Beating Traffic Ticket Violations: Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyer

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Do you want to fight traffic tickets? Conoscienti and Ledbetter have an experienced Atlanta traffic ticket lawyer ready to offer you legal representation.

Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on June 28, 2023.

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SKILLED ATLANTA TRAFFIC TICKET LAWYERS

Receiving a traffic ticket while driving in Georgia may seem like a minor inconvenience. However, you should not ignore a traffic ticket. Although they may seem like minor offenses compared to murder or drug trafficking, they can produce severe consequences.

After you receive a traffic ticket, the law enforcement officer will notify the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). If you are found guilty, points will be added to your driver’s license depending on the traffic violation. For instance, you will receive a speeding ticket and two points for driving more than 15 miles per hour over the statutory speed limit.

Accumulating fifteen points within a year will result in a license suspension. It is no wonder why most drivers fight their traffic tickets. At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, we can provide experienced legal representation to those who receive traffic tickets throughout the Atlanta Metro area.

When Is a Traffic Ticket a Misdemeanor in Atlanta, GA?

In Georgia, most traffic tickets are misdemeanors with punishments of up to $1,000 in fines and one year in county jail. The judge at the traffic court has the discretion to hand down a sentence based on the seriousness of the violation. Examples of misdemeanor offenses while driving a vehicle include:

  • Driving without a license
  • Failure to yield
  • Failing to maintain your lane
  • Failing to signal a lane change
  • Tailgating (following too closely)
  • Illegal U-turn
  • Running a stop sign
  • Speeding

The severity of the punishment for these offenses depends on the number of prior offenses and the degree of injury or damage caused by the violation. It is essential to hire an experienced traffic attorney who can aggressively represent you in court and reduce your chances of facing severe penalties.

 

When Is a Traffic Ticket a Felony?

 

Individuals cannot receive a felony traffic ticket. But, if they commit traffic violations that cause death or serious bodily injury, they may be convicted of a felony. Most felony traffic offenses are caused by reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), or hit-and-run. A conviction for a felony offense is punishable by up to five years in prison.

You will become a habitual violator if you commit three serious violations within five years. Habitual violators will have their driver’s licenses suspended for five years.

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What Are the Consequences for Traffic Tickets in Atlanta?

Most traffic ticket violations lead to the following consequences:

    • A permanent criminal record

    • Additional fines (if you qualify as a super speeder after receiving a speeding ticket)

    • Attendance of driver training programs

    • Driver’s license suspension

    • Increase in auto insurance premiums

    • Installation of an ignition interlock device (in DUI cases)

    • Loss of employment

    • Loss of professional license

    • Loss of voting rights

    • Points being added to your driver’s license

    • Prohibition of ownership of firearms

How Can You Reduce the Points on Your Driving License?

Pleading guilty to a traffic ticket without assistance from traffic ticket attorneys will likely result in points against your license. According to Georgia code s. 40-5-57, licensed Atlanta residents may request that the DDS reduce the accumulated points. The accumulated points can be reduced by seven points once every five years but not less than zero.

You will qualify for the point reduction if you satisfactorily complete a defensive driving course approved by the DDS. You must also submit an original certificate showing completion to the DDS’s customer service center. You can request a reduction of the points against your license by mail. Further, you must mail the original certificate of completion of the defensive driving course to the following address:

Georgia Department of Driver Services, P. O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013

You should not enter a nolo contendere (no contest) plea without consulting a GA Atlanta traffic ticket attorney. A no-contest plea means you do not deny or accept responsibility for the traffic ticket. But you will accept the punishment that comes with the offense. Although a no-contest plea will not result in points against your license, it may still appear on your driving record.

A skilled traffic ticket lawyer in Atlanta can help you determine the best course of action for your specific case and work towards reducing or dismissing the charges against you.

    Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free consultation today.

    What If You Fail to Appear in Court for a Traffic Charge?

    If you do not pay a traffic citation on the date shown on the ticket, you will be required to appear in court. If you do not appear on the court date, the traffic court will notify you of your failure to appear (FTA). They may also issue a bench warrant for your arrest or enter a default judgment against you. A default judgment means you will be found guilty of the traffic violation.

    Traffic courts impose a fine and suspend your license until the fine is paid. If your license was issued in another state, the DDS would notify your state of the FTA. Even if you pay the fine, the violation may still show on your driving record. Our Atlanta traffic ticket lawyers can represent you during all hearings and protect your driving privileges.

     

    How Do You Choose an Experienced Traffic Ticket Attorney?

     

    You should consider the following when choosing a traffic ticket defense lawyer:

    Experience

    You should choose an attorney who has previously handled traffic misdemeanor cases in Georgia. An experienced traffic ticket lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you navigate the complex court system.

    Familiarity With Georgia Traffic Court Systems

    An attorney familiar with the courts in Georgia will know how to represent you best and understand the prosecution’s tactics. They can use their experience to negotiate for a reduced sentence or dismissal of your case.

    Licensed To Practice Law In Georgia

    Ensure that the traffic ticket attorney you choose is licensed to practice law in Georgia. Licensed attorneys know local traffic laws and procedures, which can benefit your case.

    Understands The Local Traffic Laws

    Local traffic laws can vary from state to state. Be sure to choose an attorney familiar with Georgia’s laws and regulations.

    Good Reputation

    Finally, you should research and choose a lawyer with a good reputation among their peers and past clients. Read online reviews or ask for recommendations from friends or family members. Hiring a reputable attorney can increase your chances of a favorable outcome in your case.

    CAN YOU APPEAL A TRAFFIC COURT DECISION IN GEORGIA?

    Yes, you can appeal a traffic court decision in Georgia, but there are some important factors to consider:

    1. Where was the decision made?
      • Municipal, county probate, juvenile, magistrate, and state courts handle traffic offenses in Georgia. Each court has its appeal process.
    2. What type of appeal are you considering?
      • Direct appeal: You can appeal directly to the Superior Court, but it’s not a “de novo” trial, meaning you can’t present new evidence. You can only argue that the lower court made a legal error.
      • Certiorari: You petition the Superior Court to review the lower court’s decision for legal errors. This option is less common for traffic cases.
    3. What are your grounds for appeal?
      • You cannot simply disagree with the verdict. You need to show a clear legal error, such as:
        • The judge incorrectly interpreted the law.
        • Evidence was improperly admitted or excluded.
        • You were denied your right to a fair trial.

    Even if you do not have strong grounds for an appeal, consulting with an Atlanta traffic ticket lawyer can help you make an informed decision.

     

    HOW CAN CONOSCIENTI AND LEDBETTER HELP?

    Traffic violations are criminal misdemeanors that are taken seriously by Georgia traffic courts. Paying the fine after receiving a traffic ticket is equivalent to pleading guilty. A guilty plea will appear on your criminal record and may lead to other consequences. Therefore, hiring a traffic ticket lawyer is essential.

    At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, we can fight to have your traffic ticket charges reduced or dismissed. We can also negotiate to prevent the violation from appearing on your driving record. Our lawyers can analyze the facts and the first offense laws surrounding your traffic violation.

    Additionally, we can gather evidence proving that you did not deserve the traffic ticket. Our Atlanta traffic lawyers also help you reduce your charges from a traffic ticket to a “basic rules” violation. Basic rules violations do not add points to your license or appear on your driving history.

    With over 40 years of combined experience, Conoscienti and Ledbetter offer comprehensive legal services to individuals seeking assistance fighting traffic tickets and challenging the associated penalties.

    Call us today for a free consultation if you get a traffic ticket while driving in metro Atlanta!

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    315 W Ponce de Leon Ave. Suite 400 Decatur, GA 30030

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