As a DUI lawyer in Charleston, SC, I am informing you that, In order to legally drive a vehicle in South Carolina, you need to have a valid license, and you need to always have it with you when you are driving. If you don’t have a license, it can lead to legal repercussions. When it comes to driving without a license, there are a few different scenarios. Each different scenario has different repercussions.
You Have a License But You Don’t Have it With You
It is not uncommon to accidentally leave the house without your license. You may have switched purses and your license is in your old one. You may have left your wallet at home or you could have misplaced your license and haven’t had a chance to get a new one. If you don’t have your license when you are pulled over, you will be penalized.
If you were pulled over and you have a valid driver’s license but you don’t have it when you are pulled over, you have an option. If you can provide proof of your valid license to the court within one week of being pulled over, your ticket and your charge would be dismissed.
You Never Had a License
If you never took your test to get your driver’s license and you are pulled over, you can find yourself in trouble. Even if you are old enough to drive, you need to have a driver’s license to legally get behind the wheel. If you never applied for a driver’s license and you get caught driving, you can expect to pay a fine of up to $300. You can also spend up to 30 days in jail. If you get caught three or more times, you can expect to spend up to 6 months in jail.
Your License Has Expired
It is your responsibility to renew your license when it expires. If you don’t, it can result in legal ramifications. If your license expired and you were pulled over, it works the same way as if you forgot your license at home. As long as you renew your license within a week and prove it to the court, your charge and your ticket can be dismissed. If you don’t renew your license, you would be subject to a $300 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Your License Has Been Revoked or Suspended
If your license has been suspended by the courts, there is no situation where it is legal for your to operate a motor vehicle. If you get caught driving on a suspended license, the penalties can be very harsh. If your license to drive was suspended, it is much more serious. For the first offense, there is no way to have the charges or the ticket dismissed, and you would need to pay a $300 fine and you can spend up to 30 days in jail If you have three offenses on your record, you could be placed on house arrest for between 90 days and 6 months.
Legal Reasons to Drive Without an SC License
There are a few legal reasons that you can drive in South Carolina without a South Carolina driver’s license. If you are a non-resident and you have a valid license from your home state, you would not be penalized. If you are on active duty in the Armed Services of the United States, you don’t need a South Carolina driver’s license as long as you have a valid driver’s license from a foreign country or from the Armed Services of the United States. If you don’t fall into either of these categories and you are pulled over without a license, you will be penalized.