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South Carolina judge tells DUI convict to read the bible

When someone is convicted of a DUI here in the Charleston area, routine penalties typically include driver's license suspension, fines and jail time. Of course, the consequences vary from case to case, and they depend on the seriousness of the charges, whether it is a first defense and any special requests of the prosecution or criminal defense.

Recently, one York, South Carolina, woman was actually ordered the read the Bible and write a book report as a part of her sentence. Although this is very unusual, unique penalties like this can be ordered in some DUI cases.

The woman was arrested in November after driving on the wrong side of the road and crashing into another car. Two men in the other car were seriously injured.

The woman's blood alcohol level was allegedly more than 4 times the legal limit when she was arrested.

The woman, who told her lawyer she had an alcohol problem stemming from suffering major physical abuse as a child, pleaded guilty to DUI charges and reportedly professed her Christianity in the courtroom.

The charges carried a maximum of 15 years in prison. She was sentenced to eight years in prison, five years of probation and substance abuse counseling in addition to writing a book report on the Bible's Book of Job.

The woman was reportedly grateful for the unusual book report assignment. Normally, a judge cannot arbitrarily add whatever he or she chooses to a criminal sentence, but judges can tack on things such as this if the defendant and his or her attorney is OK with it.

The woman's pastor told news reporters that the Book of Job was a good choice. The story of Job is about perseverance and faith.

While this is certainly a very unusual case, it illustrates the importance of working with a criminal defense attorney who will work hard to reach the best possible outcome in a DUI case.

Source: Huffington Post, "Cassandra Tolley Ordered to Read, Summarize Bible's Books of Job for DUI in South Carolina," Kyle McGovern, July 5, 2012

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