Can a DUI charge be made 3 months later?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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