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Is Driving With a Suspended License a Felony?

Under South Carolina State law, there are many offenses that can result in your license being suspended. It’s not uncommon for someone to have their license suspended due to a driving offense, and anyone who has had their license suspended knows the effects can be devastating. This is why it’s important to hire a South Carolina car accident lawyer should you end up with a suspended license.

As anyone who lives in an area with little-to-no public transportation can tell you, having a car is essential to daily life in most of America.

Many people who have had their license suspended may think that once the suspension period is over, they are free to drive without issue–but this is not the case. Let’s examine some problems surrounding suspended licenses in South Carolina, what the related penalties are, and how to get your license reinstated. 

Why Do Licenses Get Suspended?

The State of South Carolina has a points-based system for driving offenses. The points added to your license range from two to six points, depending on the individual offense. If you accumulate twelve points, your license is suspended, typically for a period of three to six months. 

Alternately, there are a variety of additional non-driving offenses that can result in license suspension, such as:

  • unpaid tickets
  • unpaid court-ordered child support
  • unpaid your taxes
  • certain criminal offenses

What Happens if I Am Caught Driving With a Suspended License?

The good news is that driving with a suspended license is not a felony, but simply a misdemeanor under South Carolina Law. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a minor offense–it’s still possible that you could be arrested or have your vehicle impounded.

The penalties for driving with a suspended license are as follows:


  • First offense: $300 fine and/or up to thirty days in jail
  • Second offense: $600 fine and/or up to sixty days in jail
  • Third offense and subsequent offenses: $1000 fine and/or up to ninety days in jail or up to six months of house arrest

These penalties can be even worse if your suspension was a result of a DUI conviction; the maximum penalty for third offenses is three years in jail.

How Do I Get My License Back?

Getting your license back is known as “reinstatement.” The process for getting your license reinstated may involve one or more steps, depending on the reason for the suspension. These steps include:

  • proof of minimum liability insurance
  • ensuring any unpaid tickets are paid
  • enrollment in South Carolina’s Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
  • resolving driving offenses or license issues in another state

Getting your driver’s license reinstated can be a challenging process, and it can be very helpful to have adequate legal representation. What does a car accident lawyer do? Their work extends beyond the accident itself, as they can help with the entire process–including getting your license reinstated

Getting Back on the Road

Once your license is reinstated, you’re free to continue driving. However, it should be noted that if you have additional offenses, your license can be suspended again. Typically, the courts do not look upon a second suspension favorably, and your license may be suspended for even longer.




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