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South Carolina
Judicial Department
South Carolina Bench Book for Summary Court Judges - Traffic Section


1. Trial

A defendant with a traffic offense triable in magistrate or municipal court is entitled to a trial by jury. S.C. Code Ann. § 22-2-150 provides that every person arrested and brought before a magistrate, charged with an offense within his jurisdiction, is entitled on demand to a trial by jury. Likewise, "Any person to be tried in a municipal court may, prior to trial, demand a jury trial..." (S.C. Code Ann. § 14-25-125). The same trial procedure discussed in the CRIMINAL section applies to the trial of traffic offenses.

Juries in magistrate and municipal courts must be drawn in the manner prescribed by S.C. Code Ann. § 22-2-60. S.C. Code Ann. 22-2-195 provides for the random selection and summoning of jurors by computer. However, you must receive prior written approval from South Carolina Court Administration before using a computer to generate jury lists. (See CRIMINAL, Trial Procedure.)

"In the trial of any case before a magistrate the testimony of all witnesses must be taken down in writing and signed by the witnesses except when the defendant waives the taking and signing of the testimony. In any case before any magistrate in which a stenographer takes down the testimony or in which the testimony is electronically recorded it need not be read over and signed by the witnesses." S.C. Code Ann. § 22-3-790. In municipal courts, the defendant may mechanically record the proceedings himself, or use the service of the municipal court reporter, at the defendant's own cost. S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-195. The Office of Court Administration recommends that all court proceedings be mechanically recorded.

Of special importance is the June 26, 1980, Order of the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court that requires that all magistrates and municipal judges dispose of all criminal (which includes traffic) cases within sixty (60) days of the date of arrest in each case.

2. Revocation or Suspension of Driver's License

Anyone who forfeits bond, is convicted of, or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to an offense requiring their driver's license to be revoked or suspended must surrender his/her driver's license to the court. The clerk of court, magistrate, or municipal judge must transmit the driver's license to the Department of Public Safety within five days of receipt. Failure to comply within the five day period is punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars.

The following magistrate and municipal court offenses require the revocation or suspension of the convicted's driver's license:


Revocation or
Suspension Provision

DUI 1st (56-5-2930, 56-5-2933)


DUAC 1st (56-5-2933)


Reckless Driving 2d+ (56-5-2920)


All DUS offenses (Non DUI related) (56-1-460)


DUS 1st (DUI related) (56-1-460)


Operation, allowing operation uninsured vehicle, 1st (56-10-520)


False insurance certificate 1st (56-10-260)


Operation unlicensed taxi (58-23-1210)


DL or ID of another, lend or permit use 1st (56-1-510(2))


Fraud in Application for DL or ID (56-1-510(5))


DL or ID of another or false or altered, use of (56-1-515(2)(4))


False age information to purchase beer, wine (61-4-60)


Purchase beer, wine on behalf of underaged person (61-4-60)


Purchase, possession beer, wine by underaged person (63-19-2440)


Purchase, possession furnishing false age to purchase liquor by underaged person (63-19-2450)


** Failure to pay for Gasoline (16-13-185(B)) (SUSPENSION IS DISCRETIONARY WITH THE COURT)


Upon conviction, collect the driver's license. If the offense was charged on a Uniform Traffic Ticket, attach the license to the pink and yellow copies of the ticket and to the Transmittal Form (DL-76-B). For charges initiated on an ABC summons, attach the driver's license to the orange copy of the summons and the transmittal form. Use a separate form for cases brought by each arresting agency. Complete the transmittal form in quadruplicate, retain one copy for your files, and submit three copies to SCDPS (South Carolina Department of Public Safety). They will return copies to you to verify acceptance.