Mt. Pleasant Felony DUI Attorney
What is Felony DUI in South Carolina?
A felony DUI charge occurs when a person drives a motor vehicle while impaired under the influence of alcohol and causes great bodily injury or death.
More specifically, to prove a felony DUI, the prosecutor must show the following:
- the defendant was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination;
- the defendant was driving a motor vehicle;
- while driving the motor vehicle, the defendant committed an unlawful act or neglected a duty imposed by law in the driving of the motor vehicle;
- the above act or neglect caused great bodily injury or death to another person.
In summary, a person can be arrested for felony DUI when an officer determines there is probable cause that the person was driving a motor vehicle, was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violated a traffic law, and their driving and impairment was the proximate cause of the serious bodily injury or death of another. Note that “proximate cause” means a driver’s action is the nearest, direct cause of the injury or death (if the driver’s act had not taken place, the injury would not have occurred). “Great bodily injury” is defined by South Carolina felony DUI law as bodily injury which is life threatening, causes permanent disfigurement, or results in the loss or impairment of the function of any bodily function or organ.
A felony DUI is a serious legal matter and should be handled by a lawyer who concentrates in the field; contact Joe Good, Attorney at Law online or at (843) 773-4443 for a free consultation to discuss your defense.
South Carolina Felony DUI Penalties & Sentencing
An individual convicted of causing great bodily injury or death while driving under the influence could face a number of fines or jail time, depending on the specific circumstances of the incident. In a case of great bodily injury, the defendant could face a mandatory fine of $5,100-$10,100 and imprisonment for 30 days to 15 years, as well as ignition interlock device (IID) use for 3 years. If death occurs, the defendant will face a mandatory fine of $10,100 to $25,100 and 1-25 years in jail, as well as IID use for 5 years.
In the case where the acts of a driver prosecuted for felony DUI cause serious bodily injury or death to more than one person, the law provides that a court must sentence the driver on each count of felony DUI for each person who is injured or dies. When imposing sentences on multiple counts of conviction, a court can order that the sentence run either concurrently or consecutively, where a concurrent sentence means that all sentences are served at the same time and a consecutive sentence means that the sentence on each count must run in sequence. For example, if a driver were sentenced to two 10-year sentences to be served consecutively, they must serve the first 10-year sentence, and after completion the second 10-year sentence would commence. If the sentences were ordered to be served concurrently, both of the 10-year sentences would be considered to be served at the same time.
Contact Joe Good, Attorney at Law for Legal Support
If you are facing charges for felony DUI in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, do not hesitate to consult an experienced trial attorney for legal representation. DUIs at the felony level warrant much severer penalties, as they involve the injury or death of another person. If you believe you have been unfairly accused, such as for multiple counts of felony DUI, you can work with Joe Good, Attorney at Law to build a strong defense against your specific charges. Attorney Joe Good is a dedicated DUI lawyer who has the professional knowledge and trial experience you need to put up a tough fight in court.