?

In short, no. South Dakota has an “implied consent” law. This means that the act of driving on South Dakota roads is the consent to have a sobriety test. The state will automatically revoke a person’s license for one year for refusing a breath test.

I’m from another state but arrested for DUI in South Dakota; what do I need to know?

Being from another state does not exempt a person from the consequences of a DUI. However, with our attorney, you can minimize how often you may need to go to court. Additionally, with our experience in the local courts, we have an intimate level of knowledge that allows us to provide effective representation.

I was in Rapid City for the Sturgis Bike Rally and was charged with a DUI that I disagree with. What should I do?

Get legal counsel immediately. Do not expect any law enforcement agent, prosecutor, jail attendant, fellow arrestee or the state’s attorney’s office to help you in any way. All these agencies are overstressed during the bike rally, and you need to be aggressive about getting an attorney on your side as soon as possible.

What are other common DUI scenarios in Rapid City?

People returning to their homes or hotels from the casino in Deadwood are often charged with DUI. If you were arrested in this situation or any other, you have no time to waste. Contact a defense lawyer promptly. Do not expect any “lucky break.” You could experience just the opposite.

Notable DUI laws In South Dakota

If you're facing DUI charges in Mount Rushmore State, it's important to know and understand the different laws and policies that could affect your charge. Here is an explanation of some of the most notable:

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits

In South Dakota, you can’t drive if your BAC exceeds .08%; drivers under 21 have even stricter limits, as their BAC cannot exceed .02%. And for those who drive commercial vehicles, like semi trucks, their BAC limit is about half a regular driver.

Implied Consent Law

Implied consent laws in South Dakota say that if you are driving on public roads, you automatically consent to chemical testing, including Breathalyzer and blood tests. You can face penalties, such as license suspension if you refuse to participate in a chemical test.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

In some cases, individuals with a DUI conviction in South Dakota may have to put an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. This device requires the driver to blow into a Breathalyzer to test their BAC. Typically, the car will only start if its BAC is below the legal limit. 

Lookback Period

South Dakota has a ten-year lookback period. That means if you have a previous DUI from the past, you can face increased penalties if you get another DUI within that same period. 

Attorney Andrews can give you a more in-depth understanding of these laws and explain how they apply to your situation. 

Typical Penalties For A DUI in Rapid City

Those found guilty of drunk driving can face steep fines and potential jail time, depending on the circumstances. You could also have your license suspended anywhere from 30 days to one year.

Penalties For First-Time DUI In South Dakota

The sentences for a first DUI are usually lighter than subsequent offenses. In our state, you can expect the following consequences:

  • License revocation of 30 days to one year
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Up to one year in jail

However, if a first-time DUI involves a BAC over 0.17, you will also have to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and may have to go through state-ordered substance abuse treatment.

Penalties For Second And Recurrent DUI Offenses

The severity of the penalties increases with every subsequent DUI within 10 years. For example, a second DUI may incur:

  • One year of license revocation
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • A mandatory substance abuse treatment program

A third DUI within 10 years has even more severe results, including:

  • License revocation for at least one year
  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Jail time of up to two years
  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment

It is critical to have a DUI lawyer on your side immediately, as having counsel can significantly increase your chances of avoiding a harsh sentence.

Motorcycle DUI Penalties

South Dakota regulations consider both cars and motorcycles to be motor vehicle accidents. If you receive a motorcycle DUI, you are still on the hook for similar penalties as the driver of a car. Some motorcyclists with DUIs find that they must install a large, inconvenient ignition interlock device on their motorcycles. Others may lose their motorcycle license as a result of a DUI.

You should also know that many law enforcement officers, district attorneys, judges and jurors have a bias against motorcycle riders. They may inadvertently view you more harshly than they would a driver.

Repercussions Of Underage DUI Charges In South Dakota

Anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 may be charged with DUI for having a BAC over .02 or any amount of marijuana in their system in South Dakota. The penalties may include:

  • License suspension of 30 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense and one year for a third offense
  • A fine of up to $500
  • Up to 30 days in jail

However, there are also many unintended consequences that a young person might not think of at the time. Many colleges and universities have codes of honor that penalize drinking and driving. Future employers might not want to hire someone with a DUI on their record. It can affect your personal reputation for as long as the offense remains on your record.

Protect Your Rights And Reputation – Call Today

Don’t let one mistake impact the rest of your life. Build your DUI defense with attorney Paul Andrews by contacting him online or by calling 605-638-9728 today.

Attorney Andrews has extensive experience and a strong track record in criminal defense of all varieties. Your first consultation at Andrews Law Office is always free.

Additional Reading:

What’s the sentence for a first-time DUI in South Dakota?

Two things that give an officer “reasonable suspicion” of DUI

The potential impact of a DUI conviction on your job

Hidden costs of a DUI in South Dakota

Does South Dakota mandate IIDs for those convicted of a DUI?