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Move Over Ticket in South Carolina

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by schunter1969, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. schunter1969

    schunter1969 Law Topic Starter Guest

    South Carolina
    On my way home on I26 (left lane) at exit 76 going toward Columbia, SC at about 9pm, I see a cop car with lights on in the middle median area of the interstate. As I approach the car I slowed down and notice the officer is helping a disabled vehicle with his back to oncoming traffic. It turns out it was a state trooper..... Officer Gabrielle ended up pulling me over for "Failure to move over" the Move Over Law. As soon as I rolled down my window the he started yelling at me, I never got a chance to speak, and it was very intimating. He comes back with a $1,062 ticket, says "I hope this high fine teaches you a lesson" turns around and walks away. I was not disrespectful to the officer in anyway. I don't understand how he thought I deserved this fine amount. Anyways I looked up the law and it states a fine amount of at least $300 and no more than $500. How can he give me over double the max fine? Also do you think I have a case of pleading not guilty because I slowed down before passing the officers vehicle? I have mud tires and that with my loud exhaust even though I slowed down it probably sounded like I came roaring by and it pissed the cop off. But I did slow down.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    All you can do is appear in court, plead not guilty, and ask for a trial/
    At your trial, you make your case.
    In the interim, read up on THAT law, and how others claim they were successful in getting the charge dismissed.
    Will you prevail?
    Statistics across the country tell us that fewer than 5% of traffic court defendants prevail.
    Some take plea deal, the majority receive a guilty verdict, and of course the fines, costs, and penalties assessed by the court.
    I never handicap any trial.
    I learned many years ago, a lawyer I may be, but a fortune teller I'm sure as hell not!
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Find the exact wording of the statute to determine whether you have a good argument.
    Does it require you to move over if able, otherwise to slow down? Were you able to move over and did not? When you slowed, what speed did you slow to? Is your speed noted on the citation?
    Does the citation include any additional violation?
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The statute is SC Code 56-5-1538 and the pertinent parts are as follows:

    (F) The driver of a vehicle shall ensure that the vehicle is kept under control when approaching or passing an emergency scene or authorized emergency vehicle stopped on or near the right-of-way of a street or highway with emergency lights flashing. The exercise of control required for a driver to comply with this section is that control possible and necessary by the driver to prevent a collision, to prevent injury to persons or property, and to avoid interference with the performance of emergency duties by emergency personnel.

    (G) A person driving a vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, blue, or red and blue lights, or amber or yellow warning lights shall proceed with due caution, significantly reduce the speed of the vehicle, and:

    (1) yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four lanes with not less than two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or

    (2) maintain a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes is impossible or unsafe.

    2016 South Carolina Code of Laws :: Title 56 - Motor Vehicles :: CHAPTER 5 - UNIFORM ACT REGULATING TRAFFIC ON HIGHWAYS :: Section 56-5-1538. Emergency scene management; definitions

    This was my response on another website:

    There appears to be some defenses in there but whether or not you can raise them successfully is anybody's guess.

    Being on the interstate at 9 PM would lead me to conclude that you probably had plenty of time to slow down considerably AND move over to the next lane as required by the statute.

    Since then the OP has responded with:

    Schunter1969 - You do not want to say anything like that in court. It's an admission of guilt.

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