After working with hundreds of drivers both in and outside of the state of Georgia since 2007, successfully reducing tickets in courts across the state, our attorneys have found that certain questions come up frequently regarding Georgia traffic laws and what is required after receiving a traffic or speeding ticket.
Will I Have To Appear In Court For My Ticket?
Hawkins Spizman Fortas will appear on your behalf in court for a Georgia traffic ticket, speeding ticket or moving violation whenever possible. If you are under 21 years of age or have a Commercial Drivers License, a judge may request that you do appear, especially if this is not your first offense. There are hundreds of municipal and county courts across the state of Georgia, each one may have different requirements and whether or not you will need to appear may depend on whether you are a Ga resident or live in a different state. If you live too far away from the court there is a strong possibility that you could be excused. If you were jailed for your offense it is more likely you will have to be in court, the more serious the charge the grater your chances of a mandatory appearance. In certain courts and if you are Georgia resident, a judge may request that you appear and that request may not be made until close to your court date.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Georgia Traffic Lawyer To Fight My Ticket?
Our costs for each ticket we handle are determined by a variety of factors including the nature of the offense/citation, your driving record and the court where you are requested to appear. Our flat legal fees start at $199 and go up from there depending again, upon the violation, the court/county where you received your ticket and the time it will take to receive the best possible resolution for your ticket.
If I Do Not Pay The Ticket Or Appear In Court What Will Happen?
Georgia takes this very seriously, if you do not pay your ticket or show up in court a Failure to Appear(FTA) and in many instances a Bench Warrant for your arrest will be issued. Every moving traffic violation in Georgia is considered a criminal misdemeanor so its wise not to just ignore the ticket in hopes that the court will forget about it. If you do have an FTA charge eventually this will cause your driver’s license in Georgia to be suspended or if you have a license in a different state and the Georgia DDS reports back to your state your out of state driver’s license can be suspended due to that FTA in Georgia.
I Don’t Live In Georgia, Will My State Find Out About A Georgia Traffic Ticket?
Most states will report traffic violations to other states or do have reciprocity, or sharing of information about tickets. If you live in California and receive a ticket in Georgia and decide to do nothing about paying the ticket or appearing in court as per the instructions on the ticket, eventually your driver’s license will be suspended. This applies to the majority of states. If you get a ticket in Georgia and want to know for certain whether this will be reported to your state please contact the DMV in your state.
How Much Is The Fine For My Ticket?
Your fine will be determined by the specific offense you have been charged with as it appears on your traffic citation and is set by the county or city in Georgia where you received your ticket. There are hundreds of cities and counties in Georgia and even more traffic enforcement officers within these cities and counties that can stop you across the state should you commit a traffic offense. As no two counties/cities fines are exactly the same, the ticket itself provides either a web site where you can look up the amount of the fine, or a phone number to the court where your appearance is requested should you choose to fight or contest the ticket. Just remember that once you pay the ticket it will automatically be reported to the Georgia DMV and it will be more difficult to get the the ticket reduced or off your record, the best time to hire a Georgia Traffic lawyer to fight the ticket is before the fine payment is due or the court date has passed.
What Happens If I Plead NOLO For A Traffic Ticket?
Pleading Nolo Contendere or “no contest” means you are pleading neither guilt nor innocence to the charge and this defense can be used once every 5 years and no more. Should a NOLO plea be made in court, the best result is that the points will be removed, however the violation itself will still be reported to the Georgia Department of Driver Services and will show up on your record if you plead NOLO. Hawkins Spizman Fortas works to get the charge and the points reduced thus resulting in a resolution that could be better than a straight NOLO plea for most traffic tickets.
I Have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Is Fighting A Ticket Advisable?
Hiring a traffic attorney to fight a CDL violation in GA is advised due to the importance of having a clean driving record for potential employment opportunities if you have a commercial driver’s license. You only have one driving record, we fight to reduce the violation and the points associated with it whether its speeding, improper lane change, failure to maintain lane, following too closely or load violations. Georgia’s court system is particularly tough on commercial drivers which is why an attorney consultation in and of itself can help a driver with available options. Hawkins Spizman Fortas has successfully resolved Georgia CDL violations and tickets for drivers from across the country.
If The Officer Doesn’t Show Up In Court Will My Ticket Be Dismissed?
Our law office receives calls from driver’s who are fairly certain if the officer that issued the ticket is not present at their court date the speeding ticket or other moving violation will be dismissed. This is not necessarily the truth! It is the decision of the judge and the solicitor in court as to what the resolution for your particular traffic ticket will be, thus, it is not based solely on whether or not the officer is there. Why would you take a chance when your driving history and points are at risk? Automatic ticket dismissals really are no the norm in most of Georgia’s traffic courts across the state.
I Was Speeding For a Good Reason, Can’t My Georgia Speeding Ticket Just Get Dismissed or Thrown Out?
We’ve seen drivers ticketed in Georgia for speeding to get to the hospital, speeding due to a serious health issue, speeding home for an emergency family situation, after finding out bad news, while under emotional duress and many more “good” reasons. If the officer is unkind enough to issue a speeding ticket after you advise of your urgent situation, then you can assume though your side of the story about the ticket can be presented in court, its at the traffic court judge and solicitor’s discretion whether or not the offense will be reduced or dismissed. It is never certain and some traffic court judges have heard so many stories they tend to be unsympathetic to your side of the story! That’s a good reason to hire an experienced traffic attorney to handle your ticket in Georgia courts.
If I Have Paid The Ticket Already, Is It Too Late To Hire You?
Once you have paid the ticket, we would have to file a Motion To Open in order to work to get a reduction for the violation and points. Its not a simple matter though it certainly can be done though there are no guarantees, its up to the judge and the court whether or not they would be willing to give a reduction. That being said, the time to hire a lawyer to fight a ticket is before you pay the ticket, NOT after! If a driver receives a Super Speeder notification letter and then must pay an extra $200 fine, often they will reach out to us at that time and it is too late to get the Super Speeder to “disappear” as its already been issued.
If I Take A Defensive Driving Class Will That Help Me With My Ticket?
If you are speeding at an excessively high speed (21+ mph over the limit) and/or have had multiple moving traffic violations of any kind within a short period of time and choose to take a defensive driving class, it certainly could affect your ticket resolution in a positive way. In many ticket cases in traffic courts across the state of Georgia and especially when the moving violation in Ga involves a driver under the age of 21, a defensive driving course (in person NOT online and at least 4 hours long) will be part of the resolution from the judge/court. Thus, if you make this effort on your own before your court date and provide your lawyer with the certificate of completion, your outcome in court could be positively impacted by that certificate from the defensive driving school. Read more about defensive driving school in our blog.
How Long Do Points Stay On My Driving Record?
The amount of time that points stay on your driving record is different state to state. In Georgia, points stay on your driving record for 2 years or 24 months. Many driver’s forget how many points they have accumulated and need to order a driving history report to see if the points associated with the last violation they paid, are still there. Bear in mind that though the points “recycle” over a set period of time, the violation on your record itself does not recycle or go away. To find out how long points stay on your driving record in your state, we have prepared a list of states, but its always best to check with the DDS/DMV in your state to confirm any and all information if you are concerned about points you’ve accumulated.
How Many Points Will I Get For a GA Moving Traffic Violation?
Please visit our Georgia Traffic Codes, Violations and points post for more information. This list includes the majority of violations but may be missing your particular violations, please call our office if you need help finding a violation and the associated points.
Call our office today for answers to any other questions concerning your Georgia speeding or traffic ticket, 404-933-1153 or complete our online form.