Before a DUI case goes to trial in South Carolina or anywhere else, a pre-trial motion may be considered by a judge. The motion may ask that certain evidence be suppressed or cover any other concerns that an attorney may have. In some cases, a request will be made to drop the matter altogether. The prosecution in a DUI case can also make motions before a trial to limit the type of evidence that can be introduced at trial.
An attorney could ask that evidence be excluded because a defendant wasn't read his or her rights prior to it being discovered. An exclusion request could also be made on grounds that a test was performed improperly or that a search was performed illegally. If a defendant has had previous DUI convictions, the penalties for a subsequent conviction could be increased.
Therefore, a judge may be asked to have previous convictions struck from the record to help a defendant obtain a lighter sentence if convicted. If there is a reason to believe that a police officer acted inappropriately, a defendant may be able to gain access to that officer's personnel file. The file could reveal evidence of past misconduct that may provide some basis for a claim that he or she had no lawful reason to do so.
Individuals who are charged with DUI could face a variety of penalties if they are convicted. Those penalties could include spending time in jail, a fine and a loss of driving privileges. Previous convictions for a DUI as well as other aggravating factors in a case could increase the severity of a sentence an individual could face. An attorney may ask for a plea deal or take other steps to help a defendant receive a favorable outcome in the matter.