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, with 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.
- What happens when you get arrested for DUI in Rapid City?
- What if it is a first time DUI?
- Can you refuse a breathalyzer in Rapid City?
- I’m from another state but arrested for DUI in South Dakota; what do I need to know?
- I was in Rapid City for the Sturgis Bike Rally and was charged with a DUI that I disagree with. What should I do?
- What are other common DUI scenarios in Rapid City?
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countless police departments nationwide have been found to have faulty Breathalyzers, either because they are old and outdated or because officers calibrate them improperly.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.
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 605-718-4001 to discuss your options.
If you are facing charges, you want answers as soon as possible to questions such as those below.
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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The penalties can also look different depending on the type of vehicle. For instance, learn more about the consequences and penalties for motorcycle DUIs on our motorcycle DUI page.
Protect Your Rights And Reputation – Call 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.