Traffic Violation Attorneys Columbia SC
Did you receive a traffic ticket for running a red light, speeding, or failing to signal? Most people who receive a ticket either ignore it or pay off the fine. However, there are consequences for both actions. While you should never ignore a ticket, paying it off can impact your driving record, insurance premiums, and possibly even your driving privileges. There is another option, which is to fight it with the help of an experienced South Carolina defense attorney.
Not all traffic situations are black and white. Sometimes communication is lacking, the circumstances are misunderstood, or there was a mistake, and you simply aren’t guilty. Paying the ticket is a form of admitting guilt and financially making up for your mistake. Should you be on the hook financially and willing to accept the consequences if there has been a mistake?
At Truslow & Truslow, we have a team of skilled South Carolina traffic lawyers who can review the circumstances of your situation and help defend you in court. Don’t let a ticket negatively impact your driving record or insurance premiums. Find out what you can do to defend yourself by calling the office of Truslow & Truslow for valuable legal advice. To talk to one of our experienced lawyers, call us today at 803.256.6276
Speeding is one of the most common types of traffic law violations. The basic speeding law in South Carolina prohibits drivers from driving speeds that are considered unreasonable under the existing conditions and with regard to potential hazards. In layman’s terms, that simply means that regardless of the posted speed limit, drivers must drive at a speed that is safe for the current driving conditions on the road at any given time. Drivers who violate this rule or are caught violating the posted speed limit may be ticketed by law enforcement officials.
A speeding violation in the state of South Carolina is considered a misdemeanor violation. The penalties for a first-time speeding offense vary based on how many miles over the posted limit a driver was going. In general, these are the typical fines applied to first offense speeding violations:
Speeds up to 10 miles over the posted limit
- Fines of $76.50
Speeds more than 10 miles but less than 15 miles over the posted limit
- Fines of $128.75
Speeds more than 15 but less than 25 miles over the posted limit
- Fines of $180.50
Speeds over 25 miles over the posted limit
- Fines of $440.00
- And/or up to 30 days in jail
Speeding violations also add demerit points to an individual’s driver’s license. In the case of speeding violations, those points are as follows:
Speeds up to 10 miles over the posted limit
- 2 points
Speeds between 11 to 24 miles over the posted limit
- 4 points
Speeds 25 miles or over the posted limit
- 6 points
Once a driver accumulates 12 or more points on their license, they will automatically receive a notice from the Department of Motor vehicles informing them that their license has been suspended. The number of demerit points on an individual’s license determines the length of the suspension.
12 to 15 points
- 3-month suspension
16 to 17 points
- 4-month suspension
18 to 19 points
- 5-month suspension
20 or more points
- 6-month suspension
Reckless Driving Violations
Reckless driving in South Carolina is defined as any “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Since the definition is so broad, law enforcement can lump a variety of driving behaviors under the reckless driving category. A reckless driving violation could be handed to a driver for failing to yield the right of way, racing, excessive speed, unsafe lane changes, tailgating or “brake checking” other vehicles, weaving in and out of lanes without using a signal, road rage incidents, and fleeing law enforcement.
In most instances, reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor traffic violation, but that doesn’t mean that the penalties are light. The penalties for reckless driving include:
- Fine of $25 to $200 and/or
- 30 days in jail
Subsequent offenses within a 5-year period
- Fine of $25 to $200 and/or
- 30 days in jail and
- 3-month license suspension
A reckless driving violation will earn a driver six demerit points on their driver’s license. If the reckless driving offense leads to the death of another person, the driver may then face charges of reckless homicide. Reckless homicide carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison, fines up to $5,000, and the revocation of the individual’s driver’s license for up to five years.
Drivers who operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher or who are obviously impaired by drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants may face a driving while under the influence, or DUI, violation. DUI is one of the most serious types of traffic violations. They carry significant penalties within the legal system and significant repercussions with insurance carriers as well.
South Carolina is an “implied consent” state when it comes to testing for BAC. This means that drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI offense must submit to a breath or chemical test. If a driver refuses the test, the court will automatically suspend the individual’s driver’s license for six months for a first-time offense. A second refusal in a 10-year time period results in a nine-month suspension. The legal ramifications of a DUI conviction may include any combination of the following:
- 48 hours to 1 year in jail
- Fines of $400 to $1,000
- 6-month license suspension
- 5 days to 3 years in jail
- Fines of $2,100 to $6,500
- 60 days to 5 years in jail
- Fines of $3,800 to $10,000
If a driver has more than one DUI conviction on their record, they will also be enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Program. This program requires the driver to breathe into a machine installed in their vehicle. If the machine does not detect alcohol, the car will start. As with reckless driving violations, if a driver’s actions cause the death of another, then the penalties they may face in the court system will be much more severe and can carry a term in prison.
What About Other Traffic Violations?
While these are some of the major violations that a driver may face, they certainly aren’t the only traffic violations. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and advise you of your rights. As a team, we can determine how to achieve the best possible result for your particular situation. Our main goal is to protect your rights.
At Truslow & Truslow, we have the skills and experience to help drivers fight a wide variety of traffic violations. Some of the most common violations we help people tackle include:
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Disobeying traffic officers
- Unlawful passing
- Failing to yield right of way
- Following too closely
- Unsafe vehicle condition
- Changing lanes without a signal
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Open container violations
- Driving under suspension
If you have received a traffic violation, we may be able to help. Before you do anything else, contact an experienced South Carolina traffic attorney for more information. We will review your case and walk you through your legal options. We want to achieve a positive result for your situation.
What Not To Do If You Get a Traffic Violation
You may be familiar with what you are supposed to do after getting a traffic ticket, but what about the things you shouldn’t do? Consider avoiding some of these common pitfalls:
- Keep your responses to the ticketing officer polite and short – You don’t want to accidentally say something that implies fault.
- Do not admit guilt to an officer – You will have a hard time fighting the ticket if you admit guilt.
- Stay off social media – Do not mention your ticket or the circumstances of the violation on social media, as this information could be used against you.
- Nothing – Never ignore a ticket. It will come back to haunt you later, and the consequences can be more significant than the actual ticket itself.
The best thing you can do when you receive a traffic violation is to get the advice of an experienced South Carolina traffic attorney. An attorney can review your legal rights and help you navigate the legal system. The team at Truslow & Truslow is ready to fight for you.
Talk to an Experienced South Carolina Traffic Lawyer Today
If you have received a traffic ticket, before you do anything else, call the experienced team at Truslow & Truslow for guidance. A traffic ticket may seem like a simple inconvenience, but it can carry serious repercussions for your driving record, insurance premiums, and your wallet in general.
You do have options. Find out what they are and how we can help protect your rights. Contact our office today by calling 803.256.6276, and we’ll talk about your situation.