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When Should You Hire an
Attorney for a Traffic Ticket?

Law Office of Jay G. Wall April 23, 2022

Person in uniform writing on clipboard next to person in car

Many drivers who receive a traffic ticket for any type of violation face a tough decision: paying the ticket or hiring an attorney to fight the ticket. While paying the ticket is often the easiest option, the main problem with this option is that you are essentially admitting your guilt and waiving your right to a trial by court.

Once you admit your guilt in Georgia, the state’s ticket system will add points to your driving record. As a result, you may face a suspension of your license or other penalties.

At the Law Office of Jay G. Wall, the experienced criminal defense attorney assists residents of Georgia to fight traffic violations. As a former prosecutor, he provides a superior level of legal representation to clients facing traffic tickets in Woodstock, Georgia, and other parts of the state, including Marietta, Canton, and Cartersville.

Moving Violations vs. Non-Moving Violations

A traffic violation occurs when a motorist violates laws that govern and regulate traffic. Traffic violations refer to a number of unlawful activities involving motor vehicles, such as speeding, drunk driving, and failure to stop at a red light, among others.

Every day, thousands of drivers across the United States receive traffic tickets for moving and non-moving violations. In Georgia, all moving violations are considered misdemeanors punishable by up to 12 months in jail and $1,000 fine. Some of the most common types of traffic violations in Georgia include:

  • Failure to obey a traffic signal, light, or traffic control device

  • Driving over the speed limit

  • Improper lane usage

  • Improper passing

  • Failure to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic

  • Following too closely (failure to maintain a safe following distance)

  • Failure to maintain a proper lane

  • Passing in a no-passing zone

  • Failure to yield at an intersection

  • Improper turning or U-turn

  • Failure to yield to pedestrians

  • Failure to yield to emergency vehicles

  • Improper use of a turn signal

  • Failure to yield when entering or crossing the road

  • Speeding

Traffic violations fall into two categories:

  1. Moving violations occur when a driver violates the law while their vehicle is in motion (examples include failure to stop at a red light, driving over the speed limit, and failure to maintain a safe following distance, among others); and

  2. Non-moving violations involve a stationary, non-moving vehicle. Usually, these violations are related to improper parking or the vehicle’s faulty equipment (examples include parking on a marked or unmarked crosswalk and driving with faulty headlights).

Whether you received a traffic ticket for a moving or non-moving violation, you might want to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the circumstances of your case and determine if you should pay the ticket or fight it.

Understanding Georgia’s Point System

Most states have a system in place which accumulates points on a driver’s driving record. The system assigns a specific number of points to each type of traffic violation. The more points you accumulate, the harsher the penalties.

In Georgia, the point system assigns points for each driving-related offense, ranging from two to six points. The number of points it takes to have your driving privileges suspended depends on your age and the timeframe of the accumulation:

  • For drivers aged 21 and older, it is enough to accumulate 15 points within 24 months to have their driving privileges suspended; and

  • For drivers under age 21, their driving privileges will be suspended for committing a four-point traffic violation.

Georgia’s point system assigns no points to speeding violations unless the driver was driving 15 mph or more over the posted speed limit. In addition, no points will be added to your driving record if you are not a Georgia resident.

No matter what penalties you are facing, you might want to contact a skilled attorney to help you build a strong strategy in order to protect your driving privileges and avoid other penalties.

Hiring an Attorney When
You Receive a Traffic Ticket

While a traffic violation might seem like a minor offense, the potential consequences can become harsher as you accumulate more points. Fortunately, you still have a right to fight the traffic ticket until you pay it. Many people choose to hire an attorney to help them with their tickets and advise them on their options. An attorney can help you with the following:

  • Helping you understand the potential consequences of the traffic ticket and ways to fight it;

  • Requesting a court trial if there is a chance to fight the ticket;

  • Representing your best interests during court proceedings;

  • Assisting you with all legal aspects of your case; and

  • Identify the best defense strategy to help you fight the violation based on the facts of your case.

Common types of defenses to a traffic ticket include:

  • The officer’s subjective conclusion is unreasonable

  • There is a mistake in fact

  • A necessary element of the offense is missing

  • The evidence against you was obtained improperly

  • Your actions were justified (the conduct was necessary to avoid serious harm)

Using a proper defense strategy could help you avoid fines, possible license suspension, an increase in insurance premiums, and other penalties. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight your traffic ticket and avoid or minimize the penalties associated with a traffic offense.

How the Law Office of Jay G. Wall Can Help

The skilled and results-driven criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jay G. Wall is committed to providing his clients with aggressive advocacy for their best interests. He strives to help clients facing traffic tickets to get the ticket dismissed and avoid or mitigate the negative consequences of a traffic conviction. Schedule a case evaluation to discuss your options for fighting a traffic ticket today. He proudly serves clients in Woodstock, Marietta, Canton, and Cartersville, Georgia.