Almost all South Carolina residents know what it feels like to see police lights in their review mirror. The stomach dropping feeling is not one that many of us are fond of. Seeing the lights may be particularly worrisome if you've had a glass of wine or a beer at dinner. No matter the circumstances, South Carolina residents should take a deep breath and remember that laws are in place to protect them.
Recently, a woman accidentally drove onto the beach on Hilton Head Island. The woman was stuck in the sand when officers found her. The report states that the woman thought she was turning right into a parking lot, but she instead turned into the beach access. The woman is suspected of drunk driving and now faces a DUI charge.
Laws are in place to protect South Carolina residents. These protections may lead to safer roads, cities and communities. Protections are also available to every individual citizen when they come into contact with police officers. Procedural laws dictate that officers cannot abuse their power and must treat citizens with the respect they deserve.
An officer needs a level of confidence in every step of the arrest process. They first need reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to initially make a stop. When an officer makes a stop for an illegitimate reason, evidence gained could be thrown out of court. To make an arrest, an officer must satisfy the probable cause standard. This means that the officer has enough evidence to believe that the individual has probably committed a crime.
All South Carolina drivers have legal rights and are entitled to assert those rights when charges are brought against them. Legal professionals are able to help these drivers ensure their rights are not being infringed upon, which may lead to dropped or reduced criminal charges.
Source: The State, "Bluffton woman charged with DUI after driving onto beach access," IslandPacket, May 12, 2014