Are your facing a suspension of your Georgia drivers license for having too many points?
In Georgia, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) keeps a record of a driver's performance by reporting points on their motor vehicle report (MVR). When a person is convicted of a traffic offense, Georgia DDS assesses points based on the traffic offense committed. These points can be used to suspend a driver's license if the driver accumulates 15 points within a period of 24 months. If a driver is approaching the 15 point limit and receives a new traffic ticket that will put them over 15 points, they should contact a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney to ensure that their license will not be suspended. There are multiple ways to prevent a suspension if the traffic ticket is handled correctly:
The best way to prevent points from being assessed on your record is by getting your traffic ticket charge reduced. If you are approaching your 15 point limit on your license you should contact a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer to represent you in court before you are assessed points for new tickets. The key is to prevent a driver from accumulating more than the 15 point limit. Your attorney will go to court and negotiate with the solicitor (prosecutor) to try to get your charge reduced to a lesser offense. A reduction of the offense will not likely reduce your fine, in fact in order to earn the reduction you will likely need to take a defensive driving course or do community service. However, if your traffic offense is reduced to a violation that has no points it will not be reported to the Department of Driver services, and as a result it will not be on your driving history.
Another way to reduce the points that could be assessed on your license is to hire a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer to get what is called a “Zero Point Order” from the traffic court pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-5-57(c)(1)(C). If allowed by the judge and prosecutor, the driver will be required to attend a driver improvement clinic after the date of the citation but before coming to court, and as a result, the fine amount shall be reduced by 20%. The court will report the offense to DDS as a zero point order. This means the offense will go on the driver's driving history but they will not be assessed any points related to the offense. Keep in mind the driver's insurance company will still see the offense and may sanction their policyholder accordingly however, the zero point order will prevent the suspension of the driver's license.
For example, if someone receives a traffic ticket for speeding 34 miles over the speed limit, they would typically be assessed 6 points on their driving history. If they are able to get a zero point order from the court and complete the required course before attending court, the offense will still be on their driving history, but they will not be assessed the 6 points.
A driver can only obtain a zero point order once every 5 years. Using this option, you can get a discount on your fine and no points, however the offense will still show on your driving history. This means that anyone looking for offenses on your history will be able to see it. This can cause problems for people who need a clean driving history for work because the offense will be reported on their MVR. This order does not happen automatically, and you would need to hire a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney to negotiate this order on your behalf. Furthermore, the court is more reluctant to issue a zero point order when your driving history record shows multiple tickets and points on it. This is another reason why it is best to keep your points as low as possible to try to avoid having traffic violations reported to the DDS in first place.
Another way to avoid a suspension is to attend an insurance reduction course pursuant to O.C.G.A §40-5-86. To get a points reduction, the driver should complete a DDS-approved defensive driving course and submit to then the certificate of completion. This will deduct half of the points from the driver's history, but no more than 7 points. A driver can get a points reduction once every 5 years. For example, if you have 10 points on your license and you hire a Georgia Traffic Attorney to get a point reduction, you can have 5 points deducted from your record. This will keep the underlying offenses on the driver's history. A point reduction can be beneficial if you are approaching the 15 point limit on your license, but it will not remove the offenses from your history.
It is always best to keep the points on your license as low as possible, and Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers know Georgia traffic laws and can help you keep points off your record. Once your license has been suspended there is little that anyone can do to help. All of the above options must be done PRIOR to the driver receiving 15 points to prevent a suspension. If you have been given a Georgia Traffic Ticket, hire one of our Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorneys to help you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now!
For more information on the Georgia Drivers License Points system or the individual points associated with a particular charge, consult the related offenses section of this website.