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Deadly DUI hit and run results in several felony charges

On June 15, 2013 in Columbus, South Carolina, a motorcyclist was killed in a hit and run accident involving a drunk driver. The 48-year-old motorcyclist was the first person in Columbus to die this year in an alcohol-related traffic accident.

The 26-year old motor vehicle driver hit the motorcyclist while making a left turn; the automobile driver allegedly failed to yield to the motorcyclist. The accused is alleged to have left the scene of the crime before later reappearing and being arrested. The motorcyclist died not long after being taken to the hospital.

The accused was found to have been driving with an open container of alcohol as well as a large quantity of marijuana inside of the vehicle. In addition to being charged for the two preceding crimes, the driver may be convicted of a hit and run resulting in death, failure to provide aid to the other party, not wearing a seat belt, driving with a suspended license and drunk driving charges. This would be the driver's second violation of operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

A hit and run that resulted in the death of another is a felony in South Carolina, and a conviction for this felony carries a fine between $10,000 and $25,000 and a prison sentence between one and 25 years. If the person accused of a felony hit and run is also being charged with other criminal violations, such as DUI, the sentence he receives upon a guilty verdict could be drastically increased. Criminal attorneys practicing DUI defense can help their clients determine whether or not to make a plea deal with the prosecution. A lawyer may be able to assert defenses and mitigating factors on behalf of his client during plea negotiations or at trial.

Source: South Carolina Register,

Source: The State Newspaper, "Columbia man charged in motorcycle death", John Monk, June 16, 2013

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