Car crashes are common on South Carolina roads, often resulting in costly repairs and sometimes, serious injuries. Despite the prevalence of auto accidents, most drivers do not know much about traffic violations – and the legal consequences that follow. They also fail to realize the impact on their SC driver license points.
Our car accident lawyers are here to explain the basics, ensuring drivers know what to expect after their wreck:
What Are Driver License Points?
Points are added to your SC driver’s license when you commit a traffic violation. Think of points like strikes on your driving record – with more points putting you closer to losing your driving privileges.
South Carolina Driver License Point System Based on Violation
- Speeding (up to 10 mph over the speed limit)
- Improper lane changing
- Driving too fast for current conditions (up to 10 mph over the speed limit)
- Dangerous parking
- Driving without proper lights
- Unsafe vehicle operation (in general)
- Failing to dim high beams when approaching oncoming traffic
- Improper lane use
- Backing up unsafely
- Speeding (11-24 mph over the speed limit)
- Improper passing
- Improper turning (example: failing to use a turn signal)
- Not yielding the right-of-way
- Driving without functional tail or brake lights
- Driving the wrong direction
- Driving in a construction zone without authority
- Failing to use proper signals
- Ignoring a traffic control
- Disregarding a traffic/police officer when directing traffic
- Speeding (25 mph or more over the speed limit)
- Reckless driving
- Passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights
- Leaving an accident scene with property damage
How Many Points Until My South Carolina Driver License Is Suspended?
The length of your SC driver’s license suspension depends on the number of points you have acquired. Here’s what you need to know:
- 12 to 15 points: 3-month suspension
- 16 to 17 points: 4-point suspension
- 18 to 19 points: 5-month suspension
- 20+ points: 6-month suspension
Note: The number of points is cut in half after one year.
For Serious Violations, Your Driver License Can Be Revoked
Drivers convicted of serious traffic violations may have their SC driver’s license immediately revoked, instead of suspended for a period of time. The following violations carry a penalty equivalent to 12 points and result in automatic license revocation:
- Hit and run (fleeing an accident scene with injuries)
- Aggravated reckless driving
- Driving under the influence (alcohol or drugs)
- Attempting to elude a police officer
- Committing a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle
How A Skilled Lawyer Can Fight Your Traffic Violations
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your wreck, an experienced car accident lawyer may be able to:
- Negotiate on your behalf
Your attorney may be able to plead your penalty down to a lesser offense, allowing you to pay a fine for a non-moving violation.
- Get your charge dismissed
If you were wrongly accused of a traffic violation, your car accident lawyer may be able to prove this – and get your case thrown out or given a “not guilty” verdict.
- Fight improper point calculations
In some instances, the state simply miscalculates the number of points on your record, resulting in a wrongful license suspension.
- Help you enroll in traffic school
If you have four points or less on your SC driver’s license, you may be able to enroll in the Traffic Education Program. Keep in mind that this is a one-time option.
Need to Pay South Carolina Traffic Ticket? Click Here
How to Keep a Clean Driving Record
Keeping your driving record clean is essential for lower auto insurance rates. To do that, you need to:
- Obtain a copy of your driving record and understand how long offenses stay in your state
- Ask the DMV about removing any convictions
- Determine if you qualify for a dismissal and pay the fee
- Take a driver’s safety course if it’s an option in your state
- Avoid adding new violations to your record
- Contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney for solid legal advice.
At Hoffman Law Firm, we will assist with any personal injuries and property damages endured due to a car accident. We speak with the insurance company to make sure you get the maximum compensation available.
How do I deal with unpaid traffic tickets from years ago?
Dealing with unpaid traffic tickets from years ago can be a difficult task. It may be best to start by obtaining a record of the tickets. This can be done by contacting the court where the tickets were issued. Once you have the record, you can then look into your options. You may be able to pay the tickets, or if they are too old, they may be dismissed. There are also other options such as attending a defensive driving course or requesting a payment plan. Whichever route you choose, it is important to take action to resolve the issue.
Are there any violations that don’t result in points?
Generally speaking, when a violation occurs, points may be added to the driver’s record. However, some violations may be non-points violations, meaning that no points are assessed. These types of violations could include parking tickets, seat belt violations, or expired registration tags. In these cases, the violation would need to be paid, but it would not result in points on the driver’s record.
How many points is a wreck in SC?
Reckless driving: 6 points.
