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South Carolina Felony DUI Attorneys

If you have been arrested for a DUI, you should know your legal rights. An arrest does not mean you are guilty, but a guilty verdict could have a major impact on your life. Contacting a lawyer at Truslow & Truslow today could help drastically reduce the chance of a conviction.

With more than 48 years of experience, the DUI attorneys at Truslow & Truslow have represented thousands of people in Columbia and throughout the state of South Carolina, gaining a reputation for excellent work. Both Doug and Neal Truslow grew up and live in South Carolina, and they continue to support their friends and neighbors when their rights are on the line. Truslow & Truslow has been a fixture in the Columbia community since 2009, and we will fight to protect the rights of Columbia residents and other South Carolinians who are accused of felony DUIs.

If you or someone you love has been accused of a felony DUI, contact the South Carolina felony DUI lawyers at Truslow & Truslow for a confidential consultation today. Fill out our email form or call (803) 256-6276 today.

Do I Need a DUI Lawyer?

After being arrested for a DUI, you may have a number of questions. How long will my case take? What is the process? Do I need a lawyer?

DUI laws in South Carolina can be nuanced and complicated, so it benefits you to hire a competent attorney to help reduce your chance of being charged with a felony DUI. The consequences of a felony DUI conviction vary, depending on the extent of injury the victims sustained. DUI accidents that end fatally are prosecuted much more severely than those in which the victim survived. Additionally, a victim who does not die immediately, but later passes away due to injuries sustained from the accident, makes you susceptible to a felony DUI charge. The criminal penalties for a felony DUI might include:

  • Great Bodily Injury – minimum of 30 days to 15 years imprisonment, and a mandatory fine of at least $5,100 – $10,100
  • Death – minimum of one year to 25 years imprisonment, and a mandatory fine of at least $10,100 – $25,100

Civil penalties may also include the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. Additionally, felony charges mean that no amount of time in your sentence can be served through probation. With these potential consequences, it’s imperative that you find the right DUI lawyer to handle your case.

The legal process can be daunting. Let us handle all the paperwork and negotiation so that you can have peace of mind.

Why Choose Truslow & Truslow to Handle My Case?

If you need a DUI lawyer in Columbia, there are certainly a number of firms to choose from. How do you know who you can trust to fight for you? How do you know which DUI firm is right for your case? Choosing the right attorney can be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, but ensuring that they’re actually qualified is easier said than done. These are some of the factors that set Truslow & Truslow apart:

  • Experience: Truslow & Truslow was founded in Columbia in 2009, but members of the firm have been practicing law since 1975. This type of experience can help drastically reduce your chances of a conviction.
  • Track record: Ultimately, you want a lawyer who can get results. Our attorneys have a record of success handling complex DUI cases for our clients. Depending on the factors surrounding your case, there may be grounds for dismissal of the charges or a reduction in your sentence.
  • Client satisfaction: It’s important to us that our clients have everything they need during this difficult time.

Drunk driving charges can be complicated to defend, so it’s important to have an attorney you can trust on your side.

Types of Cases We Handle

In South Carolina, authorities can prosecute driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Unlike misdemeanors, felony DUI’s are issued when an inebriated driver engages in reckless driving or traffic violations that cause the death or great bodily injury of another. “Great bodily injury” is legally defined as an injury that causes “a substantial risk of death, serious or permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment” of a body part or organ. However, an injury does not necessarily have to be grotesque or involve mutilation to warrant a felony charge. Many juries and prosecutors qualify any injury suffered as “great bodily injury.” For example, one can argue that a broken leg results in “protracted impairment” of a body part and is therefore applicable to a felony DUI charge. For this reason, if you were involved in an accident while you were intoxicated that caused any injury, you could be vulnerable to a felony DUI charge.

