For many South Carolina drivers, a traffic ticket may not seem like a big deal. However, depending on the citation reason, and if you have previous tickets, they could have long-term repercussions. We often handle traffic citations throughout the state for our clients.
According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, certain traffic violations have points assigned to them. Your driving record contains all the convictions and points charged against you, regardless of which state you were in at the time of the ticket. Paying a traffic citation means pleading guilty, which goes onto your record as a conviction.
How much a traffic ticket costs
If you receive a speeding ticket, several factors determine the fine. First-time offenders could pay a substantial fine. The consequences could also include license suspension and up to 30 days in jail. Subsequent violations could have harsher penalties. The punishment depends on the offense, mitigating factors and prior driving record. Although speeding is what most people think about when discussing traffic violations, other common traffic citations include the following:
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without a license
- Driving under suspension
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Traveling through a stop sign or red traffic light without stopping
Options after receiving a ticket
Depending on the location and reason for the citation, you may have several options. If you pay the ticket, you admit guilt. This means the violation goes on your record. By doing so, you forego possible alternatives that could help minimize the damage. Fighting the ticket could result in a reduced offense with no points to your license. A court appearance or jury trial could also become options, based on the circumstances surrounding the citation. The best possible outcome could include no points and no bump in insurance premiums.