If you receive a traffic ticket in South Carolina, you may wonder if it is worth your while to fight the citation in court. Regardless of the strength of your case, fighting traffic tickets can be a time-consuming and complicated process and, even if you prevail, it may not be worth your while.
Save for in extreme situations, the fine for a traffic ticket in South Carolina cannot exceed $500, and it is often as low as $50. As FindLaw points out, the wages you lose by taking the day off of work to fight the ticket may exceed the cost of the ticket itself. This fact in and of itself may be reason enough to just pay the ticket and move on. However, the site does warn that some violations can result in thousands of dollars in increased insurance premiums, in which case, you may want to make time in your schedule for a court hearing.
According to FindLaw, paying the ticket is essentially an admission of guilt that can result in fines, insurance premium hikes and other administrative consequences. If you have any doubts at all regarding the credibility of the ticket, contact the court about scheduling a hearing.
Even if you suspect the officer rightfully issued you a citation, you can avoid the possibly costly consequences of a guilty verdict by attending traffic school. Many jurisdictions offer the option for offenders to attend traffic school. In exchange, the courts will dismiss or reduce the charges.
If you plan to fight the ticket, it would be in your best interests to research and thoroughly understand the law you allegedly violated. Most laws consist of several components, and each must apply to your situation for the officer to have a case. If you can show that your behavior did not meet the exact prohibitions outlined in the statute, you may be able to assert that you did not violate the law at all. Knowing the law beforehand can give you an accurate idea of the strength of your case and, therefore, help you determine whether it is worth your while to attend a hearing.