Facing a criminal charge can be scary for the accused individual, no matter what the situation. However, the potential consequences for some criminal charges are more severe than others and theses serious penalties can have a lasting negative impact on the life of the defendant. When that defendant is a young college student, it may impact their entire livelihood for the rest of their life.
Numerous previous postings in this blog have discussed the severe impact that drinking and driving can have on the lives of all parties involved, even if getting behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol was simply an honest mistake. Most of those postings have discussed felony DUI charges resulting from the consumption of more alcohol than is legally allowed according to South Carolina law. In addition, many of these cases have involved individuals facing DUI charges later in life.
Charleston residents facing charges for driving while intoxicated are likely aware of the serious penalties that could result from a DUI conviction. Depending on the circumstances, however, the more serious charge of felony DUI may be filed by prosecutors.
An accident the recently occurred in South Carolina had a tragic result for both parties involved. One of the parties was fatally injured. The other party is facing felony DUI charges as a result of the accident. When people drive under the influence of alcohol, if their blood alcohol content is above South Carolina's legal limit of .08 they may be charged with driving while intoxicated.
It may seem to residents of South Carolina that all situations involving charges for drunk driving are the same. However, that is not the case. Every drunk driving case differs and some are more severe than others. The most severe cases that involve charges for driving while intoxicated are those that result in a felony DUI charge.
A recent posting on this blog discussed a bill that has been introduced to the South Carolina Senate that, if it passes, would require certain first time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Additional information regarding the requirements of this proposed legislation has been released. In addition, a family who lost their daughter to an accident involving a drunk driver are standing behind the bill and pushing to have it passed. The driver of that accident was charged with felony DUI.
Sometimes drivers get behind the wheel after they have consumed too much alcohol to legally operate a motorized vehicle. Sometimes this happens as an honest mistake; the driver may not realize how much the alcohol is impacting both their judgment and senses. Unfortunately, these accidents can often have serious or even fatal results. When this happens, the driver may face felony DUI charges.
Alleged acts of drunk driving that result in an accident can be unfortunate for everyone involved. When these accidents cause death or serious bodily injury, they often result in felony DUI charges for the driver who is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other substances at the time of the accident. The impact of a felony DUI on the life of the injured party and their family is tragic. However, the impact on the life of the alleged drunk driver can also be difficult and long-lasting.
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.
It is a scary and nerve-wracking situation when someone is pulled over by the police or, even worse, gets into an accident and finds him or herself facing charges for drunk driving. Any case involving DUI charges can have serious consequences that are life-altering for the accused. However, cases involving felony DUI charges can quickly become much more severe and may seem hopeless to the individual facing those charges. However, it is important for the accused to never lose hope and always explore the options for a strong defense.