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Think twice about pleading guilty to that traffic ticket

In a post a few weeks back, we briefly touched on the fact that the majority of traffic offenses here in Georgia are charged as misdemeanors, meaning the consequences for a conviction are decidedly less severe than they are for felony-level traffic offenses.

While it's true that someone convicted of a misdemeanor-level traffic offense won't have to worry about spending any time in prison, this isn't to say that they shouldn't be concerned about the consequences of a conviction.

Indeed, those who plead guilty or who are found guilty of misdemeanor-level traffic offenses could be sent to jail for a short time, ordered to pay a substantial fine or have points assigned to their driving record.

While this last punishment may not seem like much a concern at first glance given that it's more of an administrative matter, it can rapidly become a very serious problem.

That's because Georgia law dictates that in the event someone amasses 15 or more points on their driving record during any 24-month timeframe, the Department of Public Safety will either suspend or revoke their license.

Consider the following breakdowns to see how quickly this threshold could be reached:

Traffic offenses that would result in 2 points:

  • Breaking the speed limit by 14 miles-per-hour or more, but less than 19 miles-per-hour
  • Open container

Traffic offenses that would result in 3 points:

  • Breaking the speed limit by 19 miles-per-hour or more, but less than 24 miles-per-hour
  • Failure to comply with traffic officer or traffic control device
  • All other moving violations

Traffic offenses that would result in 4 points:

  • Reckless driving
  • Breaking the speed limit by 24 miles-per-hour or more, but less than 34 miles-per-hour
  • Improper passing on curves or hills   

As you can plainly see, those charged with misdemeanor-level traffic offenses should not just plead guilty, but rather give serious consideration to speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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