South Carolina Driving Under Suspension (DUS) Lawyer
Offices in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, and Columbia.
Charged with Driving Under Suspension in South Carolina?
Maybe you needed a way to and from work or maybe you made a quick run to the store.
Whatever the case, you were charged with driving under suspension in SC, and it can carry severe consequences.
Unfortunately, police officers and courts do not always tell the defendant about the consequences before accepting their guilty plea.
Regardless of what you’ve been told, no one should plead guilty or pay a fine on a DUS offense without first consulting with a criminal defense lawyer
It’s critical to find out what your options are and what the potential consequences are for a DUS conviction.
Penalties for Driving Under Suspension in South Carolina
Often times people don’t realize that Driving Under Suspension (DUS) is one of South Carolina’s most serious traffic offenses, along with reckless driving and driving under the influence (DUI). It is a traffic offense, but it is also a criminal offense that cannot be expunged from your criminal record.
It’s also a graduated offense. That means the penalties increase for each additional conviction. The potential for jail time is very real.
For example, a third offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 days and up to six months in jail. If your license was suspended for a DUI-related offense the penalties are even more severe.
In addition to fines and jail time, a conviction for DUS carries an automatic additional suspension for the same length of time as the original suspension. The new suspension is consecutive, which means that the additional time will be added to the end of the original suspension period.
The penalty for driving with a license that was suspended for reasons other than DUI or DUAC are:
- First offense: A fine or up to 30 days in jail.
- Second offense: A fine and up to 60 days in jail.
- Third offense: A fine and up to 90 days of imprisonment or home detention.
Driving with a license that has been suspended for driving over the legal limit or driving under the influence carries more severe consequences:
- First offense: A fine or between 10-30 days in jail.
- Second offense: A fine or imprisonment between 60-180 days.
- Third offense: A fine and at least six months of jail time. The maximum amount of jail time is three years.
Multiple DUS convictions, or a DUS in combination with certain other convictions on your record, may result in a license revocation and habitual traffic offender status after which it will be a five-year offense if you are caught driving again.
Defenses to Driving Under Suspension in South Carolina
South Carolina law requires that the DMV provide notice of any driver’s license suspension by certified mail and that notice must be proven as an element of any DUS prosecution. The state must prove three elements:
- You were driving.
- Your license was suspended.
- You had proper notice that your license was suspended.
This can be difficult for police or prosecutors to prove in some cases, and if the court and prosecutor know that your attorney will go to trial in your case, they might be more likely to negotiate.
Fortunately, many officers and prosecutors understand that a person’s livelihood and ability to support their family depends on their ability to drive.,
If you have fixed the original issues that led to the suspension, you may be allowed to plead to a related offense that does not result in an additional suspension, or the court may dismiss your ticket completely.. However, this depends entirely on the officer, prosecutor, court, and the circumstances surrounding your case.
If you have been charged with driving under suspension (DUS) in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, or Columbia areas, contact the South Carolina DUS lawyers at Coastal Law, LLC, today at (843) 488-5000 to find out how we can help.
1104 Oak St.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
1314 2nd Avenue
Conway, SC 29526
231 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
1201 Main Street, Suite 1913
Columbia, SC 29201
** Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
** Clients may be responsible for costs in addition to attorney’s fees. In percentage based cases, fees are calculated prior to deducting costs.
** This website is meant to provide meaningful information, but does not create an attorney-client relationship. As each legal issue is unique, please consult with our firm prior to relying on any information found on this site.