Your Georgia Traffic Ticket Is a Wake-Up Call
In some states, getting a ticket for a moving violation feels like a slap on the wrist. However, here in Georgia, a traffic ticket is no laughing matter. Depending on the fees imposed by local jurisdictions, even getting cited for driving a few miles over the speed limit can result in hundreds of dollars in fines. To make matters worse, the same traffic violation committed in two different counties can result in a difference of $1,000 or more in fines! If you’ve recently been ticketed in Georgia, what can you expect, and more importantly, how can you keep it from happening again?
A moving violation in Georgia usually adds up to more than the cost of the ticket alone. Let’s look at potential consequences for just one offense:
- Your fine, on average, will be between $150 and $350.
- Your fine will likely have mandatory add-on fines attached to it, which sometimes add up to more than the ticket itself.
- If you qualify as a “superspeeder,” (i.e., driving 75 mph or faster on most roads), you’ll automatically pay an additional fine of $200.
- If you were driving 15 miles or more above the speed limit, you’ll get points on your driving record, which can affect your insurance rates. (You may be able to avoid points by pleading nolo contendere—no contest—but you can only do so, once every five years.)
- All moving violations in Georgia are considered criminal misdemeanors, which means if you’re found guilty, it could be reflected on your criminal record. (Additionally, if you just pay the fine, you’re admitting guilt.)
- If you don’t pay your fine on time, and if you don’t show up to court to contest it, the court will more than likely report it to the state and your driver’s license could be suspend and you could even be arrested.
Avoiding a Repeat Offense
Feeling overwhelmed yet? You should. Georgia takes its traffic violations seriously – especially the smaller municipal courts.
Once you’ve dealt with the fallout of a traffic ticket, your primary goal should be to avoid getting another one. Best practices to do so include:
- Driving at or below the speed limit—always. Georgia is notorious for its speed traps, so don’t take chances; just play it safe.
- Keeping your vehicle properly maintained. Make sure your turn signals and brake lights work at all times.
- Avoiding distractions in the car. Don’t use your phone or devices while driving. Don’t drive if you’re drowsy or have been drinking.
- Observing all traffic signals and signs. Come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs, always signal before turning, etc.
Because Georgia traffic tickets can carry steep penalties, it may be in your best interest to contest a traffic citation. For legal representation and advice for traffic violations in Atlanta, call Chehimi Law at 678-878-3125.