FELONY DUI - FELONY LEAVING THE SCENE - HIT AND RUN:
If you have been charged with felony driving under the influence, most
likely, that is something which you never thought would happen to you. Attorney
Greg McCollum has represented many people who have been arrested and charged
with Felony DUI. The possible penalties for Felony DUI or for Felony Leaving the
Scene are harsh, and the legally possible maximum penalties an individual can
face depend upon whether a death resulted, or there was great bodily harm. In
the case of a death, leaving the scene or felony DUI carries a possible penalty
of up to a maximum twenty five year imprisonment. If great bodily harm resulted
the penalties for leaving the scene or felony DUI are up to fifteen years
Those are possible maximum penalties. If you are found not guilty or the
charges are dropped then there is no penalty. If you have been arrested and
charged with either Felony DUI or Felony Leaving the Scene, the state still has
the burden of proving your guilt in court. Although you probably do not feel
it, you are legally presumed innocent. Each case is different, because the
facts of each case are different. Additionally, the state must prove all of the
elements of the case through competent and admissible evidence, and specific
procedures must have been followed by the arresting officer and, in many cases,
the medical or hospital personnel.
Greg McCollum has represented people charged with Felony DUI, Felony
Leaving the Scene in cases where death resulted, and in cases where great bodily
injury resulted. He has tried Felony DUI cases before a jury and has tried
cases where someone was also accused of leaving the scene where a death
resulted. Additionally, he has defended Felony DUI cases which did not go to
trial because charges were dismissed. In other cases the charges were reduced
to a simple DUI or reduced to Reckless Homicide. Some cases have resulted in
sentences where a fine was paid or the client received a sentence of probation.
One client was convicted after a six day trial and was sentenced to fifteen
years imprisonment after being convicted of Felony DUI with Death and Felony
Leaving the Scene with Death. Another client received a ten year sentence on a
reduced charge of Reckless Homicide. Another client received a six month prison
sentence on a charge of Felony DUI with Death and Felony Leaving the Scene with
What will happen on your case, depends upon many factors. Having an
experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer is one of those factors.
Every case is unique and different defenses are available on different cases.
If you are interested in a consultation, please contact the Law Office of Greg
McCollum for an appointment.
Following are some examples of cases that Attorney Greg McCollum has
handled. These are provided to give you information which may be helpful.
Often, people think that because they were arrested and charged with a criminal
offense that there is nothing they can do about it, and that the situation is
hopeless or futile. It is important to know that an arrest and charge is only
an accusation, and that a person is not automatically deemed to be guilty. In
some cases the person is innocent, in other cases the state lacks sufficient
evidence to convict, and sometimes the person has been charged with a greater
offense than the state can prove, which can result in charges being reduced or
dismissed completely. What can or will occur on your case can not be predicted
with absolute certainty. The practice of law is an art, not a science dependent
on absolute rules. Law must be interpreted and applied to a particular set of
facts, which may or not be proven. What will happen to your case depends upon several factors and
each case is unique.
When reading results from past cases it is important to know that any
result Attorney Greg McCollum may achieve on behalf of one client does not
necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Sample Cases Handled by Attorney Greg McCollum
State vs. C.F. (1996) Felony DUI(Death), Felony Leaving the Scene(Death)
This case arose pursuant to the client's arrest on charges of Felony DUI and
Felony Leaving the Scene. The state alleged that the defendant, while
driving her vehicle under the influence of alcohol, struck a young man riding a
bicycle, which killed him and then she was alleged to have driven away fleeing
the scene of the accident. There were many factors which affected the
case, such as the age of the defendant who at the time was under seventeen years
of age. Additionally, there were significant factors regarding expressions
of remorse and other mitigating factors. eventually the client pled guilty to
Felony Leaving the Scene and was sentenced to a term of probation.
