What Started As a Minor Traffic Stop in Georgia Resulted in 3 Months in Jail

Posted by Richard Lawson | Nov 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

Dasha Fincher, a local Georgian woman, has filed suit against the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the board of commissioners in Monroe County, two deputies, and drug test manufacturer Sirchie Acquisition. 

The complaint filed by Fincher details that she and another had been pulled over as a result of an alleged window tint violation in 2016. Then, the officers ran their licenses and saw that both were suspended. This eventually led to an investigation of the vehicle where they discovered a “plastic bag filled with a blue crystal-like substance in the passenger side floorboard.” 

The substance allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine using the Sirchie Acquisition testing kit, which the lawsuit also accuses of having a history of false positive results. 

Fincher was subsequently charged with both trafficking methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute. Her bond was set at $1,000,000, so she remained in jail for three months. According to the complaint, the GBI then tested the substance found in her vehicle again only to find that the blue material contained no controlled substances or drugs whatsoever. They dropped the methamphetamine charges against her.

Fincher says that the blue substance was cotton candy, and that she told the officers this when they asked her what it was. As a Georgia DUI Attorney, this case is important because most of the cases that I handle start with a routine traffic stop. In today's post, I will outline the offense of driving on a suspended license in our state.

Suspended License in Georgia

Driving on a suspended license in Georgia is actually considered a very serious traffic violation. Most Georgians are unaware that it can lead to arrest.

Georgia law defines the offense of driving on a suspended license as:

Except when a license has been revoked under Code Section 40-5-58 as a habitual violator, any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state without being licensed as required by subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-20 or at a time when his or her privilege to so drive is suspended, disqualified, or revoked shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for a first conviction thereof and, upon a first conviction thereof or plea of nolo contendere within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, shall be fingerprinted and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two days nor more than 12 months, and there may be imposed in addition thereto a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00. O.C.G.A. §40-5-121.

Regardless of whether you have been stopped during a routine traffic stop, or have been pulled over at a checkpoint, Georgia officers are likely to arrest you if they check your driver's license and find it suspended.

Practice Note

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, it's important for me to also note that a common cycle we see in Georgia is the seemingly never-ending suspended license cycle. You get a suspended license for a DUI in Georgia, or for failing to pay a traffic ticket.  Then you are found guilty of the suspended license, which leads to another license suspension. 

As a result, your license suspension is extended by at least another 6 months. If you or a loved one has been arrested or received a traffic citation, contact our offices today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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