Reckless driving will net you six points. If you flee the scene of an accident that causes injuries or damages, six points will be added to your record. Speeding over the posted speed limit will result in two, three, or six points, depending on the speed. Illegally turning will get you four points. All in all, it is best to obey the laws of the road to avoid any points being added to your record.
How long does it take for points to come off your license in SC?
In South Carolina, points remain on your driving record for up to two years before they are removed. After one year, the points on your license are cut in half. If you wish to reduce the points on your driving license more quickly, you can take additional driving courses.
Will my car insurance go up with 3 points?
Yes. When you get a car insurance quote, it is essential to be honest about any previous claims or motoring offenses as this could have an impact on your cover. Indeed, all these penalty points may lead to an increase in your insurance premium. Therefore, it is important to be honest when obtaining a quote.
Will 4 points affect my insurance in SC?
In general, most people’s insurance costs increase when they have four or more points. In South Carolina, the typical speeding ticket is four points, though if you go to court, you may be able to get it reduced to two points.
How do I remove points from my license in SC?
If you have points on your driving record, they may be reduced if you take the National Safety Council’s 8-Hour Defensive Driving Course or a similar course. SCDMV-certified driving schools offer various defensive driving courses.
Can I get a hardship license if my license is revoked?
If your license has been revoked, you may be eligible to get a hardship license. This kind of license permits you to drive in restricted circumstances, such as to your job or school. Generally, this is only allowed if you have already completed the necessary classes or other requirements.
What happens if I have a “failure to appear” on my driving record?
If a “failure to appear” is recorded on your driving record, your license will be suspended. This could mean a fine and even a driving class. If not taken care of, the consequences could be further fines and even imprisonment.
What speed is reckless driving in SC?
In South Carolina, if someone is driving more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, they can face charges for both speeding and reckless driving. Thus, exceeding the maximum speed limit is a serious offense.
Do insurance companies know about points on license?
They do. If you have points on your license, insurance companies will view you as a riskier driver, meaning they’ll charge you higher premiums. The more points you have, the greater the cost of cover. Generally, this means you’ll be paying more.
What is a Super Speeder in South Carolina?
If you’re found guilty of a Super Speeder violation, meaning you were driving 75 mph or more on a two-lane road, or 85 mph or more on any road or state highway, you must pay a hefty fee of $200 in addition to the other fines and court costs. Consequently, it is wise to follow the speed limits to avoid this penalty.
What is the first offense for reckless driving in SC?
According to South Carolina Code Section 56-5-2920, driving recklessly is operating a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety and property of others. If someone is found guilty of such an offense for the first time, they may face a penalty of up to thirty days in jail.
Can you go 10 over the speed limit in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, if you exceed the speed limit by 10 miles or less, you may be fined between $15 and $25. If you exceed the speed limit by more than 25 miles, the fine could reach up to $200. Moreover, if you are caught for reckless driving, the consequences could be quite severe, ranging from a fine of up to $445 to a jail sentence of up to thirty days. Furthermore, points may be added to your driving record.
What is the best plea for a speeding ticket?
If you receive a traffic citation, it is usually recommended that you plead not guilty. This way, you will have the chance to negotiate the charge. Speeding cases can be complicated, so this is an important step.
Should I attend court for speeding?
If you speed by a significant amount, you will have to attend court. Failing to appear will likely result in a guilty verdict. If you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), you can choose to plead guilty and accept the penalty.
Got a Traffic Violation? Hire A Trusted Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me For Legal Counsel
If you have received a traffic violation, lost SC driver license points or been involved in an auto wreck, our South Carolina law firm can help! We successfully support personal injury law clients in Charleston and throughout South Carolina – daily.
Trust Attorney David Hoffman and his car accident lawyers to fight for you, offering reliable legal advice and legal counsel each step of the way.
Plus, you only pay us if we take your case – and win!
Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation in a wide variety of cases here in the Lowcountry, including:
HOFFMAN LAW FIRM CASE RESULTS
$4,000,000 RECOVERED IN CAR ACCIDENT CASE
Recovered for a man struck by a box truck who had run a red light.
$2,500,000 RECOVERED IN CAR ACCIDENT CASE
Jury verdict for a woman with $200,000 in medical bills that was t-boned by a distracted driver.
$1,950,000 RECOVERED IN CAR ACCIDENT CASE
Recovered for a man who struck a poorly lit commercial trailer.
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