The state of South Carolina could suspend your license for all kinds of reasons. Maybe you have a traffic fine that you have not paid in full yet. Perhaps you accrued one too many significant citations. A suspension or revocation technically means you cannot legally drive.
Unfortunately, even if the state does suspend your license, you probably still need to get yourself to work and take care of your family — and you may be tempted to ignore your invalid license and drive anyhow.
What happens if a police officer pulls you over in that situation?
Driving on a suspended license isn’t like getting a traffic ticket
Most of the issues an officer could find with your driving are civil infractions that carry nothing more than a ticket and a possible increase in your insurance costs. That is not true of driving on a suspended license, however. It’s a misdemeanor charge instead of just a traffic ticket.
Although it may only be a misdemeanor offense, driving with a suspended or revoked license can carry significant penalties. You may have to pay up to $300 in fines and could wind up being sentenced to up to 30 days in jail for a first-time offense. Those penalties double for a second offense and get even higher with subsequent offenses.
If the reasons for your license suspension were related to alcohol, the penalties are much greater. The chances of going to jail also increase.
Protecting your future is essential after a criminal charge
If you understand the consequences of the allegations against you, you’ll have a better idea of how important it is to defend yourself when accused of driving without a valid license. Working with an experienced legal advocate can help you protect your future.