What Makes a Felony DUI?

What makes a DUI a felony in South Carolina is that someone is hurt, or possibly killed, as a result of a DUI accident. There are two types of Felony DUI, depending on the result of the accident. A Felony DUI with Death is very serious – like a homicide, it carries up to 25 years in prison. A Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury carries up to 15 years in prison.

All the elements of a Felony DUI are the same, except whether or not the injured person has died. In order to be charged with a Felony DUI, the driver of a car must be suspected of being under the influence and must be suspected of violating a traffic law, like passing unlawfully or crossing the center line, which led to an accident.

If you were driving a car, there was evidence that you were under the influence, you violated some traffic law and, as a result of that, someone either inside your car or outside your car was struck and seriously injured then you would be charged with Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury. To be charged with Felony DUI with Death, the elements are that you were driving a car, there was evidence that you were under the influence, you violated some traffic law, and, as a result of that, somebody either inside your car or outside your car was killed.

A person can be charged with felony DUI as the result of a multi-car accident or a one-car accident. The injured person could be a family member, a close friend of yours, or a complete stranger – that doesn’t make any difference. If a person is injured as the result of a car accident and they suspect the driver who caused the accident had been driving under the influence, then he/she will be charged with a felony DUI.

There’s no legal requirement that there be an accident for someone to be charged with DUI or Felony DUI, but in most instances that’s what happens. There may be another way that someone can be injured arising out of a DUI, but we almost never see that – Felony DUIs generally arise out of an accident where someone is charged with DUI and someone is injured, seriously injured, or killed.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or Felony DUI, the experienced attorneys at the Complete Legal Defense Team may be able to help. Contact us at 843-626-5480 for a confidential consultation today.

Written by Greg McCollum CLDT

Greg McCollum CLDT

At the Complete Legal Defense Team we represent, assist, and defend people who are accused of crimes. Being accused of a crime is a harrowing experience. You experience public shame and humiliation and do not know where to turn for help. We are experienced and knowledgeable and will take immediate steps to begin repairing your life. We evaluate how the allegation affects your reputation in the community, how it affects your time and your life, and how it will affect you financially. Believe it or not, many people who are arrested and charged with crimes are innocent.