South Carolina Felony DUI Lawyer

December 09, 2022

Respected DUI Attorneys Defend Clients Facing Felony DUI Jail Time in Beaufort County, Jasper County, and Throughout SC

While a DUI charge can result in serious consequences in the event of a conviction. However, the penalties for DUI can be much greater when a driver is charged with felony DUI. A felony DUI may be charged when an intoxicated driver causes an accident that results in serious or fatal injuries for another person. A felony DUI conviction may mean significant prison time and fines, in addition to the consequences of having a criminal record. If you have been charged with felony DUI, turn to a South Carolina felony DUI lawyer for the legal advocacy you need.

At The Bannon Law Group, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience in South Carolina’s criminal justice system. Attorneys Jim and Meredith Bannon both have more than a decade of experience in criminal law, including many years serving as prosecutors with South Carolina’s 14th Judicial Circuit’s Solicitor’s Office. Our attorneys use their background as prosecutors to now defend the rights and interests of those facing criminal charges in Beaufort and Jasper County and throughout South Carolina. 

Facing a felony DUI charge means the possibility of serious consequences in the event of conviction. Reach out to The Bannon Law Group, LLC for an initial case review to discuss your charges with a South Carolina felony DUI lawyer and to learn more about your legal rights and options for defending yourself against a felony DUI charge. 

When Is a DUI Charged as a Felony?

While a DUI is normally graded as a misdemeanor offense, a DUI can be charged as a felony if you have three or more prior DUI convictions. In addition, even a first-time DUI offense can be charged as a felony if the intoxicated driver was directly and proximately responsible for causing “great bodily injury” or death of another person. Under South Carolina law, “great bodily injury” is defined as injury that either creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious or permanent disfigurement, impairment of function, or loss of any bodily member or organ. Even death that occurs from complications of injury within three years of a DUI-related accident can lead to a felony DUI charge. 

Consequences of a Felony DUI Conviction

The penalties for a felony DUI conviction arising from great bodily injury or death will depend on both the severity of the injuries suffered by a victim of a DUI accident as well as the number of victims involved in the accident. 

For a felony DUI conviction involving great bodily injury, a conviction carries a penalty of 30 days in jail to upward of 15 years in prison, along with a possible fine of $5,000 to $10,000. In addition, a person can have their driver’s license suspended for a period of three years after their release from incarceration, along with the requirement to install an ignition interlock device.

For a felony DUI conviction involving death, penalties include one to 25 years imprisonment (with no possibility of parole), in addition to fines of $10,000 to $25,000 and driver’s license suspension for a period of five years following release from incarceration.

If multiple people suffer great bodily injury or death due to a DUI-related accident, the court must impose a sentence for each count of felony DUI (with each count representing a person injured or killed by the accident). The court can also order that each sentence be served consecutively, meaning that each term of incarceration must be served one after the other.

How a South Carolina Felony DUI Lawyer Can Help with Your Defense

When an accident caused by a drunk driver leads to other people suffering serious or fatal injuries, the law imposes serious penalties. If you are facing a felony DUI charge, let a South Carolina felony DUI lawyer from The Bannon Law Group, LLC help with a thorough, effective defense strategy that involves:

  • Reviewing the facts to identify potential defenses that may be available to you. 
  • Going over your charges and potential consequences of conviction, so that you know what to expect during your case.
  • Raising available defense, including moving to exclude state’s evidence or showing that the state cannot prove each element of your felony DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • When appropriate, pursuing plea negotiations with the prosecution to try to reach an agreement that can help you obtain the best possible result under the circumstances of your case.
  • When you decide to go to trial on your charges, vigorously advocating your case to fight for a not guilty verdict from the jury or judge. 

Contact The Bannon Law Group LLC for a Confidential Consultation with a South Carolina Felony DUI Lawyer 

Don’t leave the outcome of your charges to chance. Contact The Bannon Law Group, LLC as soon as possible to speak to a South Carolina felony DUI lawyer from our firm to learn more about how we can help you to prepare and pursue a case strategy and legal defense aimed at securing the best possible outcome for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Felony DUI in South Carolina

FAQ: How long does a felony DUI conviction stay on your record? A felony DUI conviction, like all DUI convictions, will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. The conviction remains on your driving record for a period of 10 years. This makes it important to avoid a conviction on a felony DUI charge so that your criminal and driving record stay clean. 

FAQ: Can a felony DUI conviction be expunged? Under South Carolina law, certain offenses are eligible to be expunged from a criminal record. However, the law categorically excludes any offenses involving motor vehicles from expungement. This means that any DUI conviction, whether a felony or misdemeanor offense, cannot be expunged. Only a DUI arrest can be expunged if the charge was later dismissed or you were found not guilty at trial.