What are the Possible Consequences of a Speeding Ticket in SC?
What are the consequences of a speeding ticket in SC?
If you were thinking, “it’s just a fine,” you may not be seeing the big picture when it comes to speeding tickets, points accumulation, and license suspensions – the consequences of a speeding ticket can be more lasting and significant than “just a fine.”
Why hire an attorney to handle a speeding ticket?
- Your ticket may get dismissed,
- Your fine may be reduced,
- Your points may be reduced, and
- You may avoid the collateral consequences of a speeding ticket like license suspensions, habitual traffic offender status, or even jail time.
Consequences of a Speeding Ticket in SC – It’s Just a Fine, Right?
In most cases, if you are convicted of speeding, you pay a fine.
Depending on the ticket, it could be a hefty fine that also carries a loss of as much as six points from your license, and the traffic court judge, cop, or prosecutor is not going to tell you that paying the fine may also result in higher insurance premiums, points from your license, and a license suspension or habitual traffic offender status due to accumulated tickets…
What can a Charleston, SC Speeding Ticket Lawyer do for You?
There is a good chance that your speeding ticket lawyer’s fees will pay for themselves in the long run. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may be able to:
- Request a jury trial on your ticket and get your ticket dismissed if there are irregularities or if the officer does not follow through with prosecuting the ticket,
- Ensure that your license will not get suspended for accumulation of tickets,
- Get your ticket reduced to a lesser fine and lesser point violation,
- Get your ticket rewritten to a non-moving violation that carries no points,
- Have your ticket sent to a pretrial diversion program like the Traffic Education Program (TEP) where it will be dismissed, or
- Try your speeding ticket case to a jury.
Can You Go to Jail for a Speeding Ticket?
In most cases, you are not in danger of going to jail for a speeding ticket in SC, but there are some hidden dangers. For example:
- If you are ordered to pay a fine and you do not pay it on time, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest,
- If your license is suspended due to an accumulation of points, you will be subject to driving under suspension charges (SC police do arrest people for DUS), and
- If your license is revoked due to habitual offender status, you may be subject to DUS charges that carry up to five years in prison.
Consequences of a Speeding Ticket: Insurance Premiums, Points, Suspension
Collateral consequences of a speeding ticket could also include an accumulation of points taken from your license or even a license suspension.
Points on Your License for a SC Speeding Ticket
Speeding tickets in SC are a “points violation.” The number of points taken from your license depends on the type of ticket.
For example, if you are convicted for driving:
- Ten mph or less over the speed limit, it is a 2-point violation,
- 11-25 mph over the speed limit, it is a 4-point violation, or
- More than 25 mph over the speed limit, it is a 6-point violation (the same as a reckless driving ticket).
License Suspensions for Speeding Tickets
If you accumulate 12 or more points because of speeding tickets or other traffic violations, your license is suspended. SC Code Section 56-1-740 says that the period of suspension is based on the number of points you have accumulated:
(1) twelve to fifteen points – three months’ suspension;
(2) sixteen or seventeen points – four months’ suspension;
(3) eighteen or nineteen points – five months’ suspension;
(4) twenty points and over – six months’ suspension.
If you drive after your license has been suspended for an accumulation of points, you are then looking at jail time for driving under suspension charges.
Another consequence of speeding tickets that is often overlooked is a hefty increase in your insurance premiums – depending on your insurance company, your premiums will likely increase after you begin accumulating points, but there may be no penalty if you are instead convicted of a non-moving violation.
Consequences of a Speeding Ticket: HTO Status, CDLs
Other collateral consequences of a speeding ticket include habitual traffic offender status and the potential loss of your job if you have a CDL and drive for a living…
Habitual Traffic Offender Status
The DMV will revoke your license if you have ten or more convictions within three years for any traffic violations that carry four or more points, or if you have three or more convictions within three years for reckless homicide, DUI, DUAC, reckless driving, DUS, leaving the scene of an accident (injury or death), or any felony traffic offense.
Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL)
If you have a CDL or if you drive for a living, you should 1) take care not to get any traffic tickets, and 2) fight every traffic ticket that you get.
Let your attorney know upfront that you drive for a living and that you need your speeding ticket to be dismissed, rewritten for a result that will not affect your license, or tried to a jury – preparation for a trial may cost a bit more than your average speeding ticket defense, but you should not take any chances when your livelihood is at stake.
Speeding Ticket Lawyer in Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC speeding ticket lawyer Grant B. Smaldone has successfully handled most types of traffic violations in South Carolina. We know the local courts, law enforcement agencies, local procedures, and, in most cases, we can get your ticket dismissed or rewritten to an offense that will not affect your license and insurance.
If you were given a speeding ticket or any other traffic violation in the Charleston, SC area, call before your initial court date at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation about your case.