When Traffic Fines Get Tricky

Thomas Jeter • May 20, 2016

When Traffic Fines Get Tricky

Everyone has had it happen: you’re cruising down the highway, enjoying the lush, green scenery when suddenly, a pair of flashing red and blue lights in the rearview mirror causes your stomach to drop as you slow to a stop and pull off to the side of the road. Getting ticketed by a police officer is a negative experience for anyone, but there are some instances which can make traffic fines in South Carolina even worse.

CDL Drivers

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your position is, you’re still eligible for traffic fines. CDL drivers may have it a bit worse, though, since they are required to tell their boss about the violation and receive stricter fees and penalties if found guilty. This is one reason why it’s so important for CDL drivers to plead “not guilty” and seek legal help if they’re ever found on the wrong side of the law.

Certain Areas of the State

While you may think that traffic fines are equal throughout all of South Carolina, this is not always the case. Some parts of the state may have higher fees or be more likely to fine you the maximum penalty allowed. The officer who pulled you over or the judge for your hearing can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.


Drivers convicted of a DUI face a range of penalties, including license suspension, hefty fines, jail time and a permanent criminal record. Even those being cited for this infraction the first time can face lifelong consequences that will affect their job status and abilities. This is another case where hiring an attorney can help drivers avoid debilitating consequences .

Habitual Offenders

The title “habitual offender” is reserved for drivers with more than ten minor convictions in three years or more than three major offenses, such as a DUI or reckless driving. The consequences for drivers with this type of record are more extreme than first-time offenders and can lead to a loss of insurance or a revoked license.

Passing a Stopped School Bus

While this doesn’t seem like an extreme traffic violation, it carries one of the highest fines in the state.

Excessive Speed

Drivers who surpass the speed limit by extreme amounts can be fined much higher than drivers with lower speeds. Reaching a velocity of 25 miles per hour over the speed limit can lead to a fine of almost $500 in some areas of the state.


What to Do About Traffic Fines in South Carolina?

Those flashing lights in your rearview mirror are never a good sign, and they usually only mean one thing: a ticket. While you may think that the only thing to do once you’ve been issued a ticket is to pay the fine and accept the consequences, you’d be surprised at how many options are available to you.  The easiest way to avoid traffic fines is to follow all speed limits and laws, but if you made a mistake and have been issued a citation, an experienced attorney can help reduce or eliminate traffic fines in South Carolina as well as offer advice on the immediate penalties as well as long-term consequences such as increased insurance premiums, license revocation, and a permanent criminal record that can affect your chances of being hired for employment opportunities.