Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer - Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney
When a person is charged with a traffic violation in Georgia the impact can be anything from points on your license, increased insurance costs, even a suspended license. None of these penalties have to happen. The Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers at our office are experts at getting outcomes that will save you from losing your license, getting points on your license, increased insurance costs, and high fines. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys know the judges, prosecutors, and police officers in Metro Atlanta and throughout North Georgia. Put our experience to work for you because your license many times is your livelihood. Our Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyers are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We Can Help You!
You may be thinking why could a DUI Defense firm help? As the top-rated DUI defense firm in Georgia we deal with the underlying traffic offenses associated with every DUI arrest. As a result, we are experts at handling traffic tickets in Georgia because every DUI case has an associated traffic ticket that was the reason the accused was pulled over in the first place. Richard Lawson is a former prosecutor who has devoted his career to helping people defend their Georgia Traffic Tickets for more than 25 years. His reviews can be found on AVVO. All of our Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys are highly rated and trained to help you when you need it most. Richard Lawson is known as the Top-rated and most reviewed Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer and Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyer. His office employees top-rated Georgia Speeding Ticket Attorneys that are trained to help you.
What Are The Potential Consequences When You Receive A Traffic Ticket In Georgia?
The consequences for traffic tickets can range from being fined to losing your driver's license. No person is immune from traffic penalties, and for most people going to traffic court is the most common interaction they will have with our court system. In Georgia, any person who accumulates 15 points on their driver's license will have their license suspended. If you are under 21 years old, any 4-point offense will suspend your license. If under 18, accumulating 4 total points will suspend your license to drive.
Read carefully the distinction here between drivers under 21 years old and drivers under the age of 18. The distinction is that an under 21 year old driver must pay attention to both the 15 total point limitation as well as making sure they do not get convicted of any offense with 4 or more total points. For under 18 year-old drivers, they cannot accumulate 4 total points before the age of 18. That means that any 4 point offense will cause a suspension, as well as the accumulation of 4 points prior to age 18 (from either one offense or any combination of traffic tickets).
Traffic tickets in Georgia can cause people serious inconvenience and can even cost them their livelihood. For youthful offenders they can even have a greater impact. For drivers with a CDL (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a “CDL License”) getting a traffic ticket can cause them to lose their license and their careers. All CDL Drivers need to hire a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney if they are cited for any traffic offense in Georgia.
There is help. The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson has helped Georgia drivers and out-of-state drivers visiting Georgia for more than 20 years. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers have successfully helped people get their tickets reduced and possibly even dismissed. We have helped countless drivers save their licenses. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers know how to help save you from getting points on your license and the consequences therein.
A Review Of Georgia's Traffic Ticket Laws:
A law enforcement officer typically determines whether a person is speeding through either the use of a speed detection device or by pacing your vehicle with his own. Radar detection is the most common method of speed detection. Both laser and radar detection are regulated by law. The equipment must receive proper maintenance and meet certain calibration requirements. Otherwise, the reliability and validity of the device can be challenged.
With limited exceptions, a speed detection device cannot be the basis for the charge if you were driving less than ten miles per hour above the posted speed limit. Additionally, the officer cannot use radar or laser equipment to detect your speed within 300 feet of a reduction of the speed limit in an incorporated municipality or within 600 feet of a reduction of a speed limit in an unincorporated area or if the grade of the highway is more than 7 percent. Also, the officer cannot use radar or laser readings as evidence against you if the speed limit was reduced within 30 days of your offense. A Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyer from our office will help you get the best outcome.
Georgia Super Speeder Law:
Every person convicted of driving 85 mph or more on any road or highway or 75 mph or more on any two-lane road or highway will be subject to Georgia's super speeder penalty. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-189. In addition to any fine ordered by the traffic court, the Department of Driver Services will also impose a fee of $200.00, which must be paid within 90 days of receiving notice of the fee. A plea of nolo contendere or a zero points order will not avoid the imposition of the super speeder fee. Also, a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) will not stop your insurance company from raising your rates or even canceling your insurance altogether. That is why you need to get an outcome that reduces the offense so it will not go on your record or be reported to your insurance company. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys know how to get reductions of the speed that will help avoid insurance increases and cancellations. Hire a Georgia Speeding Ticket Attorney from our office today.
