What Happens If You Drive Without a License in South Carolina?
One thing you might not realize is the importance of keeping your driver’s license current. In South Carolina, it is a legal requirement for you to have a valid license on you any time you operate a motor vehicle. If you are caught driving without a valid driver’s license, you could face legal repercussions.
Driving Without a License Is a Traffic Crime
There are many reasons why you may not have a valid license. The two most common reasons are unknown suspensions and failure to renew by expiration date. Regardless of what lead to you driving around town on without a valid license, it is not a matter you should take lightly or ignore.
Law enforcement officers can issue citations or traffic tickets to motorists who:
- Do not have a driver’s license
- License is expired
- Does not have physical possession of a valid license
- Legal driving privileges are revoked
It is not uncommon for people to sometimes forget to make sure they have their driver’s licenses on them. It is also a common occurrence for motorists to forget to renew their licenses before they expire because of their busy schedules. Regardless of the reason, anyone who is caught without a valid license is subject to the penalties.
Often the penalties are dependent on the status of your driving privileges. For example, if you never had a license to begin with because you never applied for one, you could end up having to pay up to several hundreds of dollars in fines and spend a month behind bars. Repeat offenders could end up with higher fines and a longer incarceration sentence.
Penalties for Driving With an Expired License
If your license is recently expired,a dismissal is possible if you renew your license within seven days and show proof of the renewal to the courts. If you do not, the situation is treated the same as if you never had a valid license, meaning you could be sentenced to serve a 30-day jail sentence and pay hundreds of dollars in fines.
Penalties for Driving on a Revoked License
Anyone who is caught driving on a revoked or suspended license could find themselves in some serious trouble. Because this is considered an intentional act of disobedience, courts are less lenient on these offenders. First-time offenders can receive a 30-day jail sentence and must pay a hefty fine. The penalties for repeat violators can become increasingly more severe.
Defense Attorney for Driving without a License
As with any criminal legal matter, anyone who knowingly or unknowingly drives without an license and winds up with a criminal citation can benefit from having an experienced traffic court defense attorney.