Summerville Felony DUI Lawyer

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony offense when great bodily injury or death is associated. Under state law, great bodily injury is an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious permanent disfigurement, protracted loss, or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

These cases involve heavy penalties and should be taken extremely seriously. If you are facing felony DUI charges, a skilled attorney could collect evidence, speak with insurance companies, and review relevant laws to construct a strong defense on your behalf. Reach out to a Summerville felony DUI lawyer today to learn more.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor DUI Case Process

In court, there are certain things associated with felony DUIs that are not necessarily associated with simple misdemeanor DUIs. A typical misdemeanor DUI case will be tried in the magistrate and lower court, and there will not be a motion on the other side. When a charge is elevated to a felony because someone is hurt or dies, these cases are much more severe and will likely be treated more harshly by the court.

In felony DUI cases, there is a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail with great bodily injury and one year with death. Therefore, there will be bonds associated with these charges, and defendants have to pay these bonds to get out of jail. Court appearances and roll calls are also a part of felony DUI hearings. A Summerville attorney could act as a defendant’s legal advocate throughout the complex felony DUI case process and help them understand their rights.

Gathering Evidence to Defend Felony DUI Cases

Many factors come into play with a felony DUI versus a regular DUI. The involvement of an injured party and potentially insurance companies change the nature of a DUI case and the evidence needed to defend the charge.

When constructing a defense for felony DUI charges, the first step an attorney will take is assessing the scene of the accident and potentially reaching out to experts to determine the cause of the accident. A lawyer also may obtain any video evidence, blood and urine samples, and records of medication that the driver received at the hospital. These records will demonstrate drug or alcohol levels in the blood, which can be useful in a defense even if the levels do not necessarily demonstrate the defendant’s state at the exact time of the accident. The more evidence that a Summerville attorney can gather in a felony DUI case, the stronger their defense will be.

Felony DUI Penalties in Summerville

Under South Carolina Code of Laws § 56-5-2945, a felony DUI with great bodily injury carries a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail up to 15 years in prison with a minimum fine between $5,000 and $10,000.00. A felony DUI that causes a fatality has a mandatory minimum of one year in prison for up to 25 years in prison and a fine between $10,000 and $25,000.

Fines and potential prison time are not the only penalties that someone may face in a felony DUI case. With a felony DUI, the driver’s license is suspended indefinitely. After release from any imprisonment, the suspension can be cleared by completing the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) and having the ignition interlock device for three years for great bodily injury plus five years for death. Because the potential penalties are so severe, it is crucial that a person facing felony DUI charges consults with a well-versed local attorney who could fight for a reduction of charges or lowered penalties.

Do Not Delay in Consulting a Summerville Felony DUI Attorney

The long-term impacts of a felony DUI case can turn your life upside down. If you are facing charges of this nature, reach out to a Summerville felony DUI lawyer right away. A dedicated attorney could get to work immediately collecting evidence and speaking with the necessary experts to build your defense.

You deserve to have someone in your corner fighting for your rights. Call today to schedule a consultation.