If you have been charged with speeding in Upstate South Carolina, speak with a lawyer before you admit guilt and pay the ticket. An experienced attorney from Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can meet with you to explain:
- Your legal rights and options
- The impact of a traffic offense on your driving record
- The effect of a traffic violation on your auto insurance rates.
We don’t want you to make a hasty decision that could cost you down the road. We want you to seek the best possible outcome in your case.
Our criminal defense team handles speeding ticket cases throughout Spartanburg, Greenville and surrounding areas of Upstate South Carolina. We work with local and out-of-state drivers as well as commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.
Your Rights and Options When Charged with Speeding in South Carolina
If you are charged with a speeding offense in South Carolina, you will receive a Uniform Traffic Ticket. This ticket contains important information, including:
- The charged offense (including whether you were charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions)
- Court appearance date
- Court that will decide your case.
Speeding is a misdemeanor offense in South Carolina. Do not ignore your speeding ticket and allow it to become a major problem. If you fail to appear in court, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, fined up to $500 and jailed for up to 30 days.
Instead, exercise your right to be represented by an attorney who can help you by:
- Seeking a reduction of the charge – For instance, if you were charged with going 25 mph or more above the posted speed limit, your lawyer can seek a reduction to a lesser charge that keeps you from compiling driver’s license points and seeing your insurance rates go up).
- Enrollment in the Traffic Education Program (TEP) – This one-time option may be available if you have four points or less on your driving record. It involves a combination of driving school and community service. An attorney can work with the local solicitor’s office to explore this option.
- Challenging your charge in court– Your attorney may find weaknesses in the officer’s case. For instance, the radar gun that “clocked” your speed may have been defective. The lawyer may present evidence that casts a reasonable doubt on your guilt.
The outcome will depend on the unique facts of your case. But none of these options will be available if you simply pay the ticket.
South Carolina Speeding Violations and Your Driving Record
In South Carolina, convictions for speeding violations can result in points on your driving record. If you get 12 points or more on your driving record, your driver’s license could be suspended.
The points assessed for common speeding violations are:
|Speeding (25 mph or more above posted limit)||6|
|Speeding (more than 10 mph, but less than 25 mph)||4|
|Driving too fast for conditions (over 10 mph)||4|
|Speeding (10 mph or less)||2|
|Driving too fast for conditions (10 mph or less)||2|
You must consider the driving record points you will accumulate before you simply plead guilty to a speeding violation. If you are not a South Carolina-licensed driver who is convicted of speeding in this state, those points can be placed on your home state license.
A traffic ticket can be especially costly to a commercial driver. If you have five or more points against your driver’s license in the previous three years, you will need to take a General Knowledge Test when renewing your CDL in South Carolina. Convictions for serious traffic violations could cost you your ability to earn a living. Your lawyer must recognize what is at stake for you.
South Carolina Traffic Offenses and Auto Insurance Rates
A traffic violation can also trigger a spike in your auto insurance premiums. How much they increase depends on many factors.
One study found that the seriousness of the offense dictates the increase. In the study, the average rate increase for drivers convicted of going 30 mph or more above the speed limit was 15 percent. For drivers convicted of going between 1-14 mph above the limit, it was only 11 percent.
Your lawyer should consider these long-term consequences when pursuing the best possible outcome in your case, including a reduction of the charge against you.
Contact a Spartanburg Speeding Ticket Lawyer Today
The lawyers of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., have decades of combined experience helping Upstate South Carolina residents, out-of-state drivers and CDL holders deal with the consequences of a speeding ticket. To see how we can assist you, contact us today.
For More Information
- Title 56, Motor Vehicles (Chapter 7, Traffic Tickets), South Carolina Legislature
- Greenville Municipal Court Online, City of Greenville
- Spartanburg Municipal Court, City of Spartanburg
- Points System, South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
- Traffic Tickets Often Don’t Raise Insurance Costs, Survey Finds, ABC News
- Got A Ticket? Here’s How Much Your Car Insurance Premiums Will Increase, Forbes