Failure to Maintain Lane:
Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, a vehicle must be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-48(1).
Whether or not the lane change was made when it was safe to do so or if the lane change endangered other vehicles is essential to the charge of failure to maintain lane. If the action did not pose a danger to other vehicles, it may not have violated the statute.
Many officers will make an investigative stop of a vehicle that is weaving within its own lane of travel under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, weaving within your own lane is not a violation of a traffic offense. To qualify as failure to maintain lane, a vehicle's tires must actually cross over the lane dividing lines into another lane.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-123 states that “no person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway … or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or change lanes or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety. No person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate and timely signal in the manner provided in this Code section.”
No signal is required as long as a lane change can be made with reasonable safety. Because the stated purpose of a turn signal is to alert other drivers nearby, there is no need to use a signal when no other drivers are present. See Clark v. State, 208 Ga. App. 896 (1993); Bowers v. State, 221 Ga. App. 886 (1996).
A signal of the driver's intention to turn right or left or change lanes when required must be given continuously for a time sufficient to alert the driver of a vehicle proceeding from the rear in the same direction or a driver of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-123(b).
A signal must be given to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is an opportunity to give such signal prior to decreasing speed or stopping to turn or change lanes. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-123(c). The signals are to be used to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-123(d).
In Bowers, the court found that Bowers had not committed an improper turn when she changed lanes without using a signal when no other vehicles were on the road other than the officer who was located approximately 100 yards behind Bower' vehicle.
Even if there are vehicles behind you, it may still be lawful to turn without the use of a signal. In State v. Goodman, 220 Ga. App. 169 (1996), the court found that no traffic offense had been committed when Goodman made a U-turn from a left-turn-only lane without signaling. Because the turn was made from a left-turn-only lane and his sole legal option was to turn left or make a U-turn, any drivers behind Goodman's vehicle would have been aware of Goodman's intention to turn even without the use of a signal.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-121 states that “no vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction:
(1) Upon any curve;
(2) Upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade where such vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of another vehicle approaching from either direction;
(3) Where such turn cannot be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic; or
(4) Where a prohibition is posted.
A U-turn can be made if it is not expressly prohibited and when it can be executed safely without interference to other drivers. In State v. Holler, 224 Ga. App. 66 (1996), the court looked at whether there were oncoming cars in the vicinity of the turn and whether other vehicles had to brake or swerve to avoid the turning car.
Traffic Control Devices:
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20(a), drivers are required to obey the instructions of official traffic-control devices unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
In the case of a traffic light, all vehicles facing a steady red signal must stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk, or, if no crosswalk, before entering the intersection. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-21(a)(3)(A).
Vehicles turning right may enter the intersection to conduct the turn after first stopping as required. If there are any pedestrians in the crosswalk, vehicles turning right must remain stopped when the pedestrians are in the crosswalk over the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or is approaching and is within one lane of the vehicle's half of the roadway. “Half of the roadway” refers to all lanes of travel going in one direction.
For there to be a violation, the official device must have been in proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-20(b).
Hit & Run:
In the event of an automobile accident, the drivers of the vehicles involved have certain obligations to report the accident, exchange certain information, and remain at the scene of the accident until they have fulfilled these requirements.
In any accident resulting in injury or death, the drivers of the vehicles are required to stop immediately at the scene of the accident or stop as close as possible and return to the scene. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(a). The driver is obligated to then give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving and show his or her driver's license to the other driver if requested.
When there are injuries as a result of the accident, the driver is required to render reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if the injured person requests assistance. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(a)(3).
