Can You Get Charged with a Crime for Speeding in Charleston, SC?

can u get charged for over speeding in charleston

When you think about crime, speeding might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, in Charleston, South Carolina, and indeed across the United States, speeding can lead to criminal charges under certain circumstances. It’s not just a matter of paying a fine and moving on. Let’s delve into this topic and see what happens when you press that gas pedal a little too hard.

Speeding: A Minor or Major Offense?

Speeding is generally considered a minor traffic violation. However, how you’re charged can depend on how fast you were going and where you were driving. For instance, exceeding the speed limit by a few miles per hour in a residential area might result in a simple ticket. But going 25 miles over the speed limit on a highway? That could lead to a reckless driving charge, which is a misdemeanor in South Carolina.

Reckless Driving: The Consequences

Reckless driving in South Carolina is defined as driving in a manner that shows a “wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” If you’re found guilty of this charge, you could face up to 30 days in jail, a fine up to $440  or both. Plus, six points will be added to your driver’s license, which could increase your insurance rates and bring you closer to a license suspension if you accumulate enough points. If you get two Reckless Driving convictions in a five year period, your license will be suspended for 90 days and the SCDMV does not offer a provisional license during this suspension time. 

DUI: Speeding’s Sinister Sibling

Another criminal charge related to speeding is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If an officer pulls you over for speeding and suspects that you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face a DUI charge. In South Carolina, a first-time DUI conviction can result in a fine of up to $2262.00, a six-month license suspension, mandatory completion of an alcohol and drug safety program (“ADSAP”), and  you will be required to have and maintain SR-22 insurance for a period of 3 years. The penalties increase with subsequent convictions.

Protecting Yourself

If you’re charged with a crime related to speeding, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced traffic attorney. They can help you understand the charges against you, explore potential defenses, and advocate for your rights in court. Remember, a charge is not a conviction, and you have the right to defend yourself.

While speeding might seem like a minor offense, it can lead to serious consequences under certain circumstances. It’s always best to drive safely and responsibly to avoid these potential legal pitfalls. And remember, if you ever find yourself facing charges related to speeding, seek legal advice immediately.