Driving under suspension (DUS) is unlike many other traffic offenses in that it can go largely unnoticed. But when drivers with suspended licenses are pulled over for other reasons, DUS charges can put them at risk of serious penalties, including fines and even jail time. These penalties can sometimes come as a shock to drivers who have waited out their suspension period but have failed to have their license legally reinstated.
Even if you are innocent of all other traffic charges at the time, a DUS conviction can disrupt your life and finances. If you have been charged with DUS in Columbia, Truslow & Truslow can build your case to help you avoid some of the more serious penalties and, if possible, to apply for a route-restricted driver’s license.
Penalties for Driving Under Suspension
In South Carolina, DUS penalties vary depending on whether you were driving on a public highway or on a normal road. Regardless, the penalties increase with each conviction for a repeat offender. Here are the penalties you could suffer if convicted of DUS on a normal road:
First offense: a fine of $300, up to 30 days in prison, or both
Second offense: a fine of $600, up to 60 days in prison, or both
Third or subsequent offense: a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in prison or up to six months under house arrest
Here are the penalties you could suffer if convicted of DUS on a public highway:
First offense: a fine of $300 or 10-30 days in prison
Second offense: a fine of $600 or 60 days-six months in prison
Third or subsequent offense: a fine of $1,000 and six months-three years in prison
Note that these highway penalties include a minimum jail sentence. Whether you were charged with DUS on a road or a highway, a lighter sentence will require you to present a sympathetic picture, and an experienced lawyer can help you do that.
If you have been charged with DUS but need to drive to get to work or school, you may be able to apply for a route-restricted license, which would allow you to legally drive to and from work or school during specified times. Under South Carolina law, you can apply for a route-restricted license if you are employed at a business or enrolled at a university located more than a mile from your home. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through this application process.
A DUS conviction can cost you a great deal of money, or even your freedom. Truslow & Truslow can help minimize the consequences you might face. Our traffic crime attorneys have experience representing people like you throughout the Columbia area. We will fight tirelessly to defend you and, if you are convicted, to increase your chances of a lighter sentence. If you have been charged with DUS, call theColumbia driving under suspension attorneys of Truslow & Truslow today at (803) 256-6276.