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South Carolina woman pleads guilty to felony DUI

A 26-year-old woman was sentenced to six years in prison on May 27 after pleading guilty to a count of felony DUI. She was charged after causing an accident in January of 2013 when her car drifted off the road on Interstate 526. As she attempted to return to the road, her car struck a Jeep being driven by a 35-year-old male.

The driver was killed in the collision, and a passenger in the Jeep was also injured. According to police, this was not the first drunk driving charge for the woman as she had been previously charged with DUI in 2012 in a case that had not yet been resolved. In addition to the prison time in the 2013 case, the woman will spend five years on probation and was given credit for nearly three months time served.

A driver who causes bodily injury or kills another driver while under the influence of alcohol can face harsh penalties even if that driver has no prior DUI convictions. A felony charge may bring an extended prison sentence, a large fine and a mandatory license suspension. However, a driver may be able to secure a plea deal in his or her case.

Consulting with a DUI defense attorney may make it possible to negotiate a plea deal or have charges dropped entirely. An attorney may be able to review the evidence in the case to determine how to best dispute that charge. Typically, an attorney may question the validity of a field sobriety, breath or blood test, dispute the accuracy of any police report generated for the case or may argue that the driver suffered from a medical condition that may have played a role in causing an accident or otherwise erratic driving that lead to a DUI charge.

Source: WSPA, "SC woman sentenced to 6 years in DUI that killed man", May 30, 2014

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