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What is an administrative license suspension and can I fight it?

Those who are accused of driving under the influence are likely to face numerous penalties under South Carolina laws if prosecuting attorneys are able to obtain a criminal conviction. The severity of the sentence issued varies based upon the specific circumstances of incident. What some may not realize is that even if criminal penalties are avoided or minimized, administrative penalties may still apply. Those who are charged with DUI will face an automatic administrative license suspension, which is handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles and Administrative Law Court.

When charged with DUI, a person's license is automatically suspended. For a first time offense, the length of suspension is six months. A habitual offenders will have his or her license revoked after the fourth offense. For those accused of felony DUI, the average length of license suspension is three years plus time served.

While the length of suspension can be adjusted in criminal court, the above standards apply to administrative suspensions which are automatically handled by the DMV. It is possible to fight administrative suspensions at an administrative hearing. While these hearings can be done without representation, having legal representation may prove to be a valuable commodity.

The inability to drive can have a drastic impact on a person's personal and professional life. As such, it is worth fighting any accusations of DUI at both the criminal and administrative level. While many South Carolina residents may feel an administrative license suspension is simply too difficult to fight, it is far from a lost cause. Legal assistance is available to get through this trying time and achieve a successful reinstatement of a license in a timely manner.

Source: scdmvonline.com, "SC Department of Motor Vehicles", Accessed on Feb. 8, 2015

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