indian land dui

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SC NC DUI/DUAC Lawyer – Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC) vs. DUI

South Carolina, for whatever reason, has two statutes that the state can use to charge you for essentially the same offense: driving drunk.  The first and more traditional is DUI, driving under the influence.  The second is somewhat newfangled and is symptomatic of the trend of trying to convict as [...]

June 26th, 2012|DUI & DWI|

SC DUI Lawyers – What is a Felony DUI?

For anyone who has been charged with driving under the influence, we know that charge alone is seriou. But, a felony DUI charge is even more so.  Not only has the person charged allegedly caused serious harm or the death of another, but they also face much steeper penalties, including possible mandatory prison time. What is Felony DUI? A felony DUI charge in South Carolina requires that the person charged have: Operated a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both, and Did something else against the law, whether traffic law or duties imposed by the court, for example, failed to maintain lane or acted negligently, and Proximately causes great bodily injury or death to a person other than himself, including passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists The first element sounds like DUI, but unlike DUI, the statute does not mention that the drugs or alcohol must impair the ability of the driver to drive safely. The second element allows individuals who are under the influence, but do nothing wrong, to escape a serious felony DUI charge.  For example, a driver who was under the influence, who otherwise was following the law, and killed a driver who was turned left in front of him, probably would be able to escape a Felony DUI charge. Why?  They breached no legal duty.  The other driver was entirely at fault. The third element contains two problems: Proximate causation and “great bodily injury.”  What in the world do either of those phrases mean? Proximate causation basically means legal causation, not factual causation, but causation that will be recognized by law for a certain purpose.  Here, you can imagine that if one driver breached a legal duty like crossing the white line on a two lane road, and that action spooked a driver in the oncoming lane, and that driver hit a tree and died, the driver crossing the white line could have actually caused the death, but even if that person was under the influence, we don’t want to charge them with felony DUI.  However, if someone dies of complications within 3 years of a “great bodily injury” as defined below, the death may meet proximate causation. Great bodily injury for 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.”  SC Code § 56-5-2945. Penalties The penalties for conviction of a felony DUI depend on whether there was a great bodily injury or a death. For causing great bodily injury: 30 days to 15 years mandatory imprisonment, in state or federal prison, not local jail, $5,000 to $10,100 mandatory fine, driver’s license is suspended for the term of imprisonment plus three years. For causing death: 1 year to 25 years mandatory imprisonment, in state or federal prison, not local jail, $10,100 to $25,100 mandatory fine, and driver’s license is suspended for the term of imprisonment plus five years. As you can see judges have very little latitude in felony DUI for mercy. Another small caveat: the local prosecutor can choose to charge someone who can otherwise be charged with felony DUI with involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide. Serious Attorneys for a Serious Charge If you have been charged with felony DUI, contact the attorneys at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower.  Browse our website, and compare our credentials with those of attorneys at any other firm.  Then, call us at 877-374-5999 or contact us at this link for a private consultation. […]

June 21st, 2012|DUI & DWI|

SC DUI Lawyer – DUI Penalties in South Carolina

As DUI law has developed in South Carolina and as public opinion has increasingly turned against individuals who find themselves with DUI charges, the penalties for DUI convictions and consequently DUI pleas have gotten stricter.  The state legislature has taken increasing amounts of discretion away [...]

June 18th, 2012|DUI & DWI|

SC DUI Attorney – What Juries Really “See” When They “Hear” DUI

This recent article shows how dangerous truly impaired drivers can be. Here, the DUI suspect lost control of his vehicle, striking a marked police car first and then a building. High speed in conjunction with drunk driving can be fatal and cause serious damage to innocent drivers and pedestrians. Sa [...]

April 29th, 2012|DUI & DWI|

SC DUI Attorney – Ignition Interlock Coming – For All of Us

The SC DUI Attorneys at Reeves, Aiken and Hightower LLP strongly support safe and responsible driving, of course. However, as lawyers and citizens, we are concerned about the continuing and ongoing erosion of our freedoms. The bad acts of a few should not force punishment for the rest of us. Ignitio [...]

April 21st, 2012|DUI & DWI|