Rhode IslandDUI/DWILaws, Fines & Penalties, South Carolina DUI Laws, Fines & Penalties, violation of South Carolinas zero tolerance law. Can You Get a DUI for Prescription Drugs? Felony DUI in SC doesnt exactly mean a DUI that is a felony. Felony DUI refers to a specific offense that is referred to as felony DUI, but the elements that must be proven at trial are different from the elements of DUI or DUAC. 10) Felony DUI. lifetime, depending on how many previous offenses the convicted person Felony DUI causing death Five years (after release from prison) As you can probably tell, if you commit felony DUI, you are going to lose your license while incarcerated. Or, in single vehicle accident cases, you can face prison time if your passenger is seriously hurt or dies. Under this law, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may even be below the 0.08% presumptive level. Website Design by JustLegal Marketing, DUI Defense in Charleston, South Carolina, Frequently Asked Questions About DUI in South Carolina. Consider speaking with a DUI attorney. South Carolina's DUI laws prohibit operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of drugs (including prescription drugs) or alcohol. Felony 30 days - 10 years jail time and$5,000 to $10,000 fine Death Felony 1-25 years jail time and$10,000 to $25,000 fine Can Cause You to Lose Your Driving Privileges Keep in mind that leaving the scene of an accident can also result in the immediate suspension of your driving privileges. Penalties for causing death include one to 25 years of incarceration and a fine of between $10,100 and $25,100, as well as additional costs for assessments and surcharges. Michael R. Jeffcoat is a criminal defense attorney in South Carolina with over 2 decades of experience, our aggressive criminal defense legal team can help you with misdemeanor and felony offenses. SCs DUI laws are found in Article 6, Chapter 5 of the SC Code. And, given the political climate, no such law is envisioned as no politician wants to sponsor a bill that will be depicted as helping drunk drivers. So what makes one arrest a misdemeanor and another a felony? Class D Felony: Under class D South Carolina felonies, the felon will be fined about $100,000 or 15 years of imprisonment or both. This means that housing and employment opportunities could be denied, as could educational opportunities and much more. If you are convicted of causing great bodily injury or death while driving under the influence (felony DUI), you face: A mandatory fine of $5,100 to $10,100 ($21,119.50 with assessments and surcharges) and imprisonment from 30 days to 15 years when great bodily injury occurs. Felony DUI with Death A conviction for felony DUI resulting in death carries a fine of up to twenty-five thousand one hundred dollars, a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison, and up to 25 years in prison. Whether you have been arrested or you are under investigation by law enforcement Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. The cap for commercial drivers is 0.04 %. Fighting Felony DUI in Columbia, SC. Our site doesnt create an attorney-client relationship and it isnt intended for detailed legal advice. The Police Caught Me With Marijuana in Columbia, South Carolina. The BAC or the Blood Alcohol Content cap in South Carolina is 0.08 % for drivers above the age of 21, and 0.02 % for those under the age of 21. Giving a breath sample has its advantages because we may be able to show errors in the testing process or problems with the machine. And it costs Americans more than $44 billion annually. Nevertheless, if alcohol and/or drugs play any role, this first element is satisfied for a felony DUI. Further, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. COPYRIGHT 2022 Kent Collins Law Firm| SITE BY JANGO STUDIOS, the elements of an ordinary DUI or DUAC, Direct Evidence vs. Circumstantial Evidence, Failure to Appear and Bench Warrants in SC, Why ordinary DUIs are not classified as felonies, and. ** By Kent Collins Law Firm. The law defines great bodily injury as an injury that causes one of the following: That charge can carry with it mandatory prison time of at least 30 days with the possibility of up to 15 years. Therefore, a felony DUI differs from a DUI in both the proof of the offense and the penalties for a conviction. The state of South Carolina (under the What is the South Carolina Ignition Interlock Device Program? Mr. Jeffcoat strives to keep all his clients informed at all stages of their case. Three things must be proven for a felony conviction of DUI resulting in death: 1) The defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. by Futeral & Nelson, LLC | DUI Attorney, DUI Defense in Charleston, South Carolina. Talk to a DUI Defense attorney In most situations, a DUI conviction will be a misdemeanor. SC Code 56-5-2945 contains the elements of the offense of felony DUI in SC. Typically, felony hit and run occurs when a driver leaves the scene of an accident in which a driver or pedestrian has been injured. What Are The Consequences Of Driving Under The Influence In South Carolina? Read More: South Carolina DUI Laws, Fines & Penalties. Apr 18, 2013 | DUI & DWI, Felony DUI, Uncategorized. The defense will need to examine not only the defendants medical records but also any medical records of the alleged victims to determine whether the accident was, in fact, the cause of death or whether the victims injuries were severe enough to warrant a felony DUI charge. According to South Carolina law, an