Failure to Stop for Blue Light in South Carolina│SC Code § 56-5-750

failure to stop for blue light

In South Carolina, “failure to stop for blue light” refers to a driver’s not pulling over when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle using a siren, flashing light, or other visual signals.

Drivers who do not comply could face several criminal charges, heavy fines, and even prison time.

Today, our criminal defense attorneys review South Carolina failure-to-stop statutes and the penalties you may face if charged with this offense.

South Carolina’s Failure to Stop Law

S.C. Code § 56-5-750 states that it is unlawful for a motor vehicle driver to fail to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle.

It’s important to note that failing to see blue lights does not excuse the failure-to-stop infraction. However, the courts may consider the distance between the vehicles and other road conditions when determining whether a reasonable driver could hear or see an officer’s blue light signals.

The law also mentions drivers who increase their speed or drive recklessly to avoid pursuing law enforcement may face additional criminal charges and penalties.

Penalties for Failure to Stop

Blue light failure-to-stop penalties in South Carolina vary depending on the circumstances of the offense and whether the incident resulted in significant bodily injury or death.

For a first offense with no great bodily injury or death:

  • The courts can impose a fine of no less than $500.
  • Drivers may face no less than 90 days of imprisonment.

For a second or subsequent offense with no great bodily injury or death:

  • The courts can impose misdemeanor fines with complete discretion.
  • Drivers may face three years of imprisonment or less.

If the offense results in significant bodily injury or death:

  • The state may charge the driver with a felony.
  • Drivers may face ten years of imprisonment or less.

How Failing to Stop for Police Impacts Your SC Driver’s License

In addition to fines and potential imprisonment, a conviction for failure to stop for blue lights also results in a driver’s license suspension.

  • For a first offense — The driver’s license is suspended for at least 30 days from the conviction date.
  • For a second or subsequent offense — The driver’s license is suspended for one year from the conviction date.
  • For offenses resulting in great bodily injury or death — The driver’s license is revoked for three years from the conviction date.

Failing to stop for law enforcement is a serious offense in South Carolina with harsh consequences beyond just fines and potential jail time. Having your driver’s license suspended for an extended period can dramatically impact your life, limiting your ability to get to work, run errands, or go about your daily activities.

It’s simply never worth attempting to evade police – the penalties are too severe. Your best course of action is to safely pull over when signaled and comply with law enforcement instructions.

Defenses and Mitigating Circumstances

While it’s always best to comply with law enforcement signals to stop, there may be legitimate reasons for not stopping immediately, such as:

  • A passenger emergency or medical situation
  • Unsafe road conditions for an immediate stop

In these cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense strategy and prove a lack of intent (men’s rea) to evade law enforcement.

However, when no mitigating circumstances exist, the severity of your penalties increases.

Our South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help

If you failed to stop for a blue light in South Carolina, you should consider hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you in court.

At Okoye Law, our traffic law attorneys will explain the criminal charges against you, build a solid defense strategy, negotiate potential plea deals or reduced charges, and present strong arguments in court.

Schedule a consultation today to discuss your options.

Author Bio

rock hill criminal defense family and personal injury lawyers

Colin Okoye is the CEO and Managing Partner of Okoye Law, a Rock Hill, SC,  criminal defense, personal injury, and family law firm. With years of experience, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including DUI charges, divorce cases, and car accidents.

Colin received his Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law and is a South Carolina Bar Association member. His previous experience working as an Assistant Public Defender in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit has equipped him with the necessary skills and knowledge to represent clients in a wide range of cases effectively.

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