With so many different types of traffic tickets in Georgia, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first traffic ticket in your life or you’re a seasoned traffic citation survivor, there’s a good chance you’ll want help with your traffic ticket once you get it. The good news is – we’re here to help!
Here’s a list of common questions about traffic tickets we’re often confronted with – and our answers on how we can help:
- What kinds of traffic tickets does Your Law Firm handle?
- How can I keep from getting my license suspended?
- How can I get my license reinstated?
- Is there any way to get my ticket dismissed?
- The fine is huge! Is there any way to get it lowered or gone altogether?
- If I can just pay my fine and move on, why should I hire an attorney?
What kinds of traffic tickets does Your Law Firm handle?
Like we said, there’s lots of different types of traffic tickets – and some of them have different consequences depending on your age when you get them.
Thankfully, we can help you with pretty much any traffic ticket you find yourself on the receiving end of.
Here’s some broad categories of traffic tickets you could get in Georgia:
- This also includes going under the posted minimum speed limit (yes, that’s a crime in Georgia!)
- And it can be really bad for under 21 drivers, if they are caught going too fast
- There are extra fines and penalties for speeding in a construction zone, too.
- Not obeying traffic signs or signals
- This includes not opening the police when they are directing traffic
- Also covers things like running red lights or stop signs
- Not yielding when you need to
- This includes things like failure to yield when you turn or not giving the right of way to other cars
- Sometimes, this comes after a car accident as well, where the police assign fault to the wreck
- Not stopping after an accident
- In Georgia, no matter how small the damage in a car accident and no matter whose fault it was, you are required to stop, give your information to the other driver, and render aid if someone needs it.
- If you don’t, you’ll risk getting cited for a Hit and Run – and most of the time you’ll get arrested for this charge.
How can I keep from getting my license suspended?
First step to keeping your license from getting suspended is to make sure you attend every court date. If you miss a court date, you’ll have what’s called an FTA – or Failure to Appear – and that could result in your license being suspended, or even a warrant for your arrest.
The next step is to find out exactly what the consequences of your ticket are, if you are convicted of the charges. How many points will go on your driving history? Are you under 21? Under 18? Can you plead “no contest” or “nolo contendere” to avoid points? Does your charge come with a license suspension automatically when convicted? How many points do you already have on your driving history?
Don’t trust Google or the internet – the best way to find out the answers to your questions is to call a lawyer that regularly goes to court in the same courthouse as your ticket is in. They can help you wade through the consequences and see if there’s any way to avoid a license suspension.
Most importantly – don’t just pay the fine! That could mean an automatic suspension depending on the charges, and you would get a nasty surprise later on when you found this out.
How can I get my license reinstated?
Thankfully, if your license is suspended, there are several ways you can get your ability to drive back.
It all depends on why your license was suspended in the first place. Here’s just a few examples of ways to get your license back:
- If it was suspended because of a Failure to Appear, then you’ll have to work it out with the court where your original traffic ticket was in order to see if you can get the suspension lifted by coming into court to “make up” for your missed court date.
- If it was suspended for too many points on your license (15 or more points in any 24 month period) you’ll need to take a defensive driving course and pay a reinstatement fee to the DDS (Department of Driver Services).
- If it was suspended from a DUI conviction, you’ll have to ride out (pun only kind of intended) the entire suspension – which can sometimes be a full 12 months – before you can submit your DUI class certificate to the DDS and pay a reinstatement fee to get your full driving privileges back.
To find out why your license was suspended, you’ll need to contact DDS and they should be able to tell you the reason it was suspended. From there, you can find out how to get it back.
Is there any way to get my ticket dismissed?
Sometimes there is – and sometimes there isn’t. It’s another way to say one of our favorite phrases around here – “it depends”!
If you’re a first-time traffic offender and you’re 21 years old or older, you have a higher chance of getting your charges dismissed – provided you show some initiative, like take a defensive driving course, or be willing to still pay your fine or do community service.
But the more checkered your driving history is, the less and less likely you are to have a chance of getting any tickets dismissed – or even reduced. If it’s been a really long time, like a decade, since your last traffic violation, then your chances start to rise again.
Ultimately, it’s up to the prosecutor for negotiation of dismissals or reduction of tickets, and it’s up to the judge at trial to see if your ticket will be reduced. While we can’t guarantee the outcome, we can promise to explore every avenue possible to give you the best chance at getting your charges dealt with in the most favorable way it can.
The fine is huge! Is there any way to get it lowered or gone altogether?
Another “it depends”! Some fines are set by law and cannot be waived, lowered, or forgiven if you are convicted of those charges. That’s why we advocate on your behalf for a reduced charge if possible, since reduced charges can sometimes come with less fines. Though not always – one of our negotiation tactics is the agreement to pay the original fine for a reduction in charges, to show that you are serious about not getting the same charges ever again. Which means you’d still pay that fine, but it could be better for you in the long run, if the prosecutor accepts our negotiations.
If I can just pay my fine and move on, why should I hire an attorney?
Well, some tickets you can pay the fine and not show up in court, but other ones you have to go to court first before they’ll let you end your case – which involves paying a fine.
For the ones you have to go to court for, it makes sense why you’d want a lawyer – usually there’s extra penalties than just a fine and that’s why you’re required to go to court, since that’s where you’d find out about the extra stuff. And you can’t say later “well I didn’t know – I just paid the fine!”
For the tickets where you can pay without going to court, it’s still best to do some research on the front end. Sometimes, those payable tickets come with points on your license. While this may not be a big deal if it’s your first ticket, if you’ve had multiple tickets in the past two years or so, you may need to be careful. In Georgia, your license will be automatically suspended if you get 15 or more points on your driving record within a 24 month period. So if this ticket will put you at or over that 15 point number, your license will then be suspended – and you could have at least tried to avoid it if you went to court or called a lawyer first to find out.
Another bonus of hiring a lawyer is that they can often go to court for you. This is really useful if you live out-of-state and picked up the ticket while traveling in Georgia. Or, if your job isn’t flexible to let you off work for your court date, the lawyer could go instead on your behalf and you don’t have to miss or take time off of work. Now, this is always up to the judge if they’ll let you send your lawyer instead. But it’s definitely a benefit that is worth it, if the courthouse your ticket is in lets you do this.
You don’t have to face your traffic ticket alone – call us to see how we can help!
From appearing in court on behalf of our busy clients, to really breaking down what the potential outcomes of a traffic ticket case might be, we’re here to help. If you’d like to know more about your options with your Georgia traffic ticket, give us a call: (770) 580-3699. We’ll look forward to speaking with you!