If you are facing DUI offenses, you may be wondering if it will be counted as a felony or misdemeanor offense. The answer to this question is not always simple, as it can depend on various factors.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the things that can affect whether a DUI is charged as a felony or misdemeanor in South Carolina. We’ll also look into how a DUI can impact your future and how a professional Clemson DUI lawyer can help.
We’ll also provide some general information about each type of offense so that you can better understand what you may be facing.
Basics of DUI Offenses in South Carolina
A DUI is a serious offense that can have lasting consequences. If you’re facing a DUI charge, it’s important to understand the basics of what a DUI is and how it can impact your life. A DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” This means that you were driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
You will be charged with DUI if your BAC is 0.08% or above. You can also be charged if your driving is impaired regardless of whether you’re over the limit or not.
If you’re convicted of a DUI, you’ll face penalties such as jail time or community service, fines, and mandatory alcohol education classes. Your driver’s license will be suspended. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car, which prevents you from driving if you have alcohol in your system.
If you’re facing a DUI charge, it’s important to contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Clemson, South Carolina who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
What Makes a DUI a Felony vs a Misdemeanor?
A DUI offense in South Carolina can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.
Great Bodily Injury
If someone is killed or suffers “great bodily injury” as a result of a DUI, it is considered a felony. South Carolina defines great bodily injury as an injury that causes any of the following:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss or impairment of an organ or body functions
- An increased risk of death.
A drunk driver can be charged with a felony DUI if a pedestrian, another driver, or a passenger suffers great bodily harm in an accident.
Previous DUI Convictions
If you have past DUI convictions, the offense may be charged as a felony. South Carolina automatically categorizes a person’s third DUI offense as a felony.
Penalties for DUI Offenses
If you are convicted of a first DUI offense, you can be sentenced to 2 to 40 days in jail or community service and fined $400. You will also lose your driver’s license for 6 months.
For a second DUI, you could be facing imprisonment for five days up to a year, suspension of your driver’s license for one year, and a fine of $2,100 to $5,100.
The penalties for a felony DUI are much more severe than those for a misdemeanor. The punishment for a third DUI includes jail time for a period of 60 days to 3 years and a fine of up to $6,300. Your license can be suspended for two years.
If you are convicted of causing great bodily injury while driving under the influence, is a mandatory fine of $5,100 to $10,100 and imprisonment from 30 days to 15 years.
The punishment for a drunk driver who causes a fatal accident is a mandatory fine of $10,100 to $25,100 and imprisonment from one to 25 years.
Contact a Professional Clemson DUI Lawyer for a Solid Legal Defence!
DUI offenses can result in either a felony or misdemeanor charge. In most cases, the offense will be considered a misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors present.
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney from the Bateman Law Firm who can help you understand the charges against you and what options may be available.
If you have been charged with a DUI, you should contact a capable DUI lawyer in Clemson, South Carolina from the Bateman Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys will advise and represent you throughout the criminal process, assisting you in minimizing the possible fines and long-term consequences of a conviction.
We’ll evaluate your case and recommend the best line of action. This may mean suggesting that you go for a plea bargain, which can result in lower charges or shorter sentences, or, if there’s a chance, fighting the charge in court.
If you are facing DUI charges, time is of the essence, do not hesitate to call a criminal defense attorney in Clemson, South Carolina from the Bateman Law Firm.