Where a person injured in the accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, the driver must make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(a)(4).
If the accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with these requirements will be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, may be punished by imprisonment for one to five years. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(b).
If the accident is the proximate cause of an injury other than a serious injury or if the accident resulted in damage to the other vehicle, any person knowingly failing to stop or comply with these requirements will be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, may be punished by a fine of $300 to $1000 or up to 12 months in jail or both. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(c)(1)(A). Upon a second conviction within a five-year period, punishment will be a fine of $600 to $1000 or up to 12 months in jail or both. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(c)(1)(B). Upon a third conviction within a five-year period, punishment will be a fine of $1000 or up to 12 months in jail or both. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270(c)(1)(C).
Additionally, upon conviction of a violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270 your driver's license will be suspended for a minimum period of 120 days. A limited driving permit can be obtained for the entirety of the suspension period.
Hit and Run is one of the offenses where having an office of expert Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers can really help. Being convicted of hit and run rarely has to happen. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers are experienced at getting cases reduced to other offenses that don't suspend your driver's license. Most people simply cannot suffer through losing their license, and we can help. With a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney from our office, you have the best chance of saving your license if charged with Hit and Run.
Unattended or Parked Vehicles:
In the event of an accident with an unattended or parked vehicle, the driver must immediately stop and must either locate the operator or owner of such vehicle and notify them of his or her name and address (as well as the name and address of the owner of the vehicle if driver and owner are not the same person) or must leave a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and the owner of the vehicle causing the accident in a conspicuous place on the vehicle that was struck. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-271.
Damage to Fixtures (Striking a fixed object):
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a fixture legally upon or adjacent to a highway shall take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of such property of the damage, his or her name and address, the registration number of the vehicle he is driving and if requested, exhibit his or her driver's license. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-272.
No Injury or No Other Vehicle or Party Involved:
The driver of any vehicle involved in a traffic accident in which there is no personal injury or in which no second party and no property of a second party is involved does not have the duty to stop or immediately report such accident, and no such driver shall be prosecuted for his failure to stop or immediately to report such accident. A driver may still have a duty to file any written report which may be required by the local law enforcement agency. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-274.
Duty to Report Accident To Law Enforcement:
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more must immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such accident to the local police department if such accident occurs within a municipality. If such accident occurs outside a municipality, notice must be given to the office of the county sheriff or to the nearest office of the state patrol. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273.
Texting While Driving:
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.2(b) prohibits any person who is 18 years of age or older or who has a Class C license from operating a motor vehicle on any public road or highway while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data.
The term "wireless telecommunications device" means a cellular telephone, a text messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand alone computer, or any other substantially similar wireless device that is used to initiate or receive a wireless communication with another person. It does not include citizens band radios, citizens band radio hybrids, commercial two-way radio communication devices, subscription based emergency communications, in-vehicle security, navigation devices, and remote diagnostics systems, or amateur or ham radio devices. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.2(a).
The statute does not apply to:
(1) A person reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, serious road hazard, or a situation in which the person reasonably believes a person's health or safety is in immediate jeopardy;
(2) A person reporting the perpetration or potential perpetration of a crime;
(3) A public utility employee or contractor acting within the scope of his or her employment when responding to a public utility emergency;
(4) A law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, ambulance driver, or other similarly employed public safety first responder during the performance of his or her official duties; or
(5) A person engaging in wireless communication while in a motor vehicle which is lawfully parked.
Any conviction for a violation of the statute is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $150.00.
Driving While License Suspended or Revoked:
It is unlawful to drive if your driver's license has been suspended or revoked. O.C.G.A. § 40-5-121(a). In order to establish the offense of driving with a suspended license, the State must show that the accused was driving, that his license was suspended, and that the accused had received actual or legal notice of the suspension. Farmer v. State, 222 Ga. App. 591 (1996).
