All DUI cases are tough, but when the charges meet the felony level, things become even more complicated. When a DUI charge is upgraded to a felony, it may be because a head-on collision, video evidence, serious injuries or even death are a part of the case. Any of these elements means that prosecutors are going to take the case extra seriously, and the DUI defendant should do so as well to ensure his or her rights are protected.
Earlier this week, a woman from Surfside Beach, South Carolina, was charged with felony DUI and leaving the scene of a collision. The woman had allegedly struck a bicyclist and instead of stopping, she reportedly drove away.
The accident took place at about 2 a.m. Sunday when the 41-year-old woman was driving north on Highway 17 in the Surfside Beach area. She reportedly struck a man on a bicycle and continued on to a gas station.
The bicyclist was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
The woman was arrested at a gas station when police found damage to her vehicle. She has since been released after posting bond.
It remains unclear what type of DUI evidence the police have gathered. A news report on the arrest does not state whether a field sobriety or breath test was administered.
Felony DUI cases are very complicated, especially if they involves injuries. However, it is important to remember that those charged with crimes here in South Carolina and throughout the country are innocent until proven guilty. Defendants are often wise to seek legal counsel to learn whether the criminal charges can be reduced or if an appropriate plea bargain can be reached. In some cases, it is best to go to trial and seek an acquittal, but the best defense strategy depends on the unique details of each case.
Source: CarolinaLive.com, "Woman charged with felony DUI after hit and run," Ryan Naquin, Dec. 2, 2012