The Difference between Felony DUI ” Great Bodily Injury” and ” Causing Death”

istock-arrest with open containerSo what is the penalty for a Felony DUI in South Carolina when someone is killed during an intoxicated crash?

There is actually a difference in causing great bodily injury to someone vs. reckless homicide for a Felony DUI.

Accordingly, the South Carolina statute states that ” for causing great bodily injury, the following defendant will:

(1) Spend anywhere from 30 days to 15 years in jail under the mandatory imprisonment requirement. This jail time would be spent in either a state or federal prison, not a local prison. This means that your loved ones maybe sent anywhere in the state, and to visit them you may have to drive multiple hours as opposed to a few minutes.

(2) There will be a mandatory fine the defendant is required to pay anywhere from $5000-$10,000 dollars

(3) And lastly, the defendant’s driver’s license will be suspended during the term of imprisonment (obviously) and then three additional years after his release.

The three aforementioned requirements are for someone who has again caused “great bodily injury;” however things change for causing death during a Felony DUI.

Accordingly, in the case at hand, the defendant will be forced to abide by the following requirements:

(1) He will spend anywhere from 1 year to 25 years in mandatory imprisonment in a state or federal jail, as discussed above. No local” jail” will be permitted here.

(2) His fine is exponentially higher, ranging anywhere from $10,000-$25,000 dollars.

(3) And lastly, his driver’s license will be suspended five years after his release from prison, unlike the three years for great bodily injury.

If you have been charged with a DUI in the South Carolina, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on your case.

Star From Myrtle Manor Facing DUI and Open Container Charges

istock-HGN testEven the famous cannot escape the law. This holds true for one of the stars of the now famous “Myrtle Manor.”

This 21-year-olds had to learn the hard way that even fame can’t protect you from violating the law when they were both charged with DUIs over the weekend.

According to the local paper, this original reason the “starts” were pulled over was for a routine traffic stop. The driver was speeding at 62 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone. The officer saw the speeding car and pulled the duo over.

When he reached the driver’s window, the smell of alcohol was effervescing from the vehicle. At that point, the officer asked the girl to step out of the vehicle, and saw an open container sticking out from under her driver seat.

The girl’s BAC level was at a .15, which is right at the boarder of what is considered a “extremely high BAC level.”  In South Carolina, an ignition interlock is only necessary if the defendant blows over a .16. In South Carolina, when you teeter on that line, the court may or may not require the ignition interlock. If she were in North Carolina, that BAC level would require her to have an ignition interlock installed in her vehicle.

In her case, she was not required to have an ignition interlock installed in her vehicle.

Anytime you are arrested for a DUI, the prudent decision is to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The penalties associated with this charge can range anywhere from a license suspension, to monetary fines, ignition interlocks, or even jail time.

If you have been charged with a DUI in North or South Carolina, contact the experienced DUI attorneys at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP for assistance with your case toll free at 877-374-5999 or locally at 843-901-0380.

How Does a DUI Affect My License and Revocation?

DUI AttorneyAccording to both South Carolina law and the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), the number of offenses that gets placed on your driving record is reflected by the number of DUIs that you have received within a 10-year period.

Thereafter, if a person is driving on a suspended license, and is caught while doing so, their suspension shall be extended for an additional year. The same holds true if  a person has received their 3rd DUI. If you receive 4 DUIs in South Carolina, then you’re driving privileges are then terminated.

Then, after 7 years, the driver may petition the appropriate court after certain requirements have been met.

Specifically, the driver must of not had ANY driving under the influence charges or driving while on a suspended license violations within the past seven years. Secondly, the driver must have completed the required Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs.

It is not required to have your SR-22 insurance of the 3 year period in which the original suspension has already ended. There will be no reinstatement fee if the SR-22 shows that there was no lapse during the coverage.

lastly, you must pay for the original ticket/fine, and then show proof via receipt to the SCDMV.

Some of this can get a little tricky. An experienced DUI attorney can handle all of the necessaries for you. Contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on your options.

Current Investigation Over Fatal DUI Crash in Dorchhester County

joe-multiple people injuredThe Highway Patrol of South Carolina is currently investigation an accident that occurred overnight in Dorchester County. Sadly, this accident turned to be a fatal one.

Saturday night, around 11:30 p.m., two friends had been out drinking and one of them decided to call it a night. The 21-year-old defendant male was driving his Jeep home under dark and damp conditions with a female passenger, also age 21.

There were two cars travelling northbound on I-17, fairly close to the Highway 61 intersection. One of those cars had the 21-year-old intoxicated driver behind the wheel.The drunk driver was attempting to pass the car that was travelling parallel to him, when the Jeep and the other vehicle made contact with one another.

The impact must of been quite severe, because the Jeep was thrown off the road, flipped over twice, and female passenger was ejected out of the vehicle.The female was pronounced dead by the time the EMTs arrived. Neither of the people in the Jeep were wearing their seatbelt at the time of the incident.

The male has been charged with a Felony DUI, due to the severity of the condition his passenger was found in.

What is a Felony DUI in South Carolina?

In the state of South Carolina, a felony charge of a DUI has three requisites that must be met in order for the defendant to be properly charged as such.

The first element is that the person must of operated a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both.

The second element requires that the person was doing something either illegal or unlawful. This could mean anything from a violation of a traffic law or failure to uphold your responsibility to the court, such as failure to appear or pay a fine. The most common illegal act is found when the person is intoxicated, and the officer is given reasonable suspicion through the defendant failing to maintain his vehicle in his lane, or acting negligent or reckless with his driving behavior.

Lastly, the serious injury or death must be of been the proximate cause of the great bodily injury or death to any person other than himself, including passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a Felony DUI, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on your option.

First DUIs Charges and Arrests in South Carolina

Your First DUI Offense:istock-keys, liqor, and gavel

In South Carolina, a person will be charged with a DUI if they are found to have a BAC level  ( blood alcohol level) of .08 or higher. The penalty is anywhere from 30 days jail time, to 48 hours of community service by a number of designated programs. Moreover, they will be forced to pay a fine of at least $400.

However, if it is your first DUI offense, and your BAC level of anywhere from .1 to .15, their penalty could still be 30 days in jail, yet the community service may be elevated to 72 hours, and the fine will be increased by $100, to $500.

Lastly, if it is your first DUI offense, and your BAC level is .16 or higher, your jail sentence could be anywhere from 30 to 60 days, plus additional community service. The fine for this penalty is up to $1000.

If you have just be charged with your first, second, third, and so forth, then contact the DUI Defense attorneys at Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more
information on your case and options and possible outcomes