If convicted, there is a minimum of two days in jail and a fine of $500 to $1,000 for a first offense within a five year period. If the underlying license suspension was due to a Controlled Substance Violation, and you are convicted of driving while your license is suspended during that period, the punishment will be a fine of $750 to $1,000 or up to 12 months in jail or both.
A second or third conviction within a five year period will be punishable by a minimum of ten days in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $2,500. A fourth or subsequent conviction within a five year period is a felony offense punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of $2,500 to $5,000.
The Department of Driver Services will extend the suspension by six months if you are convicted of driving while your license is suspended. If this is your first offense of driving while your license is suspended within a five year period, entering a plea of nolo contendere to the charge will prevent the six month extension of the license suspension.
Like Hit and Run, Driving On A Suspended License is another offense where having the right Georgia Traffic Ticket lawyer can really help. Our advice is to do what is necessary to restore your license. Once you a are valid to drive, many times we can then negotiate the offense down to something that does not re-suspened your driver's license. The key is to stop the cycle of suspensions. If a person is convicted of driving on a suspended license, their license is re-suspended again. Stop the cycle now with the top-rated Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers at our office. The Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys in our office can help!
All owners and operators of motor vehicles for which minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage is required are required to keep proof or evidence of insurance coverage in the vehicle at all times the vehicle is being operated. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10(a)(1.2).
Proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage may be produced in either paper or electronic format. Acceptable electronic formats include a display of electronic images on a mobile electronic device.
If charged with no insurance, many times the charge can be reduced to no proof of insurance if proof can be showed, even if the insurance is obtained after the fact. Your Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer will try to negotiate a reduction if you are charged.
The following shall be acceptable proof of insurance under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10(a)(2) on a temporary basis:
(A) If the policy providing such coverage was applied for within the last 30 days, a current written binder for such coverage for a period not exceeding 30 days from the date such binder was issued;
(B) If the vehicle is operated under a rental agreement, a duly executed vehicle rental agreement; and
(C) If the owner acquired ownership of the vehicle within the past 30 days, if the type of proof described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is not applicable but the vehicle is currently effectively provided with required minimum insurance coverage under the terms of a policy providing required minimum insurance coverage for another motor vehicle, then a copy of the insurer's declaration of coverage under the policy providing such required minimum insurance coverage for such other vehicle, but only if accompanied by proof or evidence that the owner acquired ownership of the vehicle within the past 30 days.
If proof of valid insurance is presented in court showing the driver and vehicle cited had valid insurance coverage at the time of the stop, the fine imposed should not exceed $25 and there will be no license suspension. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10(a)(7).
Upon conviction, there will be punishment of a fine of $200 to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail. For a first offense within a five year period, a plea of nolo contendere will prevent a license suspension. If a plea of nolo contendere is not accepted, a first offense will suspend your driver's license for 60 days. After the 60 day suspension period and when the person provides proof of having prepaid a six-month minimum insurance policy and pays a restoration fee of $210.00 or $200.00 when processed by mail, the suspension shall terminate. For a second or subsequent offense within a five year period, the suspension period shall be increased to 90 days, and, in addition to the driver's license, such person's license tag and tag registration shall also be suspended for a period of 90 days. The restoration fee for a second or subsequent offense within a five year period shall be $310.00 or $300.00 if paid by mail.
It is illegal to drive any vehicle on a highway in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record, and illegal for any person to participate in any such race, competition of speed, contest of speed, or test or exhibition of speed. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-186(b).
"Drag race" means the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerated speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other or the operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course from the same point to the same point for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-186(a)(1).
"Racing" means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain, outdistance, or prevent another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles, or to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-186(a)(2).
Evidence that two vehicles were accelerating at a high rate of speed and appeared to be trying to outrun one another is sufficient. It is not significant, legally speaking, that the automobiles were capable of going faster than they were or that the distance between the automobiles basically stayed the same during the race. Dodd v. State, 205 Ga. App. 472 (1992).
