Can a DUI charge be made 3 months later?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a DUI charge be made 3 months later?

I was involved in a motorcycle accident when a women pulled out of her driveway in front of me. I was airlifted to the hospital and nearly died. The SC state trooper found me at fault based on him suspecting me of being under the influence of alcohol. I had not consumed any alcohol and the only reason he assumed I was under the influence was because I had just left a bar where I met up with other people. The hospital test showed, no alcohol in my system. The trooper sent the test to SLED to have them test. Now 3 months later and 4 days before my court date, the officer says that he is charging me with DUI due to the THC in my system. How can he change the basis of the charge to something like THC that stays in the system up to 90 days? Also, I was taken to a hospital in NC while the accident and officer was in SC. Is there anyway I can fight his through a jury trial?

Asked on August 1, 2018 under General Practice, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, a DUI charge can be made or added 3 months later; 3 months is still within the statute of limitations, or time to bring charges, for DUI. There is no requirement that the charge be made right away.
2) He can charge you because THC was found in your system--the charge is not the final determination that you were guilty or not, and you have the chance to prove you were not under the influence. A test result of THC in your system is enough to require you to go to trial, however, where the state can try to show you were under the influence and you can try to show you were not.
3) You can bring in some medical expert on THC and tests showing it, who can attempt to convince the court that the levels shown in the test were residual levels, from prior use, and do not show sue when you were driving (or something similar/to that effect).
4) The hospital being in another state has no legal effect.
5) You should retain an attorney with DUI experince to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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