Lexington Felony DUI Lawyer
It is an obvious point to make that a felony DUI is serious criminal offense. At Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, our head attorney, James R. Snell, Jr., represents those charged with one of our State's three felony DUI laws. If you or a loved one is facing charges or an arrest for a felony DUI or any other serious driving offense, you are welcome to contact our office to speak with a Lexington criminal lawyer from our law office. We work with individuals from Lexington, Columbia and other parts of South Carolina.
Situations in which a driver of a vehicle is involved in a serious DUI accident are prosecuted under South Carolina's felony DUI statute. This statute creates substantially increased penalties for those determined to be driving impaired and involved in accidents with injuries or fatalities. There is no requirement that the defendant have any prior record of DUI arrests or convictions in order to be charged under the felony DUI statute.
What is charged as a felony DUI in South Carolina?
Fourth and subsequent DUI arrests are also prosecuted as felonies in South Carolina. The penalties for those convicted of a fourth DUI range from a minimum of one year up to seven years in prison. For repeat DUI offenders there is no requirement that the DUI case involve a death or injury to be treated as a felony.
Felony DUI with Death
- DUI cases involving a death are prosecuted as a felony DUI with death. This offense carries no less than one year in prison with a maximum of 25 years. It is classified as a violent crime of sentencing and classification purposes at the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury
- In DUI cases involving great bodily injury, they carry a minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 15-year sentence. All felony DUI cases are prosecuted in general sessions. If you have been charged with a felony DUI with great bodily injury, a lawyer can stand by your side and help you get the defense you need.
Felony DUI Defenses
Defending a felony DUI case is substantially different than an ordinary DUI case. Felony DUI cases are routinely investigated by the Highway Patrol's accident reconstruction group. In addition to having to prove impairment, the state also has the additional burden of proving some other traffic law violation related to the accident. There may also be defenses available for suppressing statements made by the defendant, the admissibility of any blood alcohol levels and challenges regarding the procedures followed by law enforcement.
Have you been arrested for a felony DUI in Lexington?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a DUI related accident or has been charged with felony DUI, there are several steps that should be undertaken. Until you are able to consult with an attorney, it is advisable that you make no statements to law enforcement or answer any questions. Due to the law surrounding blood alcohol testing procedures and the right to an independent test, it is important to seek guidance in these cases at the earliest opportunity. Although a felony DUI arrest is the most serious traffic related offense in South Carolina, no case is hopeless.
James Snell has experience representing clients charged with a felony DUI with death and with great bodily injury. In almost all cases there are substantial opportunities to present both legal and factual defenses as well as to present the mitigating circumstances necessary to ensure the best result possible. If you have been charged with felony DUI, contact a Lexington criminal lawyer at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. Initial appointments are held on a confidential and no-cost basis. Don't delay! You begin to lose your rights to challenge a Felony DUI arrest beginning in as little as ten days.