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Rock Hill Man Charged with DUI and Assault in Myrtle Beach – SC Criminal Defense Attorney

Last week, a Rock Hill man was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and third-degree assault and battery.  The Rock Hill man was arrested by Myrtle Beach police after he punched a man after a fight.  The arrest occurred at North Eighth Avenue and Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The fight occured at Sixth Avenue North and Chester Street.  The Rock Hill man was only detained after a police officer stopped him on suspicion of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

The misdemeanor of third degree assault and battery in South Carolina carries a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.  The crime itself requires that “The accused unlawfully injured another person, or offers or attempts to injure another person with the present ability to do so.”  §16-3-600(E)(1).  The accused need not have actually hit anyone, i.e. no battery must have occured.

South Carolina Criminal Defense and DUI Attorneys

If you have been charged with a crime anywhere in South Carolina, we’re here to help.  Call the experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower at 877-374-5999 (or use this form) for a free consultation with an attorney.  We’ll help you evaluate your options and develop your best defense to get you the best results possible.

ROCK HILL DUI- CLOVER MAN FACES 25 YEARS ON FELONY DUI CHARGE

On Tuesday, July 24, a 19 year old man from York, James Kyle Rose, has been charged with one count of felony DUI resulting in a death, two counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury and driving under suspension. These charges come just three weeks after Rose was arrested for DUI on July 8.

According to Police, Rose swerved off the right side of the road, hit a tree and flipped over. All four passengers in the car were ejected, and 18-year-old Clover girl, Clarissa Disbrow, was killed. Paramedics took Rose and another passenger to Piedmont Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Another frightening reminder that you don’t have to hit someone else to be charged with Felony DUI. If you are driving under the Influence and one of your passengers are hurt or killed, you could be facing charges such as these. Felony DUI resulting in Death carries up to 25 years in prison. If you find yourself or someone you know charged with Felony DUI, you need to seek the advice of serious professionals trained to represent you.

The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower

If you or someone you know has been charged with any crime, call the experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower at 877-374-5999, for a free consultation with an attorney.  We’ll help you evaluate your options and develop your best defense to get you the best results possible.

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 many people as possible, with as little process as possible, of driving drunk: DUAC, driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration.

DUI requires as an element that the driver actually have been impaired, that question goes to the jury.  DUI does require some evidence that the defendant have been under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, but there needn’t be a blood alcohol concentration test of any kind.  Like impairment, the question of whether the impairment was caused by drugs or alcohol goes to the jury.

DUAC merely requires that the blood alcohol concentration of the defendant have been 0.08% or above and that he or she have been operating a motor vehicle.  As such, DUAC requires that there have been some sort of BAC test like a breathalyzer test.

Serious DUI/DUAC Attorneys

If you have been charged with any drunk driving offense, contact the attorneys at Reeves, Aiken & HightowerBrowse 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.

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 & HightowerBrowse 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.

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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 from judges to sentence based on the merits in each case and the character and individual traits of each defendant.

Today, there is mandatory minimum sentencing for every DUI based on past DUIs and the blood alcohol content at the time of arrest.

BAC: Less than 0.10% 0.10%-0.15% 0.16% or more
First Offense
  • 6 month license suspension
  • $400 Fine
  • 48 hours jail or public service up  to 30 days jail
  • 6 month license suspension
  • $500 Fine
  • 72 hours jail or public service up to 30 days jail
  • 6 month license suspension
  • $1,000 Fine
  • Minimum 30 days jail up to 90 days jail
Second Offense
  • 1 year  License suspension
  • $2,100-$5,100 Fine
  • Jail – 5 days to 1 year
  • 1 year  license suspension
  • $2,500-$5,500 Fine
  • Jail – 30 days to 2 years
  • 1 year  license suspension
  • $3,500-$6,500 Fine
  • Jail – 90 days to 3 years
Third Offense
  • 2 year  license suspension
  • $3,800-$6,300 Fine
  • Jail – 60 days to 3 years
  • 2 year  license suspension
  • $5,000-$7,500 Fine
  • Jail – 90 days to 4 years
  • 2 year  license suspension
  • $7,500-$10,000 Fine
  • Jail – 6 months to 5 years
Fourth  (and later) Offense
  • Permanent license revocation
  • Jail – 1 to 5 years
  • Permanent license revocation
  • Jail – 2 to 6 years
  • Permanent license revocation
  • Jail – 3 to 7 years

 

For first time DUI’s, the court may offer public service instead of jail time, but the court cannot make you accept public service instead of jail.  Also, for first time DUI’s, the legislature has directed the courts to allow those convicted of DUI to serve their public service or jail time in such a way as to avoid interfering with employment, such as on the weekends.

In second and subsequent DUI offenses, the court will order that an ignition interlock device be installed in the defendant’s car at the defendant’s expense, upon conviction.

In addition to these minimum sentences, prosecutors are not allowed to bargain DUIs down to a wet reckless charge, which is allowed in some states.  These sort of charges involve acknowledging that alcohol was involved, but in a charge less serious than DUI but more serious than reckless driving.  Plea bargaining is still possible, but on different terms than in other states.

Keep in mind also that the DMV is required to collect and publish the names of all those whose licenses have been revoked due to DUI convictions.

The DUI attorneys of Reeves Aiken & Hightower LLP stand ready to fight for you if you have been charged with DUI in SC. We encourage you to visit our website at www.rjrlaw.com and compare our attorneys’ credentials to any other firm. You can then call us toll-free at 877-374-5999 or contact us by email for a private, confidential consultation to review your particular case.