Little-Known Facts About South Carolina Traffic Violations
While most people have a general understanding of the laws concerning traffic violations and their need to obey them, there are several tiny details that could make a big difference in your case. If you are fighting a traffic citation in South Carolina, you will want to be aware of anything that could possibly affect the outcome. Here are some little known facts and how they might impact you.
The Fine can be Subjective
You may have found an online list stating fines for certain speeding tickets, but that does not mean that the judge or officer will necessarily stick to that amount. South Carolina laws give judges a range of amounts and the authority to choose whichever fine he or she feels is appropriate. The officer also has discretion when setting the bond amount on some traffic tickets.
Location. Location. Location.
Where you get your ticket in South Carolina is an important factor on how your case will be resolved. Each magistrate and municipal court in South Carolina has their own administrative procedures for how traffic tickets are handled. Knowing the local rules of the Court can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
You can be Tried in Your Absence (TIA)
If you do not show up on your court date or hire a lawyer to represent you, you can be tried in your absence and found guilty of the offense. Ignoring a ticket, even if you live out of state, is not a good idea.
You Are Not Just Paying a DUI Fine
While the punishments for a DUI citation will depend on the circumstances and number of previous offenses, you will likely be paying for a lot more than a traffic fine. Some violators will also be required to pay for enrollment in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Awareness Program or an ignition interlock system for their vehicle. Reinstatement fees will also be required after license revocation and insurance costs will most likely skyrocket. You may also have court fees and other fines tacked on.
Your License Can Be Suspended Even If You Are Not Driving
If you voluntarily lend your car to someone else for street racing, you can end up with a suspended license. This penalty can be given for racing on any public street, whether it is a highway or deserted road.
Commercial Drivers Must Notify Their Employer of Citations
If you are a commercial driver, you will need to alert your employer to any traffic tickets received. South Carolina Law gives CDL operators 30 days to let their employer know about the violation. This includes anything from a DUI to a ticket for following too closely.
You can Hire a Lawyer
Paying the ticket and pleading guilty is not your only option if you receive a South Carolina traffic ticket. A lawyer can fight for your rights, and in most cases appear on your behalf, without you ever having to go to traffic court.
Understanding these facts can make a big difference in your ability to fight for your rights in a court of law. If you are cited for any traffic ticket in South Carolina, call our South Carolina defense lawyers at (803) 351-3597 for a free consultation on how we can help.