Driving Under Suspension Attorneys Columbia SC
There are many ways to get your driver’s license suspended in South Carolina. DUI, failure to pay traffic tickets, road racing, even failure to pay child support can all get you a suspension. If you did not qualify for, or your attorney at the time failed to get you, a provisional license allowing you to drive to and from work, then you simply cannot drive.
Driving while under suspension is a crime and has serious penalties, including jail time. If you have been arrested for driving with a suspended license, you need to contact legal assistance right away. At Truslow & Truslow, our Columbia traffic crimes lawyers can help you get past the initial arrest and move on to your defense. Contact us at (803) 256-6726 right away.
Restoring a Suspended License
In most cases, your license is only suspended for a limited time, usually until you complete a DUI course or pay your child support arrears. Once that time is up, you may think you can return to driving. This is a mistake that gets most people in trouble.
After your suspension period is over, you need to reinstate your license. Just because the suspension period is over does not mean the DMV has restored your right to drive or that the police will know about it if they pull you over.
- To reinstate your license, you will need to have completed all these steps:
- Paid all court fees and fines and completed all court-ordered programs
- Paid the reinstatement fee
- If it was a DUI suspension, you must have obtained SR-22 insurance and taken an Alcohol and Drug Safety Awareness Program through the DMV
- Had an ignition interlock device placed in your car for DUI suspensions
- Completed any other court-ordered requirements
If you have any uncertainty at all about the status of your suspension or restoring your license, you should contact an attorney and have them review the steps needed to restore your license. One of the main reasons people are arrested for driving while suspended is that they believe their licenses are restored automatically.
How Did My License Get Suspended?
Unless your license was suspended in court, you may have received notice of suspension by mail. The reason for this is that while your traffic tickets and DUIs are handled by the city and the county and your insurance is private, the DMV is run by the state. It can take time for the various agencies to coordinate your suspension. Some common reasons for an out-of-court suspension include:
- Excessive moving violations. Too many traffic tickets can result in a suspension of your license. Too many unpaid traffic tickets will also have this effect.
- Driving without insurance. Yes, the trooper may have let you drive away, but the citation still went on your record and went back to the courthouse. Failure to maintain minimum liability insurance will result in suspension and fees.
- Non-driving reasons. Failure to pay child support, failure to appear in court, or failure to respond to a DMV notice are all potential ways to get your license suspended.
Once you receive a notice of suspension, the burden is on you to surrender your license to the DMV. Failure to do so is another infraction and can result in even more fines. The DMV may punch a hole in your license or deface it in some other way so it can be used as identification.
Penalties for Driving Under Suspension
If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a provisional license. This allows you to drive to school, work, and essential medical appointments (for instance, dialysis or physical therapy). If you believe you are eligible, you should inquire immediately upon surrendering your license. Telling the police after you are stopped that you were “just driving to work” is too late.
Driving under suspension is a misdemeanor. The penalties depend upon the initial cause of the suspension.
- First violation: $300 fine and up to 30 days in jail (non-DUI); 10-30 days in jail for DUI
- Second violation: $600 fine and up to 60 days in jail (non-DUI); 60 days to six months in jail for DUI
- Third violation: $1000 fine and up to 90 days in jail (non-DUI); six months to three years in jail for DUI
Violations of driving under suspension also increase the length of time your license is suspended and can lead to permanent revocation of your license.
Driving under suspension for a DUI offense has other far-reaching implications. It tends to show that you are not serious about obeying the law, making it more difficult to get diversion or pretrial release. Judges dislike people who don’t obey the law.
How We Can Help
South Carolina courts understand that in today’s automobile-based society, suspending your license can cost you jobs, education, and even your health. There are ways to comply with the court’s orders and still drive to and from work and other necessary destinations. At Truslow & Truslow, we can help you obtain your provisional or restricted license before you get into trouble by driving on a suspended license.
If you’ve already been caught, we will go in and fight for you to get the best outcome possible. We know that even with the best of intentions, sometimes, there isn’t a good choice between keeping a job or driving when you shouldn’t. Our attorneys will review all the facts and present the best case to the court.
At Truslow & Truslow, we believe strongly that our clients are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecutor must make the case that you should be given the maximum sentence. Our job is to explain why that would not benefit anyone and why you should be given another chance.
If you have been arrested for driving on a suspended license, whether for a DUI-related suspension or another cause, contact Truslow & Truslow right away and put a skilled criminal defense attorney on your team. We will give you the zealous advocacy you need to stay out of jail and in your home and workplace where you need to be.