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Georgia Court Records

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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Georgia

In Georgia, law enforcement agents issue traffic tickets to drivers, pedestrians, and other road users who violate the Georgia Motor Vehicle and Traffic Code. Traffic tickets contain information about the traffic violation of which the offender has been accused. The information includes the nature of the traffic violation or offense, the penalties or fine, available payment methods, and the court where the case hearing will occur.

When law enforcement agents issue a traffic ticket to an offender, the alleged offender may respond by paying or contesting the ticket. If the recipient chooses to pay the ticket, the courts considers the payment an admission of guilt. Therefore, the ticket recipient will be deemed guilty, and, in addition to the fine, other associated penalties may apply.

Ticket recipients may also choose to contest the ticket. In this case, the recipient must appear at a traffic court where the magistrate, administrator, or judge will hear the case and decide about the case.

Ticket recipients must respond to the ticket before the court date printed on the ticket. Those who fail to respond to traffic tickets promptly may incur further charges and get suspended licenses.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

Is it Worth it To Fight a Traffic Ticket in Georgia?

If a ticket recipient believes that the ticket was unmerited, they may contest the ticket in court. However, the defendant must be able to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. Additionally, if the violation is likely to result in driving record points, license suspensions, terms of imprisonment, or other severe penalties for the offender, it may be worth contesting the ticket. However, it is worth noting that contesting a traffic ticket may cost more since the offender usually requires a traffic attorney’s services. If the defendant is found guilty or receives an otherwise unfavorable disposition, they may appeal the court’s decision.

On the other hand, if a traffic recipient chooses not to contest the ticket, they are assumed guilty by the court. The penalty will be the same as if the recipient were found guilty by the court. However, if the traffic violation is minor and paying the ticket does not result in any severe penalties, it may not be necessary to contest it.

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Georgia

Ticket recipients who choose to contest traffic tickets must appear in court at the scheduled date printed on the ticket and enter a ‘not guilty’ plea. The defendant may choose to appear in court pro se or represented by an attorney. The ticket will indicate the specific court where the defendant must appear. In Georgia, municipal courts, county probate courts, juvenile courts, magistrate courts, and state courts handle traffic offenses.

Contesting parties may request a jury trial, especially if the traffic violation is a criminal offense under state laws. The issuing officer may or may not be present at the court hearing. If the officer is present, the officer will give a testimony of the traffic offense event. The defendant may bring witnesses to prove innocence or to counter the issuing officer’s testimony. If the defense proves that the officer wrongly issued a traffic ticket, the judge may dismiss the case. If the judge dismisses the case, the defendant will be acquitted and will not receive any driving record points or penalties. However, if the court finds the defendant guilty, the defendant must pay fines and serve other punishments applicable to the traffic offense.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court

In Georgia, persons interested in contesting traffic tickets must make a physical appearance in court. Although it is possible to pay traffic tickets online in many Georgia counties, Georgia does not currently provide alternative methods for contesting traffic tickets. Interested parties must visit the courthouse in person to enter a plea and pay applicable court fees.

How do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Georgia?

Fines and fees for traffic tickets in Georgia are fixed. Typically, traffic fines are set in ranges that the courts rule on at the court’s discretion. In some cases, the courts add surcharges to the ticket fees; however, the total amount may not exceed the law’s maximum range. In Georgia, some traffic court magistrates or judges may reduce the offender’s speed (for a speeding ticket) in exchange for a guilty plea. Alleged offenders who cannot pay traffic tickets in full must appear in court or contact the court clerk directly to learn the appropriate course of action.

Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Georgia?

In Georgia, traffic tickets are only dismissed if the court dismisses the case. The state of Georgia does not dismiss speeding tickets when offenders take driver improvement courses. The offender may be able to work out a deal with the prosecutor to reduce the penalties. In this case, the speeding offense may not show up on the offender’s record. The offender may not accumulate driving record points, but it may not be possible to have the speeding ticket dismissed.

What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Georgia?

Persons who plead guilty or no contest to traffic tickets will be required to pay the indicated fines. Additional penalties may also apply, such as surcharges, prison terms, and other fees. Depending on the nature of the traffic offense, the court may suspend the driver’s license and add points to the driver’s record. Georgia’s point system uses two (2) to six (6) points, depending on the severity of the offense. The court will suspend an offender’s license who accrue up to 15 points in 24 months.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Georgia

Traffic ticket attorneys help ticket recipients navigate the legal system by providing legal advice and representation. Traffic ticket attorneys can contribute significantly towards possibly getting a ticket dismissed. To find traffic ticket attorneys in Georgia, interested parties may search through the state bar and other legal aid organizations, and third-party websites.

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