What Are the Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in SC?

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There is a wide range of reasons for a driver’s license to be suspended in South Carolina, and the consequences for driving under a suspended license can be considerable, including criminal charges.

If you’re facing a charge of driving under suspension in SC, don’t wait to reach out for the professional legal guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey LLC.

License Suspensions

While your license can be suspended for any number of reasons, some of the most common include convictions on the following charges:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Street racing on a public road
  • Failure to pay a traffic ticket
  • Failure to stop for an emergency vehicle’s blue flashing lights
  • Hit-and-run
  • Arrearages on child support
  • A second offense for reckless driving
  • Moving violations that add up to at least 12 points on one’s driver’s license – exceeding the speed limit by more than 25 mph will earn you 6 points

Consequences for Driving with a Suspended License

The consequences of driving with a suspended license, which is a criminal offense, can be considerable and may include both fines and jail time. If your license suspension relates to a DUI, the consequences you face are even more significant. Consider the following:

  • A first offense of driving with a suspended license can lead to fines of up to $300 and to up to 30 days in jail.
  • A second offense of driving with a suspended license can lead to fines of up to $600 and to up to 60 days in jail.
  • A third or subsequent offense of driving with a suspended license can lead to fines of up to $1,000 and to up to 90 days in jail – or confinement to one’s home for from 90 days to 6 months.
  • A first offense with DUI can lead to fines of up to $300 and to a minimum jail time of 10 days up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • A second offense with DUI can lead to fines of up to $600 and to a minimum jail time of 60 days up to a maximum of six months.
  • A third or subsequent offense with DUI can lead to fines of up to $1,000 and to a minimum jail time of 6 months up to a maximum of three years.

Reinstating Your License

You’ll very likely need to satisfy additional requirements – above and beyond the fines and penalties you face – before your license will be reinstated. Depending upon the circumstances involved, any number of the following additional requirements can apply:

  • Obtaining SR-22 insurance, which means that your insurance provider will need to file this form on your behalf and that, while your coverage will remain standard, your premiums will very likely be much higher than if your license hadn’t been revoked
  • Paying for any outstanding traffic tickets
  • Enrolling in a South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)
  • Resolving any outstanding driving issues in other states

Habitual Offenders

The matter of reinstating your driver’s license is even more difficult if you are classified as a habitual offender, which refers to someone who, over the course of three years, is convicted of 10 or more separate moving violations or three or more of the following charges:

  • Reckless driving
  • Operating or attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs
  • Reckless homicide, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter caused by the operation of a motor vehicle
  • Driving while one’s license, permit, or privilege to drive is revoked or suspended
  • Any felony that involves the use of a motor vehicle or that is punishable under South Carolina’s motor vehicle laws
  • Failure to stop and report identity at a traffic accident in which one is involved

License revocations for drivers identified as habitual offenders generally last five years. You do, however, have the legal right to appeal the decision within 30 days of notification. Further, some driving suspensions can be reduced once two years have passed.

Fighting a DUI Charge That Suspends Your License

If you are facing a DUI charge that can lead to a license suspension, bringing your strongest defense is paramount. In South Carolina, the police are required to videotape DUI arrests in their entirety, which means there are more opportunities to spot irregularities in the prosecution’s case.

Additionally, any one of the following can prove to bolster a DUI defense:

  • Invalid results from a breathalyzer test
  • Invalid results from field sobriety tests
  • Lack of evidence regarding impairment
  • Violations of constitutional rights

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced South Carolina DUI Attorney Today

If your license is in danger of being suspended as a result of a DUI, the consequences you face can be harsh, but the trusted DUI attorneys at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey in Greenville are standing by to help.

Our well-respected legal team is well prepared to harness the full force of their impressive legal skill in pursuit of your case’s most favorable outcome. Don’t put off reaching out and contacting us online, or calling us at 864-523-6928, for more information today.

DUI Defense FAQs

Shouldn’t I just face the music in relation to the DUI charge?

The fact is that you have important rights that should be upheld, and bringing your strongest defense can significantly limit the consequences you face, including the suspension of your driver’s license. Leaving your case to chance is not a viable defense strategy.

How can a DUI defense attorney help?

Your DUI attorney will gather all the evidence in your case, formulate a solid defense strategy, ensure that you understand the charge you face, help you make the right decisions for you, and fiercely advocate for your rights throughout the process.

How does a DUI charge affect a driver’s license suspension?

If the suspension is attached to a DUI, you can expect the penalties you face to be harsher than they otherwise will be.

Why Choose Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey Law Firm?

With the experience to address complex family law, criminal defense, and real estate matters, our knowledgeable team of attorneys are here to advocate for you. We operate our law offices on three main principles:


We strive to establish personal trust with each and every client.


We operate with the utmost integrity when dealing with clients and the legal community.


We commit to excellence in all aspects of the legal profession.
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