South Carolina Attorney General Opinions 1995. AGO 95-223. 1018Novemeber 21, 1995 OPINION NO. 95-223The Honorable Joe WilsonSenator, District No. 23 Box 5709 West Columbia, South Carolina 29171 Re: Informal Opinion Dear Senator Wilson: You have asked us to review certain differences in the amount paid for traffic violations, depending upon whether the offense is committed in the City of Florence or in the unincorporated area of Florence County. You state specifically:
[m]y inquiry is for information about what authority sets fines in a city and what authority does the same in the county, and why does the City of Florence and Florence County, specifically, have such a discrepancy in the amount of fines they charge in traffic violations.You enclose a copy of a Uniform Traffic Ticket in which an individual was charged by a municipal police officer for violation of S. C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-3810 (improper backing), and paid $152.00 in fines and assessments. It is your information that the same offense commited in the unincorporated area of the county subjects an individual to a monetary penalty of only $47.00. However, I am advised that this is not the case. I am informed that a number of offenses, including improper backing, are part of a penalty schedule of the Florence County Magistrate's Court. This schedule indicates that offenses such as improper backing have a minimum penalty of $47.00, but much higher amounts can be charged, 1019depending upon the facts and circumstances. Thus, the ultimate...
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