Speeding tickets and traffic tickets seem pretty straightforward that many people go ahead and pay them before their court date or on the day of court. However, simply paying the ticket without consulting with an experienced traffic attorney can lead to some dreaded unintended consequences.
Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt
Under Georgia law, some traffic offenses require a mandatory suspension of your drivers license upon a guilty plea. No insurance or no proof of insurance are examples of a traffic offenses that may seem to be minor, however both require a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license.
The Georgia Super Speeder law may also apply once you pay the speeding ticket.
Georgia Super Speeder is a fine that is in addition to the fine for the speeding ticket or the fine you pay at court. Once you pay the ticket or go to court and enter a guilty plea, the State of Georgia will send you a notice that you have 120 days to pay an additional $200 super speeder fine or your driver’s license will be suspended.
Does the Georgia Super Speeder law apply to you? Learn more about the Georgia Super Speeder law.
Additionally, your license can also be suspended if you have accumulated enough points against your driver’s license over a 24 month period of time. Not knowing how a guilty plea will affect your driving privileges can be detrimental.
Out of State Drivers
Out of state drivers may also face serious complications with their driver’s license once the ticket is reported back to their home state. Each state is different regarding the imposition of any points or suspensions. It may be wise to also contact an attorney in your home state to ensure the best possible result and to avoid any possible license suspensions.
An experienced traffic attorney may be able to get the traffic ticket charges reduced or even dismissed. Additionally, an attorney may be able to advise you whether a plea of nolo contendre will prevent your Georgia drivers license from being suspended.
How a plea of nolo contendere can save your Georgia driver’s license from being suspended
Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will accept a nolo contendere plea for a moving traffic violation in a five year period without assigning points to a person’s driving record who is licensed in Georgia. Subsequent nolo contendere pleas within the same 5 year period will result in the assessment of points against the person’s driving record, even for a different offense. However, this does not impact the treatment of nolo contendere pleas for an offense that will suspend a person’s Georgia driver’s license.
See the section below for drivers under 21 years old.
Additionally, there are many traffic offenses which will result in a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license upon a plea of guilty. A nolo contendere plea, when accepted, may prevent the mandatory suspension and will allow you to keep your driver’s license. This depends on the traffic offense which you are charged with, whether you have pleaded nolo contendere within the last 5 years and whether you are 21 years old.
You need to speak with an experienced traffic attorney to see if a nolo contendere plea will help your case if you are concerned your driver’s license may be suspended.
Suspendable Offenses for Drivers 21 years and older
The following list may not contain all the traffic offenses which will suspend your Georgia drivers license.
- Any felony offense in which a motor vehicle is used during the commission
- Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Revoked, Cancelled, or Suspended Registration
- Racing on Highways or Streets
- Hit & Run/Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Homicide by Vehicle (1st Degree)
- Homicide by Vehicle (2nd Degree)
- Serious Injury by Vehicle
- Using a Motor Vehicle in Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer
- Endangering a Child while DUI
- Gasoline Drive Off – 2nd conviction
- Driving While License is Suspended or Revoked
- No Driver’s License
- No Insurance
- No Proof of Insurance
- 15 points accumulated within any 24 month period
Nolo contendere pleas are reported as convictions for drivers under 21 years old
A nolo contendere plea is reported as a conviction for drivers under 21. Points will be assessed on their driving record even if they enter a nolo contendere plea. Also, a nolo contendere plea does not save a person’s driver’s license from a mandatory suspension if they are under 21 years old. The controlling date is the day the person enters a guilty plea. For drivers who are close to turning 21 years old, it may be in their best interests to try to wait until their 21st birthday before entering a plea.
Suspendable Offenses for Drivers Under 21 years old
In addition to the suspendable traffic offenses above for drivers 21 and older, drivers under 21 may have their driver’s license suspended for the following offenses. Unless otherwise indicated, drivers must be under 21 years old on the day they enter a guilty plea in order for their license to be suspended for the following traffic offenses.
Please note the following list may not list all the traffic offenses that may suspend a driver’s license for drivers under 21 years old.
- Hit and run or Leaving the scene of an accident
- Racing on highways or streets
- Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer
- Reckless driving
- Any offense for which four or more points are assessable under O.C.G.A. §40-5-57(c), which includes:
- Improper passing on a hill or a curve
- Unlawful passing of a school bus
- Exceeding the speed limit by 24 mph or more
- Aggressive driving
- Driving Under the Influence
- Accumulation of 4 or more points in any 12 month period by a person under the age of 18
Speak with an Experienced Traffic Ticket Attorney
A simple traffic ticket can be a little more complex than it seems. It is always best to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney if you have any questions regarding your own case. Call (478) 936-9842 if you wish to schedule a consultation with traffic attorney Ashley Mackin Brodie.