Anyone who is driving in South Carolina must do so safely and in accordance with South Carolina laws. When you don’t drive safely, there is a chance that you will get a traffic ticket. You might think that this isn’t a big deal, but what you might not realize is that there are different levels to the traffic tickets and infractions that you can face in this state.
Reckless driving is a traffic violation that can lead to your having to pay fines, but the penalties go past that. In fact, you might be shocked to learn just how seriously South Carolina takes reckless driving offenses.
Reckless driving definition
Reckless driving in this state is defined as any manner of driving which puts others at risk in a wanton or willful manner. There are many different actions that fall under this classification. However, the use of cellphones is specifically mentioned in the reckless driving bill. In South Carolina, you can’t use a handheld cellphone, wireless communication device or computer for anything that involves reading or typing while you are driving. You can use hands-free options while you drive, but that is the limit to what is allowed.
Excessive speeding, racing and eluding police officers are other actions that might lead to a reckless driving charge. This is why it is imperative that all drivers abide by the laws and basic safety guidelines of the road.
Penalties for reckless driving
The penalties for reckless driving are tiered. A first offense can lead to a fine of $100 to $350. On a second offense of reckless driving, you are looking at a fine of $250 to $500. On top of that, you are also facing a driver’s license suspension for three months. The court isn’t able to waive these upon a guilty plea or finding because the law states that these penalties must be applied. The classification of a reckless driving offense as a second offense only occurs when the conviction was within a five-year period prior to the previous offense.
Options for handling reckless driving tickets
You have the option of paying the ticket for a reckless driving offense. This is a guilty plea and will result in the offense being placed on your driving record. Alternatively, you can opt to fight the ticket. This would mean going to court and pleading not guilty to reckless driving. While there isn’t any guarantee of how your case will end, you might find this option preferable, especially in a second offense case.