Drunk Driving Accidents Can Be Devastating
A felony DUI in South Carolina, as related to the serious harm or death of another is the most devastating consequence of a drunk driving accident, and can cause lasting damage for all parties and families involved..
South Carolina DUI Felony Law
- A person will be charged with a felony for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, if while operating the vehicle under the influence, the person causes “great bodily injury” or death to a person other than himself including a passenger, pedestrian, another driver.
- Great bodily injury is defined by the state of South Carolina as bodily injury, which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious or permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
- Additionally, if the injured person dies from related complications (such as a coma) within three years of the DUI-related injury, the driver may be implicated in the death.
- Upon conviction of a felony DUI by jury, the accused faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence and fine.
Penalties for Great Bodily Injury
A felony DUI conviction for causing great bodily injury includes a mandatory minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 15 years imprisonment, plus a mandatory fine of at least $5,000, not to exceed $10,100. Also, the DMV must suspend the convicted person’s driver’s license for the term of imprisonment plus three years.
Penalties for Causing Death While Driving Under the Influence
A DUI conviction that includes a felony conviction for causing the death of another includes a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 1 year in prison with a maximum 25 years imprisonment, and a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $10,100 nor more than $25,100. Additionally, the convicted person’s driver’s license is suspended for the term of imprisonment plus five years.
Other Felony Implications
- A part of the mandatory sentences required to be imposed under the felony DUI law must not be suspended, and probation must not be granted for any portion.
- Felony sentences must be served in federal or state prison, not local jail.
- Conviction under the statute of a DUI felony does not repeal involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide statutes, if so charged.
(S.C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-2945)
Contact a Felony DUI Lawyer
Bubba Cromer, is dedicated to protecting the rights of his clients, providing aggressive representation grounded in his 26 years of experience building, writing and interpreting the laws of South Carolina. In fact, Bubba Cromer served on the House Judiciary Committee, whose job it was to address many of the drug laws on the books today. He has also worked in the Richland County Solicitor’s Office. If you or a loved one is facing felony DUI, Contact him today!