intoxicated driver who causes serious bodily harm or the death of another person has committed a crime. Our law defines great bodily injury as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. So it may not take much for a DUI crash to result in a felony DUI charge. If a driver is criminally drunk and has a passenger under the age of 16, he or she can face child endangerment charges in addition to the DUI. Is it Possible for Me to Apply for a DUI Expungement in South Carolina? In addition to a criminal record, motorists charged with and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) face up to a month in jail and nearly $1,000 in fines. How Do Police Officers Perform A Sobriety Test In South Carolina? The state will also charge an individual with felony DUI if the offense is the individuals third or subsequent DUI within 10 years. In contrast to DUI, if a person is guilty of causing substantial bodily harm or death to a victim, the penalty for felony DUI is increased. Call (843) 232-0944 today. It is harder to fight a blood draw, but sometimes we can find a problem such as with the chain of custody. Is A Dui A Felony In South Carolina If convicted of causing great bodily injury or death while driving under the influence (felony DUI), you will be fined $5,100 to $10,100, or face a sentence of up to ten years in prison, with assessments and surcharges added. Drove a motor vehicle while under the influence, Caused an accident through their negligence (does any act forbidden by law or neglects any duty imposed by law in the driving of the motor vehicle), and. But if a driver has three or more prior DUI convictions within the past ten years, the current offense (third or subsequent) will be a felony. The former "American Idol" contestant charged with DUI in a deadly crash in South Carolina will have another court hearing this morning. The penalties for conviction of a felony DUI depend on whether there was a great bodily injury or a death. An organ or a body part is lost or impaired. The person who is convicted of this crime must also surrender their license for five years beyond their period of incarceration. If you have been charged with a felony DUI in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, or Columbia areas, contact the South Carolina felony DUI defense attorneys at Coastal Law, LLC, today at (843) 488-5000 to find out how we can help. Duncan Smith is a first time offender with a clean record. Felony DUI with great bodily injury carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days up to 15 years in prison, and a mandatory fine of $5100 up to $10,100. 2) The defendant acted negligently because of the alcohol or drugs (e.g. What Happens if I Get a DUI on Federal Property in South Carolina? The Department of Motor Vehicles must suspend the drivers license of a person who is convicted or who receives sentence upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere pursuant to this section for a period to include a period of incarceration plus three years for a conviction of Section 56-5-2945 when great bodily injury occurs and five years when a death occurs. They try hard to find other witnesses who can testify to impaired driving. are serious repercussions that can create major negative impacts on a The Jeffcoat Firm Announces that Attorney J. Taylor Bell has Joined the Firm. for an alleged DUI offense, the first thing you should do is immediately 28.1. DUI Conviction for Refusal / BAC less than 0.10. What Are the Common DUI Tests in Columbia, SC? Check out our featured videos for some legal advice from our attorneys! person's life. (C) One hundred dollars of each fine imposed pursuant to this section must be placed by the Comptroller General into a special restricted account to be used by the Department of Public Safety for the Highway Patrol. For those individuals who want to read the actual statute for themselves, it is reproduced below, in relevant part: SECTION 56-5-2945. Generally, a DUI-related homicide conviction only requires proof that the driver was: driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and; caused the death of another person. If you seriously injure or kill someone, that suspension will last for years after you are released from incarceration. If the individual commits a third offense within 10 years of the first offense, the vehicle involved in the incident will be confiscated. A person is not eligible for a diversion program like DUI Treatment Court if they plead guilty to a violent crime. representation through each step of the criminal justice process. Great bodily injuryfor the purpose of felony DUI is an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. In serious automobile accidents, it is not unusual for someone to lose a body part or organ. A habitual traffic offender is an individual who has accumulated three qualifying driving-related offenses within a three-year period. According to the law, the offense carries a penalty of up to half the time spent in prison on a DUI charge, as well as a fine of up to half the actual fine for a DUI charge. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law. The penalties for a DUAC are roughly the same as for a DUI. Most of the same defenses that are available in misdemeanor DUI cases are also available in a felony DUI case. more time law enforcement and prosecutors have to build a strong case If the individuals BAC was between 0.10 and 0.159 percent, the period of incarceration increases to between two and six years. (B) As used in this section, great bodily injury means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. A Greenwood, South Carolina, man has been sentenced to 13 years behind bars for a fatal collision that occurred back in 2014 when he was intoxicated. The individual must have a history of alcohol or drug dependency, be at least 18 years of age and have committed a second or subsequent DUI or a felony DUI. Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in South Carolina. In South Carolina, a felony DUI is a serious crime. A person will typically be charged with a felony DUI when their decision to drive under the influence leads to property damage or great bodily injury or death to a person other than the driver. If your BAC is over the legal amount, you will receive points on your record, and your license will be terminated or withheld if you are convicted of a felony DUI in South Carolina. For suspension purposes of this section, convictions arising out of a single incident shall run concurrently. In early September of this year, a 23-year-old woman was driving eastbound on Interstate 26 near Lexington, South Carolina. the client is someone accused of DUI for the Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Motor Vehicle Accidents. penalties than those who receive misdemeanor DUI charges. Clients may be responsible for costs in addition to attorneys fees. Penalties for Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury Here are some examples: These are just a few examples of how drinking and driving can turn someones life upside down in a matter of seconds. State. He could have faced a sentence as long as 25 years for a fatal DUI. While there are ways to fight felony DUI charges, avoiding unnecessary consequences requires a strategic defense. What Are South Carolinas Habitual Offender Laws? A Felony DUI is common in South Carolina, The Morris Law Firm can help if a drunk driver caused your accident. In November 2013, a man was sentenced to 10 years, suspended on service of 3 years in jail and 5 years probation, after he killed a man on a moped. To be charged with felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury, the persons injuries must create a substantial risk of death or cause serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.. For example, a driver while under the influence who kills a driver who suddenly turns in front of him will probably not be charged with a felony DUI charge. A second defense option is that although you were intoxicated, this did not cause the accident. For example, if you were on prescription medications that impaired your ability to drive, but you were unaware of this impairment, then it may not be appropriate to face criminal charges. Up to 10 years in prison. Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in South Carolina. These charges are legally vague and can apply to many typical driving situations. Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area, Copyright 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury Felony DUI with great bodily injury carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days up to 15 years in prison, and a mandatory fine of $5100 up to $10,100. For any Charleston DUI lawyer, defending a felony DUI is much more challenging, and the stakes are higher than defending a municipal or magistrate level DUI such as a DUI 1st. The lawyer can determine whether any of the prior convictions will count to enhance the defendants sentence. Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B./JD, MBA. To convict a person of felony DUI, the prosecution must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant: Its not enough if the state proves the defendant was driving while intoxicated, or even that the defendant caused an accident while intoxicated. has had. It may be that the accident was caused by another driver, and this could allow for the felony DUI charges to be dropped or reduced. The longer you wait, the She has not been formally convicted, though she will likely face penalties on a civil and criminal level. The man was found guilty of two felony DUI charges one resulting in death and another causing great bodily injury. Any result we achieve on a clients behalf doesnt necessarily mean similar results for other clients. Nov 1, 2017 | Criminal Defense, DUI | 0 comments. The act or neglect caused great bodily injury or death to another person. In some regards, defending a felony DUI is similar to defending a municipal or magistrate level DUI. A traffic felony may negatively impact a . We have seen them as low as $50,000. Below, we will look at the types of DUIs in SC that are considered felony offenses and the elements of the two types of felony DUI. There are additional costs for assessments and surcharges beyond the fine. Under the law, for example, taking your eyes off the road for an instant to change radio stations is technically reckless driving.. 