A plea of nolo contendere for a first offense in five years will prevent the suspension of your driver's license if you are 21 years or older and you have not had any previous mandatory suspensions in the past five years. If a plea of nolo contendere is not accepted, the suspension will be for a 120 day period. A limited driving permit is available for entirety of the suspension period. To reinstate, proof of completion of a defensive driving course must be presented and a reinstatement fee must be paid.
A points system is used to track traffic violations and is recorded on each driver's driving history or motor vehicle report. Points are assessed against a person's driver's license for convictions for most moving traffic violations and some non-moving violations. Points are also assessed for traffic convictions that occurred in other states if the person holds a Georgia driver's license. No points will be assessed for violating a provision of state law or municipal ordinance regulating standing, parking, equipment, size, and weight.
The points schedule for traffic violations is 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
If 15 or more points are accumulated in any 24 month period, your license will be suspended for one year. A second conviction within 5 years will lead to a three year license suspension. A limited driving permit can be obtained for a first or second points suspension in five years. 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 reinstatement fee. A third points suspension within five years will lead to a two year license suspension and you will not be eligible for a limited driving permit or immediate 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.
A plea of nolo contendere will prevent the assessment of any points for a moving traffic violation once every five years. Points will be assessed for any subsequent pleas of nolo contendere, even for a different offense. Pleas of nolo contendere by a person under 21 years of age will be considered a conviction and will not prevent the assessment of points.
Once every five years, Georgia residents can complete a driver improvement or defensive driving course and request that the Department of Driver Services reduce the number of points assessed against his or her license by up to seven points. A points reduction will not automatically reinstate a driver's license that was suspended due to the accumulation of 15 or more points.
A sentencing court can issue a Zero-Point Order for cases involving violations that would result in points being assessed against the person's driver's license. A Zero-Point Order prevents the assessment of points for that violation. 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 history, but no points will be assessed. If a Zero-Point Order is issued, the court is also required to reduce the fine amount by 20%. Like nolo contendere pleas, Zero-Point Orders are only accepted once every five years for moving violations. Hire a Georgia Speeding Ticket Attorney from our officer to help you get a zero points order.
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. It can be very advantageous to go to court for traffic violations that result in point assessments, no matter how minor the offense, in order to request that the charge be amended to a lesser offense. For example, 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.
If you are convicted of committing certain traffic offenses three or more times within a five-year period you will be declared a habitual violator. These predicate offenses are:
- Homicide by Vehicle
- Serious Injury by Vehicle
- Fleeing of Attempting to Elude
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run)
- Fraudulent or Fictitious Use of or Application for a Driver's License
A habitual violator declaration will lead to a five-year driver's license revocation. After two years, a probationary driver's license can be obtained for up to three years if certain conditions are met and you would suffer extreme hardship if the probationary license were not issued. Certain restrictions can be placed on your use of the probationary license such as specific places you can travel to and from, routes you are allowed to travel, times of travel, and the specific vehicles you are allowed to operate. A Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer from our office can help explain these potential restrictions.
Understanding Georgia Traffic Courts:
In Georgia our traffic courts are fragmented. Traffic Tickets can be prosecuted in municipal courts, recorders courts, probate courts, state courts, and even superior courts. The original jurisdiction where a case will be heard is determined by geography. Additionally, in most circumstances a person has a right to a jury trial on any Georgia Traffic Ticket, and jury trials are only heard in State Court and Superior Court.
If your citation for speeding occurred within the city limits of any municipality, you will go to court in City (Municipal) Court. Typically, both the judge and prosecutor will be appointed by the city's leadership. The police chief is also appointed by the city council. As a result, it is practically impossible to have an impartial trial in any Georgia municipal court.
All of Georgia's municipal court judges are under tremendous pressure to support the police and raise revenue for their city. When a city council pays and appoints the police officers, the prosecutor, and the judge, such pressure should be obvious to anyone. The only solution to this built in conflict of interest is the election of judges in municipal court. Such elections are rare, but thankfully in places like Roswell GA, the judge is actually elected by the citizens of Roswell.
