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Reckless Vehicular Homicide in South Carolina

Reckless Vehicular Homicide in South Carolina

If you drive recklessly and cause a car accident that results in another person’s death, you could be charged with reckless vehicular homicide in South Carolina. Reckless vehicular homicide means killing someone else while driving in reckless disregard of other people’s safety. 

The following are the basic elements of reckless vehicular homicide: 

  • Recklessness – Acting with reckless disregard for another person’s safety means knowingly posing a threat to the safety of others. Simply put, a person who understands his/her conduct is dangerous but still commits the act. 

  • Causation – There is a direct link between reckless driving and the death. Showing that a defendant drove in a reckless manner and death occurred in the process is not enough to show that there is proof that the driver caused the death. 

  • Time of death – If a person succumbs to his wounds within three years of the accident, the driver can still be charged with reckless vehicular homicide. 

In South Carolina, reckless vehicular homicide is a Class E felony, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000, as well as driver’s license revocation for five years. However, the defendant may petition for license reinstatement after the first year of revocation if the offense does not involve alcohol or drugs, the driver completed his sentence and paid all fines, and the driver’s record, ability, character, and habits demonstrate that license reinstatement is safe. 

If alcohol or drugs are involved, reckless vehicular homicide is considered a felony DUI. DUI cases involving death are charged as a Class B felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 25 years. 

Although reckless vehicular homicide is associated with serious criminal penalties, most people who face such charges are first-time offenders who made a regrettable mistake, rather than career criminals. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to get your entire case dismissed or your charges/penalties reduced to avoid prison time. 

If you have been accused of reckless vehicular homicide or felony DUI in Lexington or Columbia, call the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Proudly serving clients throughout South Carolina since 2004! 


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