Seeing the blue lights behind you is never a good feeling. Whether you rolled through a stop sign or were driving under the influence, it is always stressful when being pulled over. After the initial shock, many people wonder what steps they need to take to resolve their ticket. People often wonder whether a lawyer can help with a simple traffic ticket. The goal in traffic ticket cases is to get the ticket reduced to something that will not be reported on your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). This can be difficult to do without an experienced Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney.
After Receiving Your Ticket
The first thing to note is your court date. If you plan on fighting your ticket or decide to hire an attorney, you must pay attention to when your court date is to give your attorney time to investigate your case. If you choose to pay your ticket, make sure to pay before your court date; however, we never recommend just paying your ticket before speaking to an attorney!
Going to Court Without a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney
If you chose not to hire an attorney or pay your ticket, then you must show up for traffic court. Make sure you dress appropriately. That means no shorts, hats, low cut shirts or saggy pants. Once you arrive at the courthouse, you must check in to let the court know that you are there and so your case will be called.
Once your name is called, you will go before the judge and announce whether you intend to plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. Nolo contendere in Georgia can only be used once every five years. If you choose to plead not guilty, then the judge will normally reset your case for another day to go to trial. Sometimes, the judge will let you speak to the prosecutor, but to receive the best outcome, you need to hire a Georgia Lawyer. For more information on the no contest plea in Georgia.
Going to Court With a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Having a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer makes everything easier. Your lawyer will check in with the Court Clerk and then will approach the prosecutor and try to negotiate a better outcome.
For a traffic ticket, most prosecutors wait to run your license to see if you have any other tickets on your record. That will give them some insight as to what they can offer in your case. After that, your attorney will work with them to get you the best deal possible, whether getting your speed reduced, the ticket dismissed, or reduced to a less serious charge. Once that is accomplished, the judge will call your name, and your negotiated agreement will be presented.
If they are unable to reach an agreement, you have the right to have a trial by judge or jury. If you choose a trial by the judge, commonly called a bench trial, the case will be heard in traffic court. If you choose a jury trial, your case will be transferred to State Court or Superior Court, if there is no State Court in your district.
Even though a traffic ticket may seem like a minor charge, it could still lead to your license being suspended or points being assessed on your license. The only way to achieve a favorable outcome is to hire a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer to assist with your case.