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Understanding South Carolina’s Reckless Vehicular Homicide

South Carolina is the one of the worst in the nation when it comes to DUI-related deaths, ranking 5th in the country overall. So it should come as no surprise then that the penalties for DUIs and vehicular homicides in the state are harsh and unforgiving.
Many times, if a driver has been drinking and causes an accident that results in a fatality, either felony could be charged. For this reason, DUI and Reckless Vehicular Homicide are often charged interchangeably.
… So what is the difference between the two? We discuss in this blog.
Felony DUI
A felony DUI is charged when the following circumstances occur:

  • The suspect operated a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Acted negligently behind the wheel (e.g., ran a red light, followed another vehicle too closely, etc.)
  • Caused substantial injury or death to another person. This includes other drivers as well as passengers and pedestrians

Reckless Vehicular Homicide
You will be charged with Reckless Vehicular Homicide in the event that someone dies as a result of your actions behind the wheel.
Reckless Vehicular Homicide does not require that you be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The biggest difference between these two charges lies within the penalties.
Felony DUI:

  • For causing substantial bodily injury
    • Mandatory imprisonment ranging from 30 days to 15 years in state or federal prison
    • Minimum $5,000 to maximum $10,000 mandatory fine
    • Driver’s license is suspended for the term of imprisonment or probation plus three years from the end of the sentence.
  • When death occurs
    • Mandatory imprisonment ranging from 1 year to 25 years in state or federal prison
    • Minimum $10,000 and maximum $25,000 mandatory fine
    • Driver’s license is suspended for the term of imprisonment plus five years following release.

Reckless Homicide:

  • $1,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • 5-year driver’s license suspension

An experienced attorney can lessen the damage that Reckless Vehicular Homicide and/or Felony DUI charges can have on your future. Experienced lawyers are aware that should your license get suspended in South Carolina due to a Reckless Homicide or Felony DUI conviction, you can apply to have your license reinstated.  
We Defend the Accused Who Have a Lot to Lose
We understand that this is a trying time in your or your loved one’s life. The attorneys at Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team have a long, successful history of representing clients in both criminal and DUI cases.
Let us be the first line of defense to ensure the system doesn’t violate any of your rights. Don’t leave your future to anyone else—leave it to our experienced, reliable, and compassionate team. Contact us for help or call (843) 627-4025 today.

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