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South Carolina motor vehicle laws exist to ensure that everyone can travel safely. The laws govern a range of areas, from licensing, registration and insurance requirements, to safety equipment and operations on the road.

Every day, South Carolina law enforcement officers issue traffic tickets to drivers who run afoul of these laws by speeding, failing to wear seat belts, driving with suspended licenses or a host of other violations.

Regardless of the reason for the citation, receiving a traffic ticket can be costly. The fines and court costs alone range from $25 for a seat-belt violation to over $1,000 for passing a stopped school bus. That is why, if you are ticketed there will be times when it’s best to consult a lawyer rather than to try to handle the situation on your own.

In addition to the financial toll, violations can lead to time-consuming court appearances and increased insurance costs. Many traffic violations in South Carolina also result in points being charged against a driver’s license, and after a driver has accumulated 12 points the DMV can suspend the license.

These traffic violations can be found in 56-1-720 – Point System

Charge Statute Points
Reckless driving 56-5-2920 6
Passing a stopped school bus 56-5-2770 6
Hit and run, with property damage 56-5-1240, 1250 6
Driving too fast for conditions or speeding 56-5-1520
     Less than 10 2
     10+ but less than 25 4
     25 or above 6
Disobedience of official traffic device 56-5-950 4
Disobedience to officer directing traffic 56-5-740 4
Failing to yield 56-5-2330 4
Wrong side of road 56-5-1920 4
Passing unlawfully 56-5-1860, 1890 4
Turning unlawfully 56-5-2120, 2140 4
Driving through safety zone 56-5-3240 4
Failing to signal 56-5-2150 4
Improper signal 56-5-2150 4
Suddenly decreasing speed 56-5-2150 4
Unlawful lane change 56-5-1900 2
Improper parking 56-5-2510 2
Following too closely 56-5-1930 4
Failing to dim lights 56-5-4780 2
Operating improper lights 56-5-4490 2
Improper brake lights 56-5-4510 4
Operating vehicle in unsafe condition 56-5-4410 2
Driving in improper lane / left of center 56-5-1810 2
Improper backing 56-5-3810 2

Help with your traffic ticket

While it’s tempting to just pay the traffic ticket and be done with the matter, there are times when drivers will want to contest citations. At Morton & Gettys, our experienced attorneys often can identify favorable evidence or legal defenses to have your charge reduced or dismissed. That saves you money in both the long- and short-runs. You won’t pay the fine, and your insurance costs won’t increase.

Sometimes a driver will want to fight a traffic violation in order to keep his or her job. Many businesses have strict requirements for employees who drive company vehicles, and a simple moving violation can put a job at risk.

If you have been arrested for or issued a traffic ticket, contact Morton & Gettys for a free consultation with an experienced traffic lawyer. We can start working on your case and your potential defenses today.

More about traffic law from our blog:

Texting and driving in South Carolina

James M. Morton


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