A DUI charge itself can be daunting at times, especially if it is a misdemeanor DUI. It is more so if it is a felony DUI where the person convicted has already been through this thrice in the last ten years. It so happened in September this year that a woman in her early twenties was driving in Greenville when her vehicle struck an SUV resulting in the death of a 21-year-old.
Now she was charged with a felony DUI. There are mainly three factors that can lead to a felony DUI in Greenville. Read about them in detail here.
Bodily Injury or Death
No law in the world supports a person who has made a grave mistake while driving in a drunken state. And causing body injuries or death is by no means justifiable and definitely comes under punishable offense. According to the laws of South Carolina, a felony is committed when a drunk driver causes great bodily injuries or the death of another person. When they say significant bodily injury, it means that the injury has resulted in any of the following.
- A high risk of death
- Impairment or loss of an organ or bodily member
- Permanent disfigurement
When a person is charged with this, he must pay a fine between $5,100 and $10,100. It is also mandatory to spend 30 days in prison, which can sometimes go up to 15 years depending on how severe the case is.
There Was a Minor Passenger in the Vehicle
If the person driving the vehicle was found to have a higher level of alcohol in blood than is permitted by the law and a passenger who is less than 16 years of age, he could be charged with child endangerment and DUI. In case the child is killed or seriously injured, the charge will automatically become a felony.
The person who is charged has to face the penalties of the DUI charges, and added to them will be the penalties of the felony DUI. The penalties for such a case would be to pay a fine of up to half of the amount of the fine levied for a DUI and imprisonment of up to half the time required for a DUI.
A Third Time Charged With DUI
When a person commits DUI for the third time, it is automatically considered a felony under the laws of South Carolina. The law can be very strict here if the charge has become a felony. This third DUI conviction leads to penalties of three years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $12,000 if the alcohol content in the driver’s blood is less than 0.10. If the alcohol content is higher than this, the penalties will also be higher.
Other Penalties Associated With DUI
It is not just imprisonment and fines that a person charged with DUI has to face. For a long time, Greenville has always been a place that has registered felony DUI cases without any halt. So it is natural for the state to have strict regulations in place when it comes to the violation of laws.
Several administrative penalties are associated with a charge of felony DUI. Under the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles laws, a person charged with a DUI for the first time will have to go through a license suspension period of six months. And for those who commit DUI for the second time, the license suspension period could be indefinite.
A DUI charge is also going to result in higher auto insurance premiums. One may have to pay a higher percentage of premiums when compared to others. To get back the license, one has to get an SR-22 insurance certificate. Quite obviously, when you have been convicted of driving under influence, it becomes etched in your records forever. This can be a hindrance when trying to find a new job or house.
Contact Our Greenville DUI Defense Lawyers Today
It could be really unpleasant to have the impact of a DUI charge following you. Apart from being a matter that takes up a lot of time, it is also challenging to set your records straight after facing a felony DUI in Greenville. These issues must be tackled wisely, and an attorney with good experience is the best person you can rely upon for such matters. So, if you are looking for an experienced DUI attorney who can take care of things for you, contact us today to learn more.