S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-6220 provides in part that, "...the entry of any plea of guilty, the forfeiture of any bail posted or the entry of a plea of nolo contendere for a violation of the traffic laws of this State...shall have the same effect as a conviction after trial...". This section further provides that a traffic offender may not be forced to trial in less than 10 days following the date of arrest. When the Uniform Traffic Ticket is issued in the form prescribed by S.C. Code Ann. § 56-7-10, the date of trial before the magistrate must be shown as no less than 10 days following the date of arrest.
In counting days under S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-6220, the count starts on the day following the arrest. For example, when the arrest is on the 3rd of the month, the count would begin on the 4th. The 10th day would fall on the 13th day of the month so, the 13th would be the earliest day on which the case could be set for trial. When the 10th day falls on Sunday, it would then be set on the Monday following. Sundays are counted when they fall on 1st through the 9th days, but not when they fall on the 10th day. (Rule 6(A) SCRCP.)
And offender may lawfully forfeit bail, enter a plea, or be tried before the 10th day if he consents to the earlier date.
Rule of Thumb
1. Date of trial shown on the Uniform Traffic Ticket should never be less than ten (10) days following the date of arrest. When the 10th day falls on Sunday, the trial date would be no sooner than the 11th day.
2. When an offender volunteers to have his case disposed of earlier than the 10th day, it would be a good idea to have some signed statement to that effect on the back of the ticket.
"I consent to (bond forfeiture) (trial) (entry of plea of guilty) on this charge on the ______ day of ______________, 20____."