Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, South Carolina

Seeking Legal Help for DUI Manslaughter Charges

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DUI manslaughter charges in South Carolina carry severe legal consequences that drastically alter the lives of those accused. DUI manslaughter in South Carolina is defined under Section 56-5-2945 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. It occurs when a motorist causes the death of another person while driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. To have a valid DUI manslaughter charge, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The accused was operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both, exceeding the strict blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits set by South Carolina law.
  • The accused's impaired driving was a direct and proximate cause of the victim's death.
  • The accused acted with criminal negligence, meaning they should have known that their actions were likely to cause serious harm or death.

South Carolina doesn't require intent for a DUI manslaughter charge. Even if a death was unintentional, you can still face charges and severe legal consequences. The absence of intent doesn't mitigate the seriousness of the offense or the potential legal ramifications.

What are the legal consequences of DUI manslaughter in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, DUI manslaughter is a Class B felony. If convicted, the penalties include a mandatory prison sentence of up to 25 years and hefty fines. Your driver's license can be permanently revoked, and you may be required to obtain high-risk SR-22 insurance to regain your driving privileges.

Additionally, you might be required to complete mandatory alcohol and drug treatment programs and the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle if you're allowed to drive again.

What are common defenses for DUI manslaughter charges?

Facing DUI manslaughter charges isn't necessarily the end of the road for you. With the help of an experienced South Carolina DUI defense attorney, you might be able to successfully fight the charges or have them reduced. However, defending against DUI manslaughter charges requires a strategic approach. One defense strategy is challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution.

For example:

An attorney might be able to argue that other factors, such as the actions of another party, road conditions, or a mechanical failure caused the accident. Your attorney may also be able to call upon witnesses or experts to provide testimony that contradicts the prosecution’s evidence. This could include accident reconstruction experts, toxicologists, or medical professionals who can offer alternative explanations for the evidence presented.

Additionally, an attorney can question the accuracy and calibration of the breathalyzer device or the proper handling and analysis of a blood test. Improper maintenance, calibration errors, or contamination can be grounds for challenging the results.

Protect your future after a DUI manslaughter charge

If you're facing DUI manslaughter charges in South Carolina, seek experienced legal representation immediately. The consequences of a conviction can impact every aspect of your life. Don't let a tragic mistake define your future – take action now to protect your rights and explore your legal options.

Attorney Matt Bodman is a skilled DUI defense lawyer who is committed to providing his clients with strong, compassionate legal representation. As a former Richland County assistant solicitor, Attorney Bodman has an in-depth understanding of South Carolina's DUI laws and knows how to effectively challenge evidence, question causation, and negotiate with prosecutors to seek the best possible outcome for your case.

Protect your future today. Contact us online or call our Columbia, SC law firm for a free, confidential consultation.

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