That being said our office successfully handles cases in municipal court, throughout Georgia. Most cases are resolved by negotiation, and although a fair trial is impossible, fair outcomes are common. Most municipal court prosecutors are willing to be fair and consider each person's individual circumstances. If you hire a Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyer from our office, we will fight for your rights and for an outcome that is fair. If fairness is not possible, we will take your case to a higher court with an actual impartial (elected) judge. You cannot be forced to handle your case in municipal court unless the charge is a violation of a city ordinance.
In small counties (by population) speeding tickets and other traffic violations are also heard in probate court. The probate court serves as a traffic court for cases that occur in the incorporated areas of a county. Our probate court judges are elected and impartial. However, many are actually not lawyers. This surprises people but should not cause concern. Traffic law, although important, is not complicated. Our probate court judges are more than competent to handle speeding tickets and other minor traffic violations.
They all undergo specific training and yearly updates on Georgia Speeding Laws and Georgia Traffic Laws. Our Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyers have vast experience handling cases in probate court and will help achieve a fair outcome. The goal is to always get the speed reduced to something that will not be reported to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. In the event the case cannot be worked out in the probate court, the case can be bound-over to Superior Court. The reason the case would go to superior court is that small counties (by population) do not have State Courts.
Recorders Courts in Georgia are county-wide traffic courts. In large counties (by population) traffic tickets that originate in unincorporated areas will be heard in a recorders court. Recorders court judges are impartial because they appointed by the elected judiciary of the county. Those elected State and Superior Court judges answer directly to the people who elect them.
As a result, there is a strong motivation to appointed fair and impartial recorders court judges. All recorders court judges are lawyers, and most have experience being both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. However, like cases in probate court, you always have the right to send the case to a higher court (usually state court) if that case is not being handled fairly. Our Georgia Speeding Ticket Attorneys will advise you as to the fairness and appropriateness of any proposed outcome in recorders court.
In counties that have sufficient population to have both a state court and superior court system, all misdemeanor cases can ultimately be resolved in State Court. The State Court is the highest level court to hear a misdemeanor case in such counties. All state court judges are elected and answer to the people every 4 years. As a result, they are impartial.
In addition, since all Georgia traffic tickets are actually misdemeanors, the accused can demand a jury trial for their speeding ticket. Jury trials in speeding, and other traffic tickets, are rare. However, the ability to demand a jury trial creates a further push towards fairness and impartiality. In effect, its the right to a jury trial is the ultimate check and balance to the power of the police to charge a person with a traffic ticket. Our Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyers know when to request a jury trial to protect our client's rights. Most of the time such trials are unnecessary.
Georgia Speeding Tickets and Georgia Traffic Tickets are rarely heard in superior court. However, in counties that hold traffic court in probate court, there only higher court available is the superior court. Most superior courts are busy with both civil and serious criminal offenses such as murder and other felonies. As a result, sending a case to superior court has risks because such cases are considered a nuisance. That being said, you always have the right to send your case to superior court. Never be intimidated otherwise. Our Georgia Speeding Ticket Attorneys know when to send a case to superior court and when to keep it in probate court.
Atlanta Municipal Court:
The traffic court system in Atlanta is unique. As a result, it is essential to hire an Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyer to handle your case.
There Is Hope If You Are Given A Traffic Ticket In Georgia:
If you have been cited with a traffic ticket in Georgia it does not mean you will be found guilty. There are many potential alternative outcomes. Your Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney will do everything possible to reduce and limit the impact of the ticket(s) on your life or the life of your family member. Call now. Never pay a traffic ticket in Georgia without first seeing what we can do for you. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call a Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyer today; you best defense begins here!
Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney Resources:
Georgia Department of Drivers Services
Georgia Defensive Driving Schools