Interviewer: Some people throw themselves in the mercy of the court and just plead guilty. What would you say is bad about doing that? Is there anything good about doing that?

Consequences of Pleading Guilty

Freddy: If you throw yourself on the mercy of the court they are not going to look at it that way. If you plead guilty, you could lose your driver’s license for a year

Permanent Record

Second, you will have a permanent criminal record that you cannot expunge, which means that you will not be eligible for many jobs including banking and high level government jobs, or jobs that require security clearance, because you won’t ever qualify for them.

Car Insurance

The next issue you have to take into account is your car insurance. It’s going to be more expensive. You are going to have SR22 insurance, which in the mildest cases is $4,000.00, plus whatever your premium is.

Mandatory Classes and DMV Fines

In addition to that, ADSAP can run 26 weeks. These are classes that meet two times per week, two hours per day. So, for example, you could go to ADSAP classes for half a year for two hours on Thursday at 5:00 to 7:00 or Tuesday at 5:00 to 7:00. Each time you attend, you have to pay for the class. You are also going to have DMV fees. You are also going to have the cost of the actual bond itself.

Repeat Offenders

In South Carolina there are three levels of DUI conviction for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd offenses. Generally, at the third offense and above you are considered a habitual offender and the fines could be substantial. People don’t realize you can have up to $20,000.00 in fines and fees just for first offense DUI after you finish paying for everything else, plus you have a permanent criminal record and loss of your driver’s license.

By Freddy Woods