Columbia Traffic Lawyer

After receiving a traffic ticket, many people worry about the fines they may have incurred, the points that may accumulate on their driving record, and possible increases to auto insurance premiums. Even worse, the legal consequences for traffic violations sometimes include suspension or revocation of one’s driver’s license.

Having legal representation in traffic court often leads to the best possible outcome. Whether the offense is running a red light or a stop sign ticket, a DUI, a speeding ticket, or any other moving violation, it should not be taken lightly. Traffic matters are best handled by obtaining zealous representation by a competent Columbia traffic lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney can be an invaluable asset, even in instances when the ticketed individual does not reside in South Carolina.

Types of Traffic Offenses in South Carolina

All moving violations in South Carolina have the potential to contribute points to a person’s license. No matter how petty the traffic ticket may seem, merely paying the fine to avoid traffic court is an admission of guilt, which does not protect them from other consequences, such as an increase in points which can lead to costly insurance premiums or a loss of driving privileges. This is where a Columbia traffic attorney can make a big difference. Below is a sampling of driving offenses and their penalties in South Carolina.

Speeding

Generally, a speeding offense is charged as a misdemeanor. As a first offense, the penalties consist of a $25 fine for driving 10 or fewer miles per hour over the speed limit, a $50 fine for driving 11-15 miles per hour over the speed limit, and so on. Driving in excess of 25 mph over the posted speed limit may result in up to 30 days of jail time. It is important to note that these fines do not include court costs and fees, so a person could have to pay more money than just the fine

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is generally defined as driving in a manner that disregards the safety of people or property. If convicted, a person who drives recklessly in South Carolina receives six points against their license and is potentially subject to license suspension for repeat offenses. Generally, the total fine is $660 dollars.

 Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

According to South Carolina’s Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways, a first-offense DUI is generally punishable by a $400 fine or imprisonment for anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days. The total fine plus court costs and fees is generally over $1,000 dollars. The penalties may be increased if the person’s blood alcohol content is above a set percentage. Sometimes, the court will substitute a sentence of public service a/k/a community service for the jail time. For subsequent DUI offenses, the penalties become increasingly severe, including mandatory jail sentences.

Felony DUI

If a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident that results in great bodily injury to another person, the driver may be charged with a felony, which may result in a sentence as severe as 15 years in prison and 25 years when a felony DUI results in death.

Reducing Points on Licenses

After a person accumulates 12 points or more on their driving record, the DMV will suspend a person’s driver’s license. In order to reduce points that have already been added to their license, a Columbia traffic lawyer would recommend taking a defensive driving course. Doing so can remove up to four points from someone’s record and may be done once every three years.

How a Columbia Traffic Lawyer Can Help

Having legal representation in traffic court can give you peace of mind that a professional is advocating on your behalf to achieve the best possible result in your case.

For more information about how a Columbia traffic lawyer can fight your traffic violation, call today. Get in touch with a skilled traffic attorney and know that you are in capable hands.