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South Carolina Code Annotated 56-1-460: Driving Under Suspension

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Driving Under Suspension Driving Under Suspension under South Carolina Code Annotated 56-1-460 is a misdemeanor criminal offense where the defendant is accused of driving while their license is revoked, suspended, or canceled.

The Solicitor (often referred to as the “prosecutor”) must prove the elements of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The Defendant carries no such Burden of Proof.

To prove that a defendant committed the offense of Driving Under Suspension in South Carolina, the essential elements generally include:

  1. The Defendant was driving a vehicle
  2. On a public highway with South Carolina
  3. While the Defendant’s license is canceled, suspended, or revoked
  4. *If applicable, that the suspension was for a conviction of DUI or DUAC

Under SC Code § 56-1-460, there are two types of Driving under Suspension:

1) When the suspension is based on a conviction for Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving with an unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC), or

2) When the suspension is based on something else (things like failing to pay a traffic fine or multiple convictions for traffic offenses)

There are a number of reasons that your license may be suspended or revoked in South Carolina such as being convicted of certain traffic/criminal offenses, failing to pay traffic fines (NRVC), child support arrearages, debts owed to SCDMV, etc.

2. Examples of Driving Under Suspension

The Defendant is driving down Highway 160 towards Tega Cay and is stopped by a York County Sheriff’s Deputy for speeding and reckless driving. When the Deputy runs the Defendant’s license, it shows as suspended for not paying the fines of an old traffic ticket. In addition to receiving a ticket for reckless driving and speeding in York County, the Defendant may also be charged with Driving under Suspension (not DUI/DUAC related), a Misdemeanor Offense.

The Defendant is stopped by South Carolina Highway Patrol in Lancaster County for an expired tag on his vehicle. The Defendant informs the Trooper that he was convicted of DUI a couple months ago and therefore does not have a license. The Defendant may be charged with having an expired tag and Driving under Suspension (related to DUI/DUAC), a Misdemeanor criminal charge in South Carolina. It’s important to note a conviction for DWI charges in North Carolina and license suspension by NC DMV may also result in a suspension SC DMV.

The Defendant lost his job and hasn’t made a child support payment for months. While driving to a job interview, the Defendant is stopped by law enforcement for driving under suspension. The Defendant was unaware that not paying child support could result in SCDMV suspending his driver's license. The Officer may properly charge the Defendant for Driving under Suspension (not DUI/DUAC related), a Misdemeanor criminal offense.

The Defendant received a notice of license suspension from SC DMV due to a speeding ticket she received. After the suspension period was over, the Defendant failed to get her license reinstated with South Carolina DMV. On her way to the store, the Defendant is stopped by a Rock Hill Police Officer for driving under suspension. The Defendant may be still charged with Driving under Suspension (not DUI/DUAC related) even though she was otherwise eligible for reinstatement.

3. Related Offenses

Other related crimes offenses include:

  1. Driving Under Suspension in South Carolina
  2. SC DMV – Reinstatement Fees and License Reinstatement
  3. South Carolina Code Annotated 16-17-530: Public Disorderly Conduct (Misdemeanor)
  4. South Carolina Code Annotated 56-5-2930: Operating Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
  5. South Carolina Code Annotated 56-5-2945: Felony Driving Under the Influence (Felony DUI)
4. Defenses to Driving Under Suspension

Driving Under Suspension A Defendant may challenge the offense of Driving under Suspension in South Carolina by proving that he or she was not operating the vehicle or that the suspension was in error.

5. Penalties

Driving under Suspension (not DUI/DUAC related), is a Misdemeanor offense defined by SC Code § 56-1-460(A)(1). The potential consequences depend on how many times the Defendant has been convicted of this same offense:

  1. First offense: $300 fine and/or 30 days in jail
  2. Second offense: $600 fine and/or 60 consecutive days in jail
  3. Third (or subsequent) offense: $1,000 fine and/or up to 6 months – 3years in jail or

Driving under Suspension (related to DUI/DUAC), is a Misdemeanor offense defined by SC Code § 56-1-460(A)(2). The potential consequences depend on how many times the Defendant has been convicted of this same offense:

  1. First offense: $300 fine and/or between 10-30 days in jail
  2. Second offense: $600 fine and/or between 60 days – 6 months consecutive days in jail
  3. Third (or subsequent) offense: $1,000 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail
6. Criminal Defense for Driving Under Suspension

If you have been criminally charged with Driving under Suspension in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie and/or in York County, South Carolina, we strongly recommend you immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney without delay.

We offer free consultations for criminal cases in the upstate South Carolina area. CALL NOW: 803-504-6686

All South Carolina cases at Powers Law Firm PA are handled by Attorney Chris Beddow. Mr. Beddow is the sole attorney at the firm licensed to practice law in South Carolina. He is also licensed to practice in the State of North Carolina and regularly helps clients with legal matters involving both SC DMV and NC DMV revocation and suspension legal issues. Mr. Beddow is responsible for all website content regarding South Carolina legal matters.

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