Whether you live in the Myrtle Beach area or are just passing through, the last thing you want to see is blue lights in your rearview mirror – now you have an upcoming court date, you may lose points on your license, and your insurance premium is about to increase…
Should you just pay the ticket and be done with it? What is the procedure for a speeding ticket if you want to try to avoid the negative consequences like high fines, loss of points, and increased insurance premiums?
If you received a speeding ticket in Horry County, SC, or another traffic violation like reckless driving or careless operation, call or email the Myrtle Beach speeding ticket lawyers at Coastal Law to find out if we can help.
Our SC speeding ticket attorneys know the procedure for a speeding ticket in Horry County and throughout the state of South Carolina, and we may be able to get your ticket dismissed, avoid or reduce the points penalty, and avoid an increase in your insurance premiums.
What is the Procedure for a Speeding Ticket in Horry County, SC?
The procedure for a speeding ticket in Horry County or anywhere in the state of SC depends on the court that you find yourself in and the agency that wrote the ticket. In some cases, we can resolve your ticket before your court date. In other cases, we will need to request a jury trial before negotiating with the officer or prosecutor. Just because we request a jury trial does not mean that a jury trial will need to occur.
It may also depend on your home state – do you have a SC driver’s license or are you from another state? How will your home state’s DMV treat a traffic violation from SC?
Can I Pay My Speeding Ticket Online in SC?
If you don’t care about fine amounts, points on your license, how much you pay in insurance premiums, or your driving record, in most jurisdictions you can just go online and “plead guilty” by paying your fine.
You can search for the city or county that issued your ticket on SC.gov’s online services, enter your ticket number, and then follow the instructions to make your payment. Note that paying the fine on your ticket means that you are pleading guilty – the ticket will go on your driving record and, if you are an out of state driver, the conviction will then be transmitted to your home state’s DMV.
If you later realize that you made a mistake by paying the ticket, we may be able to file a motion to reopen your case. However, that is a more expensive process than dealing with the ticket prior to paying it.
Initial Court Dates for Speeding Tickets
Every speeding ticket will have a court date and location where you can appear if you want to just pay your fine or if you want to have a “bench trial.” What is a bench trial?
In most cases, a bench trial is when the judge asks the officer what happened, then asks you what happened, then finds you guilty… If you are not guilty or if you want to negotiate a better solution that minimizes the impact on your license, you do not want a bench trial.
Should I Request a Jury Trial for a Speeding Ticket?
In South Carolina, you have the right to a jury trial even for the most minor traffic offenses. Officer wrote you a 2-point ticket for driving 9 miles over the speed limit? You can make them prove it to a jury…
Most speeding tickets do not go to a jury trial, however. Depending on the law enforcement agency that wrote your ticket and the court that your ticket is in, we may request a jury trial as part of the procedure for a speeding ticket and, in some cases, we may try your case to a jury. In others, it may help negotiate a better resolution prior to trial.
Depending on the court your case is in, the agency that wrote the ticket, and the type of traffic offense you were charged with, we may:
- Contact the officer or the court before your initial court date to negotiate a reduction in points or a rewrite to a non-moving violation;
- Request a reduction or re-write to a non-moving violation (no points, no insurance consequences) along with your jury trial request;
- Request a jury trial and negotiate with the officer and court at your roster meeting;
- Set a date for a jury trial and negotiate with the officer on the morning of trial; or
- Try your case to a jury in the magistrate or municipal court.
Will a Speeding Ticket in Horry County, SC Affect My Out of State License?
The effect of a speeding ticket in Horry County for an out of state driver depends on the state where you live. If you have an out of state license we will try to determine:
- The penalties for a comparable ticket in your home states;
- How a conviction will “transfer” to your home state – the effect may be more severe or there may be no effect at all; and
- How your ticket can be rewritten to avoid or minimize penalties in your home state.
Click through the link above for more information.
What Happens if I Don’t Pay the Fine?
If you don’t retain an attorney, don’t appear on your initial court date, and don’t pay the fine for the speeding ticket, your license may be suspended, and the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest…
Do not delay – send us an email or call our office immediately after you get the speeding ticket, because we will need to go to work on your case before the initial court date written on your ticket.