In South Carolina, if you have been convicted of DUI or refusal, you may have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked. Your license can be suspended for a number of reasons, but alcohol related convictions are some of the most common reasons for a license suspension or revocation. If you decide to drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be arrested and charged with the crime of driving under suspension, or DUS. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Harwell Law Firm, P.A., recommend that you consult with an attorney right away to determine your rights and responsibilities in the event you are charged with DUS.
The consequences of driving on a suspended or revoked license include jail time and large fines, but if your license was taken away due to an alcohol-related conviction, rather than say, a suspension because you owe money to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the penalties can be more severe.
For non-alcohol related license suspensions or revocations, driving under that suspended or revoked license can be penalized by the following:
- A first offense is a fine of $300 and/or up to thirty days imprisonment.
- A second offense is a fine of $600 and/or up to sixty days in jail.
- A third offense is a fine of $1000 and up to ninety days imprisonment.
However, if you have been convicted of DUI, refusal, or other alcohol related offense, and your license was suspended or revoked, if you thereafter drive on that suspended or revoked license and are convicted, you can face a $300 fine and at least ten and up to thirty days in jail. For a second offense of driving on a suspended or revoked license, a conviction can result in penalties that include a $600 fine and at least sixty days and up to six months imprisonment. For a third or subsequent offense, a conviction may result in a $1,000 fine, and at least six months and up to three years in jail. A conviction for driving under suspension can also cause your original suspension time to be extended and can result in having your license taken away, among other consequences.
Before you decide to drive on a suspended or revoked license, remember that you may have other options for getting around. If your license has been suspended because of DUI, you may qualify for a provisional license. In addition, some DUI offenders can have their suspension reduced if they enter into the ignition interlock program. You may also be able to qualify for a route restricted license which allows you to drive during certain times, and to certain places such as school or work. But sometimes, you may just have to rely on friends and family, use public transportation, take a taxi, ride a bicycle, or use your own feet to get where you need to go.
If you have been arrested and charged with driving under suspension, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The attorneys at Harwell Law Firm, P.A., can review the facts and evidence in your case, advise you of your rights and responsibilities, and help you determine how to best proceed in order to receive the best outcome.