Hope Marie Campbell, a South Carolina woman, was charged with a felony Driving Under the Influence (DUI) resulting in death earlier this summer. She later beat the case on a showing that she did not actually drive the car. Warren Faucett died three days after Campbell’s vehicle rear ended him while he was on his motorcycle. Faucett’s brother spoke to Campbell in the Greenville County jail the day she was charged. He stated no sentence would be enough to replace his lost loved one.
After Campbell was charged, investigators reached a conclusion that although her Honda Odyssey was involved in the crash, Campbell was not the one at the wheel. Since then Campbell’s felony DUI charge has been dropped. She has now been charged with accessory to a felony. According to her attorney, Randy Chambers, Campbell has consistently maintained her innocence. She has claimed from the beginning that she was not driving at the time of the accident.
What Lead to the Incorrect Charge?
Since Campbell owned the Honda Odyssey a traffic ticket was issued under her name. In addition, there was a warrant granted after Faucett’s death that stated it believed Campbell was drinking and driving or using drugs and driving the night of the incident.
Who was driving?
Investigators determined that James Michael Smith was the driver. He has now been charged with a hit and run resulting in death, failure to yield the right of way, resisting arrest, trafficking meth or cocaine base, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and driving under suspension. Since 2005 Smith has also been convicted of burglary, drug and driving crimes.
Now Campbell faces charges that she allegedly assisted Smith to cover up the hit and run resulting in death. However, there is no documentation from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that indicates how she assisted Smith.
In South Carolina, a hit and run resulting in death can result in anywhere from 1-25 years in prison with a $10,000-25,000 fine
In Michigan, a hit and run resulting in death can result in a criminal felony charge. If convicted. the defendant can serve up to 15 years in prison and/or be responsible for a $10,000 fine.
Felony OWI in Michigan
A person can be charged with a felony OWI in Michigan if they have had two previous drunk driving convictions, regardless of how old a previous conviction may be. A previous conviction includes convictions in other states. The first two OWIs a person is charged with is charged as a misdemeanor. A felony OWI is more serious than a misdemeanor OWI. A felony OWI is punishable by a minimum of 30 days in jail, or prison. This means a conviction for a third-offense operating while intoxicated will result in incarceration of some length.
ArborYpsi Law Takeaways
Campbell was falsely charged with a crime that she did not commit. In serious DUI and hit and run cases, like the one above, it is best to not talk to the authorities. Instead let your attorney communicate with the investigators so that your innocence can be proven.
Sam Bernstein is a criminal defense lawyer in Washtenaw County.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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Call ArborYpsi Law if You’ve Been Charged With Drunk Driving
Not all attorneys are the same. Not even all criminal defense attorneys are the same. Many criminal defense attorneys are unwilling or unable to proactively fight OWI charges. This is not the case with ArborYpsi Law. We will fight your DUI case. We do not just walk clients in and plead them guilty to the first offer on the table (which is usually the only offer in OWI cases). We study the law and the science. Several times a year we attend Michigan OWI Attorneys seminars to improve out OWI trial skills, learn the science, and perfect our craft. Beating OWI charges is not easy and takes a lot of work – hard work is really the secret. That, and an attitude that OWI cases must be fought and can be won.