Whether you have just obtained your driver’s license for the first time or you are a seasoned motorist, it is important to understand the way Georgia handles traffic violations. The state uses a points-based system to track and punish drivers who violate driving laws. Accumulate too many points, and you could have your license suspended. You may also face significant fines.
Sometimes, avoiding these fines and demerits is as easy as attending a court hearing. In other cases, you may need to hire an experienced attorney who can help you keep your license. While traffic violations might not seem like a big deal, serious offenses can result in thousands of dollars in fines or even jail time. With a qualified attorney by your side, you can save money and keep your license.
Summary of Georgia’s Point System
Each time you are convicted for a driving offense, you will be given a certain number of points. If you accumulate more than 15 points within two years, your license will be suspended for one year. With subsequent offenses, you may face suspensions of three or even five years, plus much more substantial fines.
If you are under the age of 21, your license will be suspended as soon as you commit an offense worth four points or more.
Here are some examples of traffic violations and their respective point values:
- Aggressive Driving – 6 points
- Reckless Driving – 4 points
- Passing/Overtaking a School Bus – 6 points
- Speeding 15 to 18 Mph Over Speed Limit – 2 points
- Speeding 19 to 23 Mph Over Speed Limit – 3 points
- Speeding 24 to 33 Mph Over Speed Limit – 4 points
- Speeding 34 Mph or More Over Speed Limit – 6 points
- Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device or Police Officer – 3 points
- Open Container in the Car – 2 points
- Failing to Secure a Load Properly – 2 points
- Violating Child Safety Restraint (1st Offense) – 1 point
- Violating Child Safety Restraint (2nd or Subsequent Offense) – 2 points
- Improperly Using Wireless Communication Devices – 1 point
- Texting and Driving – 1 point
Contesting Your Ticket
While some driving offenses come with relatively minor penalties, others may involve hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines. You may also be facing criminal charges for more serious offenses. If this is the case, it may be worth hiring an attorney who can help you contest your traffic violation in court. When you are issued a traffic ticket, you will usually be informed about the time and place of your hearing. Your attorney can attend this hearing with you and help you gain a favorable outcome.
In addition, your attorney can negotiate for a reduced sentence. For example, many attorneys have been successful in negotiating a reduction of speed. So instead of facing 6 points after speeding more than 34 Mph over the legal limit, you might be able to negotiate for 4 points instead. This could be the difference between keeping and losing your license.
Getting Legal Help
Keeping your license is critical for anyone who depends on a car for employment. Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) should be especially careful about accumulating points, since this can result in reduced employment opportunities in the future. If you would like to keep your points down and avoid suspension, reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today.