Understanding The Waiver Of Rights Forms Used In Georgia Traffic Courts

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

If you have been cited for speeding or any other traffic offense, never attend court alone.  I cannot tell you how often I get calls from people who have attended traffic court on their own and want to have whatever happened corrected after the court date. Many times the ticket has caused collateral consequences such as the loss of a job or suspension of a driver's license.  Many times a person with a commercial driver's license has learned that his insurance rates have skyrocketed.

The most important thing to understand about traffic tickets is that almost nothing can be done after your court date.  If you pay the ticket or attend the court appearance on your own (pro se), the only thing that a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer can do is file a motion to withdraw your plea of guilty.

The problem is most courts will not allow a plea of guilty to be withdrawn because there is a strong bias towards settled matters in our court system.  Most judges are unwilling to re-open closed matters just because someone is unsatisfied with their outcome.

The standard to withdraw a plea is whether the accused was properly informed of their rights and then thereafter waived them.  Most traffic courts use pre-printed waiver of rights forms.  Most people sign those forms without even reading them and the important rights contained therein.

These waiver forms contain a list of your rights in a misdemeanor traffic offense, including your right to hire a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney, the right to a trial, the right to make the state prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right to appeal a conviction.  The rights form also indicates that by signing it the accused waives (gives up) the rights contained therein.

Once you freely waive your rights, you are not entitled to re-assert the rights later on.  Once a legal right is waived, only the opposing side (in this case the prosecutor) can agree to allow you to re-assert the rights.  As a result, you cannot generally withdraw a guilty plea unless the prosecutor consents.  Most prosecutors are unmoved by a person's change of their mind in a criminal case.  As a result, most will not consent.

So, the rule is to never attend a traffic court, even for a speeding ticket, in Georgia unless you have a Georgia Speeding Ticket Lawyer with you.

If you are charged with speeding or any other traffic offense, call the Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers in our office.  We are here to help when you need it most.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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