As compared to a misdemeanor DUI, felony DUI’s have more serious and long-term penalties that can ruin one’s life. A conviction may leave you with a criminal record, hefty fine, and a lengthy jail sentence on top of civil penalties. The seriousness of such charges warrants the qualified counsel of a proficient felony DUI attorney. At Truslow & Truslow, we know how much is at stake with criminal charges. As such, we work to provide an effective defense for South Carolinians everywhere facing felony DUI charges. We can use our specialized understanding of South Carolina’s traffic laws to guide you through the legal process of this charge and determine the facts of your case.

Did You Know?

After accumulating 12 points, the DMV could possibly suspend your license!

Penalties for a Felony DUI

The consequences of a felony DUI conviction vary, depending on the extent of injury the victims sustained. DUI accidents that end fatally are prosecuted much more severely than those in which the victim survived. Additionally, a victim who does not die immediately, but later passes away due to injuries sustained from the accident, makes you susceptible to a felony DUI charge. The criminal penalties for a felony DUI might include:

  • Great Bodily Injury – minimum of 30 days to 15 years imprisonment, and a mandatory fine of at least $5,100 – $10,100
  • Death – minimum of one year to 25 years imprisonment, and a mandatory fine of at least $10,100 – $25,100

Civil penalties may also include the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. Additionally, felony charges mean that no amount of time in your sentence can be served through probation.

Frequently Asked Questions about DUI Charges

It’s reasonable to have many questions when you’ve been charged with a DUI. Many people in your same situation have many similar questions, so we’ve compiled them here for your convenience. If you don’t see your question below, or your question was not completely answered, don’t hesitate to contact us at (803) 256-6276 or set up a consultation.

Am I required to take a breathalyzer, blood test or urine test if stopped for a DUI?

Like many other states, South Carolina has an “implied consent” law meaning that you agree to take a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test when you drive in the state of South Carolina if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Refusing to take a breathalyzer, blood test or urine test may result in the same amount of civil and criminal penalties, if not more.

Do I have to take a field sobriety test?

In South Carolina, field sobriety tests are voluntary, meaning you can decline and refuse to take a field sobriety tests. If you do consent, some common tests include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) – You will be asked to follow a light with your eyes without moving your head. Police are looking for involuntary, erratic eye movements, aka horizontal gaze nystagmus.
  • One Leg Stand (OLS) – You will be asked to stand on one leg and raise your other leg in the air. This test can be difficult to perform even when you are sober, so the test is often considered unreliable.
  • Walk and Turn (WAT) – You will be asked to walk in a straight line, turn around, and walk back in the same direction. Again, this test can be difficult to perform even when sober for a variety of reasons, including poor balance or other health problems.

How much can someone drink and legally drive?

In South Carolina, the legal limit for adults over the age of 21 is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .02% or higher if you are younger than 21 years old, and .04% if you hold a commercial drivers license (CDL).

Related Statistics—DUI

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, South Carolina has one of the highest instances of traffic deaths involving drunk driving. In 2013, South Carolina had 767 traffic deaths, 335 of which were attributed to drunk driving. Forty-four percent is well above the national average of 31 percent.

In 2015, it was estimated that one person was killed in a DUI collisions every 29.1 hours, according to the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book. There were 456 non-fatal crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08% or higher in 2015 in Richland County.

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • "I can't say enough about the job Truslow & Truslow did for me. I'm glad I chose them to help me with my legal issue."
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Contact a Felony DUI Lawyer in South Carolina

While this experience may be devastating, obtaining a knowledgeable DUI attorney could be the best decision you can make right now. At Truslow & Truslow, our legal team has spent decades fighting criminal DUI cases, and we have the knowledge and understanding to advocate on your behalf. We strive to provide a steady, calm assistance to help guide you through the DUI process. We are aware that you have many options when selecting an attorney to represent you; we strive to set ourselves apart with our experience, track record, and client satisfaction in each case that we handle.

Having practiced in South Carolina for over 48 years, we understand the specific needs of our friends and neighbors in Columbia and throughout the state. We know the community, and we understand the exact situation you are in. We’re here to help you in your time of need, so don’t hesitate to contact us today. If you are facing felony DUI charges, contact our Columbia offices at (803) 256-6276 to receive support in your case.

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