State vs. H. S. (2009) Felony DUI Great Bodily Harm
This case arose pursuant to the client's arrest on charges of Felony DUI with
Great Bodily Injury. The state alleged that the defendant was under the
influence of alcohol when the vehicle he was driving ran off the road seriously
injuring a passenger in the front seat. The investigating trooper with the
South Carolina highway patrol had the defendant perform field sobriety tests on
the side of the road. The defendant was arrested and taken to jail for a
breath test. He registered a .08. In order to be convicted at trial
by a jury , the state must show that the defendant driver's ability to safely
operate the vehicle was materially and appreciably impaired, the breath test
reading of .08 is evidence of impairment, but it is not conclusive proof of
impairment. additionally the state must show some traffic violation
occurred which caused the accident and the injuries to the alleged victim.
The state's case was weak on several key issues which led to the case being
Dismissed completely without any charges against the Client.
State vs. J.L. (2005) Felony DUI Great Bodily
This case involved allegations that the defendant was driving a vehicle while
under the influence of alcohol when he failed to stop for stoplight in Myrtle
Beach which caused an SUV to crash into the driver's side of the vehicle he was
in causing serious injuries to the driver. The state alleged that the
client was driving and that the passenger received the injuries. Several
witnesses claimed that the client was driving, and as is often the case, those
witnesses were certain that they were correct. Fortunately, there were
some other witnesses who gave statements that the client was not the driver.
Much of the confusion resulted because the vehicle the client was a passenger in
was a Jeep and the actual driver was thrown into the passenger's seat from the
impact. The state took tissue samples from inside the Jeep in an attempt to show
that the client was the driver. Ultimately, though, the severe injuries
received by the actual driver showed that he was in the driver's seat at the
time of the collision. After several years, the state finally accepted the
defense assertions that the client was the passenger at the time of the accident
based upon the medical records which showed that the extensive injuries received
by the alleged victim were most consistent with the alleged victim having been
the driver. The charges of Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury were
dismissed without a trial.
State vs. J. E. (2007) Felony Leaving the Scene with Death
This case arose after a fatal accident involving a vehicle driven by
the client and passenger who was in the middle of a divided highway at night.
The pedestrian was struck and killed. The client was arrested for leaving the
scene of the accident after he reported the accident. If the accident were
unavoidable and not the fault of the driver, even if he were driving while under
the influence, then the evidence would support a charge of DUI, but not a
Felony DUI. The charge of Felony Leaving the Scene, however, only consists of
leaving the scene. Intoxication is not something the state is required to
prove. The law does provide a defense of leaving and immediately returning to
the scene to render aid to the injured person on a limited basis of necessity.
In this case, to avoid trial, the client accepted a plea offer of probation for
the offense of Assault and battery of a High and Aggravated Nature under the
former law, prior to June 20010. At the time the offense of Assault of a High
and Aggravated Nature was an unclassified misdemeanor. It has now been replaced
by the offense of Assault and Battery , Second Degree. The charge of Felony
Leaving the Scene was dismissed and the client was placed on probation.
State vs. R. J. (1997) Felony
DUI(Death), Leaving the Scene(Death)
In this case the defendant was accused of
hitting and killing a pedestrian while driving his car on highway 17 in North
Myrtle Beach at night. He was also accused of leaving the scene of a fatal
accident and charged with Felony DUI causing a death. The North Myrtle
Beach Police alleged that he was found walking along highway 17 near the town of
Briarcliff Acres, and had abandoned his car in a neighborhood nearby.
Police arrested him and charged him with Felony DUI (Death), and Felony Leaving
the Scene (Death). Pursuant to those allegations, the defendant faced up
to twenty five years on each charge which, under South Carolina law, is an
eighty-five percent offense which is not parole eligible, which means that if
convicted and sentenced, he would serve eighty-five percent of any sentence
received. As is often the case there were many issues, both factually and
legally, which would need to be resolved. After the passage of several
years the Defendant elected to accept a guilty plea to Driving Under the
Influence, First Offense and Felony DUI without death, but with great bodily
harm. He was sentenced to three years in prison with credit for ninety
days time served. Based upon the plea bargain he would serve about one
year and a half or eighteen months in the South Carolina Department of
Corrections less the three months he was held in J. Reuben Long Detention
Center, which is the Horry County jail.