Boating Under
the Influence (BUI)

Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Defense Lawyers in Charleston

If you face boating under the influence (BUI) charges in Charleston, South Carolina, you need an experienced defense attorney. The criminal defense lawyers at Murphy Crantford Meehan understand the serious nature of these charges and stand ready to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Boating Under the Influence Penalties

In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a watercraft while under the influence. The legal alcohol limit for boaters is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, the same as for driving a car. However, you can face BUI charges even if your BAC is lower than 0.08% if your ability to operate the watercraft is materially and appreciably impaired.

The penalties for a first conviction of boating under the influence in South Carolina can include:

Repeat offenses and cases involving serious injury or death carry even harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences and permanent loss of boating privileges. A second BUI conviction within ten years can result in fines up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. A third or subsequent conviction is a felony offense, punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 3-5 years in prison.

In addition to criminal penalties, a BUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences on your life. You may face higher insurance rates, difficulty obtaining or maintaining employment, and damage to your personal reputation. If your job requires a clean criminal record or the ability to operate watercraft, a BUI could jeopardize your livelihood.

Our Approach to BUI Cases

At Murphy Crantford Meehan, we understand that a BUI charge can be a stressful and frightening experience. We are here to guide you through the legal process and work tirelessly to defend your rights and freedoms. Our attorneys will:

We know that every case is unique and requires a tailored approach. Our lawyers will take the time to listen to your side of the story, answer your questions, and develop a personalized strategy to achieve your goals. Whether this is your first offense or you have prior BUI or DUI convictions, we are committed to providing aggressive, effective representation.

When you work with Murphy Crantford Meehan, you will have a dedicated team in your corner. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest, looking for any evidence that may support your defense. This may include examining whether the officer had probable cause to stop your boat, if they administered field sobriety tests properly, and if breath or blood tests were accurate and reliable.

We can often identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that we can use to your advantage. For example, if the arresting officer failed to follow proper procedures or violated your constitutional rights, we may be able to have evidence suppressed or the charges dismissed entirely. Even if the evidence against you is strong, we can often negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or alternative sentencing that avoids jail time.

If your case does go to trial, you can trust that our skilled litigators will mount a vigorous defense on your behalf. We will challenge the prosecution’s evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and present a compelling case for your innocence or mitigating circumstances. Our goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome, whether that means an acquittal, dismissal, or minimizing the consequences of a conviction.

Why Choose Murphy Crantford Meehan

Defending BUI charges requires in-depth knowledge of South Carolina’s boating laws and criminal justice system. The attorneys at Murphy Crantford Meehan have extensive experience handling these complex cases in the Charleston area. We are a local law firm deeply rooted in the community and dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused.

Our founding partners, William C. Crantford and Jerry A. Meehan, Jr., are skilled trial lawyers and prestigious Trial Lawyers College graduates. They have achieved successful outcomes for clients in a wide range of criminal defense matters, including BUI and DUI cases. When you work with our firm, you can expect:

Choosing the right defense lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. At Murphy Crantford Meehan, we have the skills, experience, and dedication to provide the highest quality representation. We will take the time to understand your unique situation and develop a customized strategy tailored to your needs and goals.

Our attorneys have deep roots in the Charleston community and a proven record of success in criminal defense cases. We know the local courts, judges, and prosecutors, and we use our knowledge and experience to your advantage. Whether you face your first BUI charge or have prior convictions, we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the best possible result.


Contact a Charleston BUI Defense Lawyer Today

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Don’t let a boating under the influence charge jeopardize your future. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Murphy Crantford Meehan for skilled, aggressive representation. We will review your case, explain your options, and develop a tailored defense strategy to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome.

Our Charleston, SC, law firm serves clients throughout the Lowcountry, including in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville, and the surrounding areas. We are ready to put our experience and dedication to work for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can start fighting for you.

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