Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses in Columbia

Misdemeanor traffic offenses in Columbia range from low-level speeding to hit and run to driving under the influence (DUI) to leaving the scene of an accident. Depending on as far as various degrees, how fast the person going can depend on which type of speeding offense they are charged with. If somebody is charged with DUI or they have been convicted of DUI in the past, there could be a second offense or third or subsequent offense driving under the influence case.

There are a significant number of offenses that are found under Title 56 of the South Carolina code of law. All are technically traffic-related offenses, even though some of them carry everything from as low as a fine or up to 30 days in jail to as high as for felony DUI resulting in death, which is punishable by 25 years in prison. It is a wide range of offenses, and some of them have criminal components.

If a person was pulled over by the City of Columbia, the case would be heard at the City of Columbia Municipal Court. If they were arrested or given a traffic citation by Richland County, it would be heard at the Central Court on Decker Boulevard. If they are in Irmo, the case would be heard at the Irmo Municipal Court or Chapin Municipal Court. The City of Columbia carries a lot of different municipalities and counties, so it really depends on which police officer a person dealt with.

Speak to a knowledgeable traffic attorney to learn about your legal options following a driving offense.

What Constitutes a Traffic Infraction?

A traffic infraction is anything that is listed under Title 56, such as speeding, reckless driving, or DUI. It all depends on the specific crime of traffic offenses if someone is accused of or charged with a traffic infraction.

The difference between an infraction versus a misdemeanor is that infractions require a fine only. A misdemeanor, on the other hand, carries up to 30 days in jail.

Understanding Traffic Misdemeanors

A traffic misdemeanor is one that carries potential jail time, such as driving 25 miles over the speed limit, a reckless driving charge, a first offense DUI, or a low-level hit and run.

Some factors can elevate an infraction to a misdemeanor. Jail time and fines can be enhanced if someone is speeding or if it was a hit and run situation. Injuries and property damage can also increase the penalties of a misdemeanor traffic offense in Columbia.

Types of Speed-Related Offenses

Speeding-related infractions at the lowest level occur when someone is going under 10 miles per hour above the speed limit. The other ranges are between 10 to 15 miles per hour, 15 to 25 miles per hour, and then everything else is above 25 miles per hour.

The most serious is over 25 mph, which triggers up to 30 days in jail. This also put 2-6 points on their license, and then there are the collateral consequences with their insurance company. There are a lot of other things that someone can be charged with in addition to the speeding infraction. Examples of speed-related misdemeanors would include careless driving and reckless driving.

Penalties For a Traffic Offense

The penalties for traffic infractions get everything from a low-level fine up to 30 days in jail all the way up to decades in prison. Penalties for traffic misdemeanors depend on the nature of the charge. It could be all the way from a fine for up to 30 days in jail as a potential penalty up to several years. It depends on whether speeding, a hit and run, DUI, or reckless driving. Reckless driving carries up to 30 days in jail.

Appealing Misdemeanor Convictions

Everybody has the right to appeal, and they will have between 10 and 30 days to do so. The process depends on the nature of the case. Every court has different deadlines to file what is called a notice of appeal.  Since the deadlines are strict, there are tight time constraints that must be followed, or the appeal cannot begin.

It is best to seek the assistance of a confident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that the case is handled properly because if they do not file within the proper deadlines the case can no longer be pursued.

Let a Columbia Traffic Lawyer Could Help

A conviction for a misdemeanor traffic offense in Columbia could have many unwanted consequences such as fines and points on a license. Following a charge or ticket for a traffic violation, it is best to retain the services of an experienced attorney. The lawyer could help you fight the case and mitigate the consequences.

Schedule a consultation to learn about misdemeanor traffic offenses in Columbia and how an attorney could help your specific case. Call today.