Georgia Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer
Most of us are familiar with that sinking sensation that one feels when being pulled over by a police officer. Unfortunately, this is often only the beginning of a person’s difficulties when it comes to traffic citations, as drivers could end up with points on their driving record, increased insurance rates, and expensive fines. Fortunately, motorists who have received citations while driving do have options when it comes to defending themselves, so if you recently received a traffic citation, you should consider contacting a Georgia traffic ticket defense lawyer who can walk you through the process of contesting your ticket.
Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses
In Georgia, unlike in most states, all traffic offenses are charged not as civil infractions, but as misdemeanors. Unfortunately, for those who drive in the state, this means that drivers who are cited for violating a traffic law face much more severe penalties, including jail time. There are, however, advantages to using this system. For instance, accused drivers are entitled to a jury trial for most traffic offense cases and also have due process rights.
Because resolving these kinds of cases tends to be more difficult, many prosecutors and judges are willing to enter into negotiations with defendants in order to close cases. Often, these agreements result in reduced fines or less serious repercussions for a person’s driving record. The disadvantage of this system, however, is that even something as simple as a speeding ticket carries a fine of $1,000 and potential jail time.
Besides facing criminal penalties, motorists who pay for and admit to committing a traffic violation or who are convicted in court, will have points assessed to their driver’s license. Generally, the more points a person has, the more he or she can expect to pay for car insurance. In fact, if a driver accumulates 15 or more points on his or her motor vehicle record over a two year period, his or her license will actually be suspended.
The number of points assessed on a person’s record depends on the type of violation in question. Driving while texting, for instance, is punishable by the assessment of one point on a person’s license, while driving recklessly could result in the assessment of four points. Most moving violations, however, come with a three point assessment.
Contesting Your Traffic Ticket
When a motorist is issued a traffic citation in Georgia, he or she essentially has two choices: pay the ticket, which is basically admitting to the offense, or fighting the accusations in court. Those who choose the latter will be required to attend court on a certain date where they will be required to plead not guilty at an arraignment. At this point, a person’s case will be set for trial, where the accused will have the opportunity to question the police officer who issued the citation and present other evidence. If a person wins the case, his or her driving record won’t reflect the alleged violation and the driver won’t need to pay any fines. For help determining whether going to court is appropriate in your own situation, please call our office today.