License Suspension and Driving Without a License in Columbia

Unlicensed driving is a crime in the State of South Carolina. The person would receive a ticket for driving without a license. A license may be suspended because of too many points from speeding tickets or from driving under suspension, driving under the influence (DUI), or reckless driving within a three-year period of time. The level of offense is a misdemeanor, which can carry up to 30 days in jail. This is going to have long-lasting implications if convicted.

It is best to seek help from a skilled reckless driving lawyer to help them lessens the impact of a conviction. If convicted, there could be long-lasting implications such as the inability to operate a vehicle, high fines, and points on a license. Speak to a tenacious defense attorney to learn about the laws regarding license suspension and driving without a license in Columbia.

Penalties For Driving Without a License

If someone is driving while they have a license, but it is suspended, they would be charged with driving under suspension (DUS).  If someone is driving under suspension, there are gradual penalties. It really depends if it is a first offense, second offense, or third offense because the penalties get more severe.

Driving under suspension is a misdemeanor offense, and it carries up to 30 days in jail or a fine. Driving under suspension is a separate charge from driving without a license. It is a common offense, and it is also an enhanceable case. For example, if someone is in an accident, and they were driving with a suspended license, the misdemeanor offense could escalate to a felony.

License Suspension Due To DUI

The most common causes of license suspension and driving without a license in Columbia is due to driving under the influence. If a person is convicted of a DUI, the person’s license is going to be suspended. If a person is convicted of a driving with the unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC), a person’s license would be suspended. People who have a lot of points from reckless driving charges or driving under suspension charges will ultimately end up with a habitual traffic offenders status.

If someone is convicted of a DUI, their license will be suspended for six months guaranteed. Depending on the nature of the charge, the blood alcohol content, and number of prior offenses, the period of suspension grows.

Drivers whose licenses were suspended because of DUI charges can get their license back after they serve their suspension period. This depends on the nature of their conviction, but if they have served the period of suspension, completed the Alcohol Drugs Action Safety Program course, paid their reinstatement fee of $100, and done all the requirements that the Department of Motor Vehicles had asked them to do, then they may be able to get their license back.

Failure to Pay Fines

A license could be suspended for failure to pay fines. This is quite common if someone does not pay their fines, fees, or tickets. Then the court has the ability to suspend their license for failure to follow the law. That is a way of punishment.

Challenging a License Suspension

A person has 30 days from the date of suspension to challenge their license. They have 30 days to file for a contested case hearing, which is essentially like an admin hearing at the Office of Motor Vehicles. This generally has a $200 filing fee. Once a person files for a hearing, the person then can go get a temporary alcohol restricted license, which will allow the person to drive during the pending outcome of the hearing. A person can challenge the suspension by asking for a contested case hearing with the Office of the Motor Vehicles.

A driver does not necessarily need to go to court in order to challenge or settle their suspension. There would be a hearing at the Office of Motor Vehicles if a person is challenging the suspension. A person could get around that part by having their lawyer go on their behalf. However, lawyers often advise that their clients be there so they can be a participant in the process. They could be used as a witness to attack the case.

How a Reckless Driving Attorney Could Help

Drivers can protect their driving privileges by going to a reckless driving attorney as soon as possible. They can find out whether they can challenge that suspension. If they can, they must do so within the 30-day deadline, so a person needs to move fast.

Speak to an experienced reckless driving lawyer to learn about the traffic laws regarding license suspension and driving without a license in Columbia.

License Suspension and Driving Without a License in Columbia