Industry News for Criminal Defense Law in Columbia, South Carolina


Facing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge can be an overwhelming experience, filled with uncertainty about the future. In Columbia, SC, those accused of DUI often question whether they have any chance of challenging the charges against them. The answer is a resounding yes. This blog post, brought to you by Thompson and Hiller, aims to shed light on the possibilities and processes involved in challenging a DUI charge in South Carolina, offering a beacon of hope and guidance for those in this predicament.

Understanding DUI Charges in South Carolina

In South Carolina, a DUI charge is levied against individuals accused of operating a vehicle while their ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof. The state law is clear: if a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above 0.08%, they can be charged with DUI. However, the charge is not limited to BAC levels alone; evidence of impairment can also lead to a DUI charge, regardless of the BAC reading.

Grounds for Challenging a DUI Charge

Challenging a DUI charge in Columbia, SC, centers on questioning the validity of the evidence or the legality of the procedure used in the arrest. Key areas where challenges can be made include:

  • Inaccuracies in Sobriety Testing: The reliability of field sobriety tests and breathalyzers can be contested, especially if there’s evidence of improper administration or calibration issues with the devices used.
  • Violation of Rights: A successful challenge may arise from demonstrating that the arresting officer violated the defendant’s rights, such as conducting a stop without probable cause or failing to properly administer Miranda warnings.
  • Handling and Analysis of BAC Samples: The process by which BAC samples were collected, stored, and analyzed can be flawed. Challenging these procedures can sometimes lead to evidence being deemed inadmissible.

The Process of Challenging a DUI Charge

To challenge a DUI charge in South Carolina effectively, one must navigate a complex legal process that begins from the moment of arrest. It involves critical steps such as:

  • Gathering Evidence: Collecting all available evidence, including police reports, breathalyzer test results, and witness statements, is crucial.
  • Legal Representation: Securing representation from a firm well-versed in DUI defenses, such as Thompson and Hiller, is essential. An experienced legal team can scrutinize the evidence, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and devise a strategic defense.
  • Pre-Trial Motions: Your legal team may file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss charges based on procedural errors or rights violations.
  • Trial: If the case goes to trial, your defense will present its findings, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and aim to create reasonable doubt among the jury.

Role of Legal Representation in Challenging DUI Charges

The complexity of DUI laws and the nuances of legal defense strategies underscore the importance of professional legal representation. At Thompson and Hiller, our approach is tailored to the specifics of each case, focusing on areas such as:

  • Analyzing the legality of the traffic stop and arrest.
  • Challenging the accuracy and handling of sobriety tests.
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges where possible.

Success Stories and Precedents

While each case is unique, there are numerous instances where DUI charges have been successfully challenged in Columbia, SC. Through motions to suppress evidence based on improper sobriety testing procedures or demonstrating that the arrest was made without probable cause, our firm has helped many clients achieve favorable outcomes.


Challenging a DUI charge in South Carolina is not only possible but can be a critical step in defending your rights and securing your future. With the right legal team, the chances of a positive outcome increase significantly. Thompson and Hiller are dedicated to providing robust defense strategies for those accused of DUI, leveraging our knowledge and resources to challenge charges effectively.

Call to Action

If you’re facing a DUI charge in Columbia, SC, and are considering challenging it, don’t hesitate to reach out to Thompson and Hiller. Our team is ready to assess your case, explore your options, and develop a defense strategy tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards navigating your DUI charge with confidence.