2020 Robert J. Reeves P.C. Consequently, we will outline what the law provides and then show you the actual statute for your own review. Felony DUI in South Carolina is when a person who is impaired by alcohol or drugs causes death or serious injury to another motorist or a passenger in their own vehicle. One of the essential factors the law addresses when enacting criminal penalties is the severity of the offense. A felony DUI is most serious, and you should retain experienced DUI defense counsel as quickly as possible after being charged. With a BAC between 0.10 and 0.159 percent, the period of incarceration increases to between 90 days and four years, and the fine increases to between $5,000 and $7,500. under unsafe conditions. Reckless Homicide: $1,000 to $5,000 in fines. Drunk Driving. For more information, please read our article on bond hearings in South Carolina. In cases where there is great bodily injury, the driver faces between 30 days to 15 years in jail and a fine of $5,100 to $10,100. Youve probably heard people say they had a DUI, which usually applies to a misdemeanor record of driving while intoxicated in an incident that did not result in serious bodily harm or death. The law considers "great bodily injury" to include injuries that involve: a high risk of death It all depends on the facts of the case, the person, and who the bond judge is. But, if a case involves certain aggravating factors, a DUI can be charged as a felony. Traffic offenses occur when motorists violate ordinances or state laws relating to the movement and control of traffic. In every felony DUI case, we also have to deal with the victim or the victims family who often want justice. If guilt is established (often through the defendant's own plea or after a jury trial ), the penalty will depend on state law . A felony is a crime that, if an individual is convicted, is punishable by a prison sentence of over one year. The other driver was at fault. Three things must be proven for a felony conviction of DUI resulting in death: 1) The defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Or, fill out our online form to set up a free, no-strings-attached consultation. Offense of felony driving under the influence; penalties; great bodily injury defined. In felony DUI cases, law enforcement investigators and prosecutors will put much more effort into obtaining evidence than they would in an ordinary DUI case. An individual is not eligible to complete the program if they have pending charges that would prevent completion of the program. Causing great bodily injury to another person while driving under the influence carries $5,100 to $10,000 and 30 days to 15 years in prison. A fine of between $5,100 and $10,100 may also be assessed. As you can see, judges have little sentencing discretion in felony DUI cases. The If you wish to know more about felony DUI in South Carolina, contact our expert attorneys today. penalties they can lead to and how defendants can take action to better In brief, there are four statutory crimes: Driving under the influence causing impairment S. Car. A South Carolina DUI auto accident resulted in a tragic loss of life and felony charges for one driver. Caleb Andrew Kennedy, 17, from Roebuck, is charged. Under South Carolina law, "great bodily injury" is defined as an injury "which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the . first time or someone accused for a In all states except New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, a first-time conviction for driving under the influence is a misdemeanor 1 and can result in jail time, significant fines, and the loss of driving privileges. As each legal issue is unique, please consult with our firm prior to relying on any information found on this site. Involuntary manslaughter in Idaho is a felony offense and applies negligent conduct in general as well as any recklessness, negligence, or carelessness while operating a deadly weapon that produces death. After release from prison, ignition interlock device (IID) requirements (three years if great bodily injury and five years if death), and. When the following proof exists, a DUI becomes a felony DUI in South Carolina: Causing serious bodily injury Causing death to another person The driver committed one or more traffic violations, and The driver's actions were the direct cause of another's permanent bodily harm or death No bond was set after police officers told the judge that. Nelson was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and a pedestrian crossing violation. In many cases, the defense will need to retain additional experts to provide consultation and testimony regarding the breath test, blood samples, medical records, field sobriety tests, or any other issue that could be disputed at trial. The person was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination. Contact a South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you are the defendant in a case where there is proof that you were intoxicated at the time of an accident and that your negligence caused the accident, you may be confused by the process ahead of you and how to defend yourself and build a case. The man assisted the other driver financially while he recovered. To get the full experience of this website, What Are the Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in South Carolina? The difference between the two is whether another person has suffered injury or death. After being incarcerated, the persons license is revoked, but he or she may be eligible for an ignition interlock limited license after being released from jail. The elements of a felony DUI that the prosecution must prove to get a conviction are different from the elements of an ordinary DUI or DUAC. Two others were injured and transported to the hospital from Johnsons vehicle. It claims roughly 10,000 lives per year. Read More: How to Get a DUI Removed From Your Driving Record. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Kent Collins Law Firm607 South Lake DriveLexington, SC 29072. If convicted, this offense has a maximum sentence of ten years in state prison along with up to $10,000 of fines.