Think Past The Fine - 3 Reasons You May Want A Lawyer For Traffic Tickets
Speeding tickets and other minor traffic infractions in South Carolina carry a fine ranging from $95-$400. Hiring a lawyer to fight the ticket or negotiate it down will certainly cost more than the fine. So, what’s the reason to hire a lawyer?
There are hidden costs and penalties associated with traffic tickets in South Carolina. The fine on the face of the ticket is just the tip of the iceberg.
SCDMV Point System
Each traffic offense also has a penalty with the DMV: points against your license. Traffic offenses generally carry a range of no points to 6 points against your license.
The DMV keeps track of your points and if you have 12 points, your license will be suspended, even if all of your fines are paid.
South Carolina does not have a system of Insurance points, like our neighbor to the North, North Carolina. Instead, if you are convicted of a traffic ticket, your insurance rates will go up, but you won’t know by how much until it happens.
The amount that the cost of your car insurance will rise depends on a number of factors: your age, your sex, your driving history, even your credit score; and it will vary between insurance companies. That’s because insurance rates are set by complicated computer algorithms that insurance companies use to determine how big of a risk you are to insure.
Example: An 18 year old boy gets a speeding ticket for 55 in a 35. If found guilty of the speeding ticket as charged, in our experience, his insurance cost will likely double when it’s time to renew his policy.
Example: A 45 year old woman gets a speeding ticket for 44 in a 35. If found guilty of the speeding ticket, her insurance cost will likely rise by just a few hundred dollars when it’s time to renew her policy.
Receiving a speeding ticket, keeping up with the court date, and worrying about the outcome adds unnecessary stress to your life. That is especially true if you received that ticket while you were on vacation or just passing through the area.
South Carolina does not require the Defendant to appear for most traffic tickets. A big benefit to hiring a lawyer is that you are delegating the hassle of handling your ticket to an experienced professional. For tourists and out of town clients, we are usually able to handle your ticket without the hassle of traveling back to town.
In South Carolina, you are entitled to a jury trial on most traffic tickets. When you hire a lawyer, they will use every tool available to them to fight that ticket or negotiate it down so that it has the lowest impact on your DMV points and your insurance cost.