Have Points Been Assessed to Your Georgia Drivers License?
Are You Facing a Potential Points Suspension of Your Georgia Drivers License?
Georgia, like most states, uses a point system to track bad drivers. Points are assessed against a person's driver's license for most moving traffic violations. The Department of Driver Services determines which violations generate points and maintains resident's driving records for the state. Points are routinely checked by employers of commercial drivers as well as auto insurance carriers to evaluate drivers for risk and can cause lost employment opportunities and increased insurance premiums. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and if you prove to be a bad, dangerous, or reckless driver, your license can be suspended for six months or more, canceled, or revoked.
The Points Schedule For Georgia Traffic Violations Are As Follows:
Speeding 14 mph or less = 0 points
Speeding 15-18 mph = 2 points
Speeding 19-23 mph = 3 points
Speeding 24-33 mph = 4 points
Speeding 34 mph or more = 6 points
Aggressive Driving = 6 points
Reckless Driving = 4 points
Unlawful Passing School Bus = 6 points
Improper Passing on Hill or Curve = 4 points
Open Container = 2 points
Failure to Secure a Load Resulting in Accident = 2 points
Violation of Child Safety Restraint = 1 point
Violation of Child Safety Restraint 2nd Offense = 2 points
Violation of Wireless Device Usage Requirements = 1 point
Operating a Vehicle While Text Messaging = 1 point
Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane – 4th or Subsequent Offense = 1 point
All Other Moving Violations = 3 points
Georgia Points For Violations Of Traffic Law In Other States:
The Georgia Department of Driver Services will assess points for traffic convictions that occurred in other states against a Georgia driver's license, but no points are assessed against out-of-state licensees for violations that occur within the state. You should be aware, though, that Georgia will report any conviction within the state to the licensing state and so points may still be assessed against your driver's license in accordance to your state's licensing laws.
Consequences for Receiving Points On Your Georgia Drivers License:
If you accumulate 15 or more points in any 24 month period, your license will be suspended for one year. If this is your first points suspension in five years, you will be eligible for a limited use driving permit that will allow you to drive to work, school, medical care and treatment including pharmacies to obtain prescription medications, addiction or abuse counseling, or attend court ordered driver education courses.
For a first or second points suspension within five years, you are eligible for immediate reinstatement of your driver's license once you complete a defensive driving course and pay a $210 reinstatement fee.
For a third points suspension within five years, your license will be suspended for two years and you will not be eligible for a limited use driving permit or early reinstatement, but you will still be required to submit a certificate of completion of a defensive driving course and pay a reinstatement fee at the end of the suspension period.
Consequences For Receiving Points On Your Georgia Drivers License For Drivers Under The Age of 21:
For drivers under the age of 21, any offense for which four or more points are assessed will suspend your license for a six month period. This includes the offenses of exceeding the speed limit by 24 mph or more, improper passing on a hill or curve, unlawful passing of a school bus, reckless driving, and aggressive driving. This is a “hard” suspension and you will not be eligible for a limited use driving permit.
Further, a plea of nolo contendere will not prevent the assessment of points on your driving record. Any second or subsequent conviction will lead to a 12 month license suspension. The suspension imposed will be based on the person's age at the time of conviction, so if you are convicted of a four-point moving violation the day of your 21st birthday, your license will not be suspended.
Consequences For Receiving Points On Your Georgia Drivers License For Drivers Under the Age Of 18:
For drivers under the age of 18, if you accumulate four or more points in any 12 month period, you will face a six month driver's license suspension without eligibility for a limited use driving permit. A single four-point violation, or multiple violations that cumulatively trigger at least four points to be assessed against your license will cause a suspension. A second or subsequent offense while you are still under 18 years old will require a 12 month license suspension.
There are Options If You Are Facing Traffic Offenses That Can Result In Points Being Placed On Your Georgia Drivers License:
Nole Contendere - No Contest Plea:
A plea of nolo contendere to a moving traffic violation will prevent the assessment of any points, but this type of plea will only be accepted for this purpose once every five years. Subsequent pleas of nolo contendere will result in the assessment of points against your driving record, even for a different offense. Pleas of nolo contendere by a person under 21 years of age will be considered a conviction will not prevent the assessment of points.
A Nolo plea in Georgia is always at the discretion of the judge. That means he or she can say no for any reason. In addition, nolo contendere is often misunderstood. It does not keep the offense off your record. It's still there for anyone, including your insurance company, to see. As a result, your insurance rates can still be increased, pursuant to your insurance contract.
Georgia residents can request the Department of Driver Services reduce the number of points assessed against their license by up to seven points once every five years. To qualify for a points reduction, you must successfully complete an approved Driver Improvement or Defensive Driving course and present the original certificate of completion to DDS. Once a person's driver's license has been suspended based on the assessment of points, the suspension will not be lifted or amended if the person applies for a points reduction.
Zero Points Order:
A Zero-Point Order can be requested from the sentencing court for cases involving violations that would result in points being assessed against the person's driver's license. A Zero-Point Order can be given at the discretion of the judge, and if granted, you will be required to attend and complete a Driver Improvement or Defensive Driving course and present the certificate of completion to the court. The violation will still appear on your driving record, but no points will be assessed. The court is required to reduce the fine amount by 20% in cases where a Zero-Point Order has been issued. A Zero-Point Order can be granted once every five years to Georgia residents.
Fighting Your Traffic Offense:
Points are assessed based on the traffic violation for which a conviction is entered, so if original moving violation is amended or reduced to an offense for which no points are generated, no points will be assessed against your license. If a ticket is paid prior to your court date in order to avoid attending court, a conviction is entered on the original charge. It can be very beneficial to go to court for traffic violations, no matter how minor the offense, in order to request that the charge be amended to a lesser offense. If you are charged with speeding 15 mph over the speed limit, asking the court to reduce the speed by only 1 mph to 14 mph over the speed limit will prevent any points being assessed against your license.
Contact The Most Experienced Traffic Defenses Lawyers in Georgia:
Because We are Georgia DUI Lawyers, we have tremendous experience dealing with Georgia traffic offenses. Almost every DUI (except in the circumstances of a roadblock) has a related traffic offense. So as Georgia DUI Attorneys, we know all of the available defenses to traffic offenses in Georgia. As a result, we can help protect our clients from points being placed on a Georgia Drivers License. Call us now to protect your rights and your good driving record.