Understanding the Habitual Offender Laws in South Carolina

If you have received notice that you have been classified as a habitual offender in South Carolina, it is imperative that you discuss your case with a Lexington criminal lawyer from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC as soon as possible. In South Carolina, you could be deemed a "habitual offender" if you have either been convicted of three major driving offenses within three years or acquired ten or more four-point moving violation convictions. According to S.C. Code § 56-1-1020, this could include any of the following driving offenses:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
  • Voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter
  • Driving with a suspended, cancelled or revoked license
  • Failing to stop & report one's identity after causing an accident
  • Driving or operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner
  • Committing a felony under the motor vehicle laws

Once the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) classifies you as a habitual offender, they would have the right to confiscate your driver's license for a minimum of five years; however, you would have the opportunity to contest the suspension within 30 days of receiving notice from the DMV. Once requested, the South Carolina Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings would schedule a hearing on your behalf, in which you could fight for the reinstatement of your driving privileges. In the event that you are unsuccessful, you could still request a reduction after two years.

If you are interested in reducing the amount of time that your driver's license will be suspended, you will need to complete Form VS-001A and submit it to the South Carolina DMV—but only after two years from the initial date of suspension have elapsed. In order to be eligible, however, you must be able to prove that certain conditions have been met. This will include: 1) you have not been subject to a prior habitual offender suspension in any state, 2) you have not driven during your suspension and 3) you have not been charged with DUI or a major driving offense during your suspension.

Whether you are interested in fighting a conviction that could lead to habitual offender designation or you would like to contest the impending suspension of your driver's license, the Lexington criminal attorneys at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC are prepared to help. Not only can they contribute several years of experience to your defense, but they can make sure that your rights are not violated at any point in the legal process. For this reason, you should not hesitate to contact the firm today. When you call at (888) 301-6004, your initial consultation won't cost a thing!

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