In terms of the hierarchy of crimes, many view traffic-related offenses as being relatively minor in nature. When considered in the context of homicide, robbery or drug trafficking, such a perception does appear to be justified. However, the fact of the matter is that a wide range of traffic offenses have the potential to produce extremely serious consequences for those alleged to have committed them. License suspensions, costly monetary fines, increased insurance premiums, job losses and even jail time are all possibilities for drivers found guilty of offenses within this category. As a result, it is vital for anyone accused of violating one or more of Georgia's traffic laws to seek the assistance of defense attorney who is ready and willing to go to bat on their behalf.
Important Facts About Traffic-Related Offenses
Nobody relishes the thought of being pulled over for a traffic violation. The inconvenience, monetary cost, and embarrassment of such an incident are often sufficient to cause motorists to simply accept the citation and pay the specified fine without further question. However, it is important for all Georgia drivers to realize that payment of the financial penalty listed on the ticket itself does not usually represent the end of the punitive effect. Accumulated license points can place driving privileges in jeopardy, result in dramatic insurance premium increases and, for some, put their very livelihood at risk. Thus, anyone who has been ticketed for a traffic offense in Georgia should give serious consideration to contesting their case and pursuing a dismissal or reduction or, in the alternative, a significant mitigation of the penalties imposed.
Impact of Traffic Offense Tickets on CDL Holders
For those who hold a commercial drivers license (CDL), access to Georgia's roadways is an essential part of life. Driving is not something merely done for pleasure, but it is the primary means through which a viable income is generated. Therefore, anything that threatens the continued ability to work must be taken very seriously. Traffic tickets of any sort can place a career driver's future in very real peril. The increased insurance costs stemming from one or more violations can make securing future employment extremely difficult. A skilled defense attorney can examine the facts of a given case and work to reduce the impact on a commercial driver's professional and financial prospects.
Aggressive Driving Charges
A charge of aggressive driving in Georgia can have onerous ramifications for drivers. Massive fines, license points, mandatory driver education classes and raised insurance rates are all common consequences of a citation of this type. Unfortunately for drivers, it is all too common for law enforcement officers to issue aggressive driving tickets for simple cases of questionable passing, excessive speed or unnecessary lane changes. Clearly, in such instances, it is important for an accused motorist to seek justice by fighting back in court.
Another category in which the discretion of a police officer can give rise to unfairly elevated charges is that of reckless driving. Georgia motorists may receive citations for this particular offense when a law enforcement official deems an otherwise harmless maneuver as representing a threat to others with whom they share the road. Coasting through a yellow light or making a slightly ill-advised lane shift are actions which have the potential to be characterized as reckless by an over-zealous officer, something which can lead to costly fines, license points and, if a criminal misdemeanor offense is alleged, upwards of a year in jail.
General Citations for Speeding
Most everyone who has ever driven a car has exceeded the applicable speed limit to one degree or other. While the majority of drivers do not view this offense as being terribly egregious, there can be fairly significant consequences that follow receipt of a citation. Though generally speaking, a speeding ticket simply requires payment of a fine, the amount of which the driver was said to be over the relevant limit can play a substantial role in the size of the fine, the number of license points assessed and the ultimate impact on insurance premiums. Young drivers may even face suspension of their operating privileges if enough points are assessed in a single incident. It is clearly in every driver's best interest to pursue a reduction in each and every speeding ticket received in order to mitigate what could be lingering harm.
Super Speeders in Georgia
In addition to the penalties that can attach as a result of a run-of-the-mill speeding ticket, it is important for Georgia drivers to be aware of the state's so-called “Super Speeder” law, found at O.C.G.A. §40-6-189. This provision provides that anyone found driving at 75 miles per hour or more on a two-lane road or 85 miles per hour or above on a conventional four-lane highway will have to pay an additional $200 on top of the fine assessed by the issuing locality. If that extra $200 is not paid within 120 days of notification, a license suspension may follow.
Driving While Unlicensed or Suspended
Among the more serious traffic-related offenses is that of driving with a suspended or revoked license. First offenses in this category can yield mandatory minimum jail terms as well as additional suspension, in addition to costly fines. Subsequent offenses are taken with extreme seriousness and can result in up to a year in prison, compounded financial penalties and two years of additional suspension. In order to stand a chance at mitigating the sanctions imposed for these offenses, the help of a traffic attorney with a record of success is critical.
Other Types of Traffic Offenses
There are several other types of common traffic offenses which, if a citation ultimately results, can prove very costly for affected drivers. Within this category are things such as:
- failure to yield
- running a red light
- failure to properly maintain lane
- impeding traffic
- following another vehicle too closely
- failure to obey traffic control devices
- HOV violations
- hit and run
- emergency lane violations
- open container violations
- suspended registration
- no proof of insurance
- tinted window violations
At Morris Law, P.C., we understand the ways in which a seemingly minor offense can quickly become a long-lasting, expensive dilemma, the effects of which may have been avoidable with the help of aggressive legal counsel. We pride ourselves on finding ways to achieve reductions in traffic citations which could otherwise create surprisingly large problems for the drivers that receive them.
Zealous Advocacy for Those Who Need it the Most
Traffic offense citations can be particularly damaging to young drivers who face potentially stiff sanctions for missteps made early on. Severe restrictions in driving privileges, license suspensions and worse can significantly limit a teenage driver's ability to gain the skills necessary to safely navigate the roadways now and into the future. Furthermore, license suspensions can prevent youngsters from obtaining and keeping gainful employment, an endeavor which should be encouraged wherever possible, rather than impeded.
Defending Traffic Citations in Georgia
Jill and Pittman Morris have seen first-hand the stress and strain traffic-related offenses routinely place on motorists throughout Georgia. Because many tickets are simply the product of a law enforcement officer's unfettered exercise of personal discretion, it is incumbent upon those receiving them to challenge the assumptions underlying these citations and seek fairness before the law. We stand prepared to conduct a thorough investigation into the facts underlying the traffic stop, exposing flaws in the issuing process and pursuing reductions in penalties wherever possible.
Safeguarding Licenses Across Georgia
The ability to operate a motor vehicle represents freedom, autonomy and for some, a true way of life. Far more than merely a way to get from one point on the map to another, this mode of transportation is for many, an absolute necessity. Frighteningly, a simple lapse in driver judgment on a given day or perhaps the erroneous perception of an issuing officer can cause profound disruptions, crushing expenses and restrictions on the mobility that has proved invaluable time and time again.
The attorneys at Morris Law, P.C. have a deep appreciation of the role driving has in the lives of so many of Georgia's citizens, and we pledge to contest traffic citations in every way possible, seeking to reduce or even eliminate the penalties imposed.
Shouldering the Burden for Georgia Motorists
Attempting to handle a traffic citation without the assistance of counsel is a task many try to tackle, but with which few achieve real success. Jill and Pittman Morris are ready to take assume the hassles, logistical headaches and strategic challenges of contesting a ticket from day one. While it may seem tempting to simply pay the assessed fine and try to avoid further interactions with traffic enforcement officials, there really is a better way.
If you have been cited for a traffic violation in Georgia, there is no need to throw up your hands in immediate defeat. Arguments in mitigation can be made on your behalf, and we at Morris Law, P.C. are prepared to identify them. To discuss the facts of your traffic ticket and discover how we can help, contact our office at (706) 250-1316.