20-Year-Old Man Charged with Felony DUI for Causing Deadly Accident on Johns Island
James Bryson Munn has been charged with both felony DUI and minor in possession of beer.
Munn was also injured in the car accident, and he remains in the hospital for his injuries. Although he is not in jail at the moment, his bond has been set at $100,475.
According to police reports, on Saturday, August 16th, Munn was driving through the Johns Island area, passing vehicles at a high rate of speed, when his Chevy Equinox ran off a ramp on the side of the road, so he overcorrected and collided with a Jeep Compass. Victim Kylie Gillette, 17 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputies say Munn had “bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of a consumed alcoholic beverage coming from his person.” He failed a field sobriety test. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries, where he was informed that he would be charged with felony DUI.
Reportedly, Munn had attended the memorial service of a friend who had just recently died in a plane crash.
South Carolina Felony DUI Law
A person will be charged with a felony for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, if while operating the vehicle under the influence, the person causes “great bodily injury” or death to a person other than himself including a passenger, pedestrian, another driver.
Upon conviction of a felony DUI by jury, the accused faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence and fine. A DUI conviction that includes a felony conviction for causing the death of another includes a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 1 year in prison with a maximum 25 years imprisonment, and a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $10,100 nor more than $25,100. Additionally, the convicted person’s driver’s license is suspensed for the term of imprisonment plus five years.
A felony DUI conviction for causing great bodily injury includes a mandatory minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 15 years imprisonment, plus a mandatory fine of at least $5,000, not to exceed $10,100. Also, the DMV must suspend the convicted person’s driver’s license for the term of imprisonment plus three years.
A part of the mandatory sentences required to be imposed under the felony DUI law must not be suspended, and probation must not be granted for any portion.
A driver who is over the age of 18 but under 21 charged with DUI may additionally be charged with child endangerment and subject to additional criminal penalties if they are carrying a passenger younger than 16. The underage DUI suspect could also face reckless endangerment charges, charges for being a minor in possession of drugs or alcohol, or vehicle violations. If you are over 21 years old and you distributed alcohol to a minor which led to an underage DUI charge or accident, you could face serious charges of child endangerment and distributing alcohol to minors, which can lead to a revoked driver’s license or business license.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Felony DUI Charges in South Carolina
Based in Columbia, SC, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm collectively have over 30 years of experience with South Carolina law. The firm was founded in 1996 by former US Attorney and Assistant Solicitor Pete Strom. If you face felony DUI charges in South Carolina, we can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not let DUI or felony DUI charges prevent you from pursuing opportunities. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.