Are SC Speeding Tickets Different for Out-of-State Drivers?
Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations in South Carolina. If you’re from North Carolina or another state and are ticketed for speeding in South Carolina, you might wonder how the ticket could affect your license and your driving privileges in your home state.
The penalties you may face for speeding in South Carolina could be different from those you’d get in your home state. Even though you might not face license suspension for a speeding ticket in South Carolina, your home state’s DMV could revoke your license, depending on the penalties they impose for similar violations.
Let’s take a closer look at how a South Carolina speeding ticket could impact you if you’re an out-of-state motorist.
Will an SC Speeding Ticket Affect My License in My Home State?
Most states (and some Canadian provinces), including South Carolina, adhere to the Driver’s License Compact. Under the compact, when a motorist incurs a traffic violation outside their home state, the state where they were ticketed reports the citation to the driver’s home state. A handful of states are not members or only apply the Driver’s License Compact when major violations occur. However, South Carolina can also report data about traffic citations to states that don’t conform to the precise terms of the compact.
If you are ticketed for speeding in South Carolina, your license could be affected in your home state.
For instance, if you receive a speeding ticket in South Carolina but are licensed in North Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will report the traffic violation to the North Carolina DMV. The North Carolina DMV will then impose penalties based on North Carolina traffic laws. These penalties may differ from those that South Carolina would have imposed if it were your home state. In some cases, the penalties may be harsher; in others, they might be less severe.
For instance, if you received a 4-point traffic ticket after driving over 70 mph in a 55-mph zone in South Carolina, your North Carolina license could be suspended at home for at least thirty days, even though South Carolina’s laws wouldn’t require suspension. You could also face license suspension for at least 30 days back in North Carolina if you were ticketed for driving over 80 mph in South Carolina. However, if you can obtain a two-point reduction on your South Carolina traffic ticket, your North Carolina license might not be affected at all.
Many out-of-state motorists don’t realize that by pleading guilty to a speeding ticket in South Carolina, they can potentially suffer tougher penalties back home, not to mention higher insurance premiums. Simply paying the fine can also be considered an admission of guilt by your state’s DMV.
Instead of just accepting the ticket, you should contact a South Carolina speeding ticket attorney. An attorney might be able to help you get the number of points associated with your ticket reduced. Your lawyer could also try to have your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation.
Careless Operation for Out-of-State Motorists
In South Carolina, municipal courts sometimes offer out-of-state drivers the charge of “careless operation” as an alternative to a speeding ticket. Careless operation is a no-point charge, which can make the offer seem enticing. However, many other states do not have a careless operation charge. In North Carolina, for instance, the only comparable charge to careless operation is reckless driving. So, if you accept the charge of careless operation in South Carolina, believing it will prevent your license from being suspended back home, you could be charged with reckless driving when you return to North Carolina. In North Carolina, you can have your license revoked for a reckless driving conviction.
If you’re an out-of-state motorist, be wary of accepting the charge of careless operation in South Carolina and reach out to an attorney for help before you take any action.
Contact a Columbia Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer
Having your license revoked in your home state can cause a significant disruption in your life and daily routines. If you’re an out-of-state driver who received a speeding ticket in South Carolina, Truslow & Truslow may be able to help you preserve your license and avoid harsh penalties when you return home.
In most cases, once you’ve hired our firm to represent you, you won’t have to return to South Carolina to appear in court. Our legal team will appear on your behalf and keep you updated on every development in your case.
Before you plead guilty, pay the ticket, or do anything else, give our South Carolina traffic ticket defense lawyers a call at (803) 256-6276 to learn about your options during a confidential consultation.