How The South Carolina DMV Point System Works

It's tempting to just pay the ticket and move on with your life when cited for a traffic violation. Unfortunately it's not as simple as it sounds. Due to South Carolina's traffic point system, "just pay it" can mean moving on to a life without your driver's license if it happens too often.

Even Minor Violations Can Hurt You

While being written a ticket for a traffic offense may seem like a minor annoyance, it can actually have a lasting impact on your driving record. Each traffic offense is worth a certain number of points, and the more offenses you commit, the more points you accumulate on your driving record. Although some traffic offenses are more severe than others, simply accruing 12 traffic violation points will result in the suspension of your driver's license. Listed below is a break down of the South Carolina DMV point system.

If you have been charged with a traffic violation, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced attorney before paying the ticket fine or admitting guilt in any way. Our lawyers at Drennan Law Firm have over 20 years of experience representing clients across Charleston and Columbia who have been written various types of traffic tickets. Call us at 843-352-4149 to schedule a free initial consultation today.

How Does The South Carolina License Point System Work?

You can think of our state's traffic point system as a budget for your traffic behavior. The system reflects the fact that nobody is perfect and everyone who gets behind the wheel will occasionally make mistakes such as speeding, missing a stop sign, or forgetting to signal before a turn. The idea is that if you make these mistakes often enough, you'll be hit with a bigger punishment such as the suspension of your driver's license. That outcome serves two purposes: protecting other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from your mistakes; and giving you some time to brush up on your defensive driving skills.

The best way to avoid the harsh punishments that come with accumulated points is to do everything in your power to avoid the points in the first place. Obey the speed limit, use your turn signals, stop at red lights and stop signs, and drive defensively to avoid collisions. The second best way to avoid the harsh punishments of accumulated points is to contest every traffic violation citation with the help of an experienced traffic defense lawyer.

How Many Points Is Each Traffic Violation Worth?

How do you get points on your license in South Carolina? The more dangerous a traffic offense is, the more points it is worth. Some commonly committed traffic offenses include:

  • Reckless driving: 6 points
  • Fleeing an accident that causes injuries or damages: 6 points
  • Speeding over posted speed limit: 2, 3 or 6 points, depending on the speed
  • Turning illegally: 4 points
  • Not yielding to a vehicle with the right of way: 4 points
  • Following a vehicle too closely: 4 points

Our team at Drennan Law Firm can also help you determine the worth of any charge not mentioned on this list. Additionally, it is important to know that being charged with a DUI (drunk driving) will automatically result in the suspension of your driver's license.

How Traffic Offenses Impact Your Driving Record In South Carolina

The answer to how an offense will impact your driving record depends on the specific offense in question as well as your previous driving history. If you have never had any traffic violation points, a 2 point speeding ticket will have little impact beyond costing you some time and money. If you have 10 points on your record, that same "innocent" speeding ticket can result in the suspension of your driver's license. If you use your driver's license and vehicle to get to work, pick up your kids, and keep your household running, the cost of that ticket will be the very least of your problems.

That accumulation of points and the risk it presents for further consequences is why it is so important to treat every traffic violation seriously and mount an aggressive defense. Similar to the example above, having a few "minor" speeding tickets won't seem so minor if you are involved in an accident that causes damages and adds 6 points to your record. You don't know what the future will bring, but you can take action in the present to limit traffic violation points.

What To Do If You've Been Charged With A Traffic Violation In South Carolina

Paying the fine may make the immediate issue go away but doing so will set you up for further complications down the road. Those complications can include the suspension or revocation of your driver's license if you accumulate enough traffic points for offenses such as reckless driving, speeding, turning illegally, failing to yield, or following too closely.

Before agreeing to anything, signing anything, or paying anything, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who focuses on traffic-related issues. Your driving privileges are important and deserve to be treated as such.

Because these points can tarnish your driving record, it is important that you reach out to an attorney who can tackle your charges before you head to your local South Carolina DMV. We at Drennan Law Firm have handled many cases of traffic violations, and are prepared to aggressively fight for your rights. You can rely on our experience to build a strong case in your favor so that you can preserve your record as much as possible. In the event that your driver's license does get suspended, we can also help you plan your next steps to get it back.

Schedule Your First Consultation At No Cost

There is no traffic ticket too severe or too miniscule for Drennan Law Firm to resolve. If you would like to have your tickets handled by our traffic violation lawyers, you can schedule a free initial consultation with us by calling 843-352-4149 or by emailing us.