Georgia Traffic and Speeding Ticket (F.A.Q.) Frequently Asked Questions
Can I really get a free consultation with Hendrick & Henry Law at no obligation?
Absolutely! In order to fully understand your traffic ticket case and know if we can help your situation we need to get the facts from you. There is never a charge for this. Once we have all the details of your case we will promptly give you a proposal of what fee would be.
Why should I fight a traffic ticket?
The most practical reason is to avoid drastic increases in your liability insurance premium. In many cases, insurance companies can raise their rates 300-500 percent for 3-5 years in response to convictions for traffic tickets. This can cost you thousands of dollars. Protecting your driving record can avoid these unnecessary costs.
An additional but often-overlooked advantage to hiring an attorney and fighting a ticket is the advantage of keeping your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) clean, or mitigating charges placed on your record in the event of future traffic citations. Courts look to your past driving record on your MVR when determining what leniency to offer. For instance, if a conviction for speeding shows on your MVR, the chances of future citations being lowered or dismissed are generally nonexistent. By saving your record once, you may save it again and again in the future.
Can’t I just plead “NOLO” in Georgia?
Despite popular belief, a “Nolo Contendere,” or “no contest,” plea does not keep your ticket from being reported on your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). A record of your conviction will be created, and can be seen by anyone who searches your MVR. If you have not received similar tickets in the past five years, a Nolo Contendere will save you the driving points associated with the charge. Please note: driving points are not insurance points. Anytime a record is created, your insurance company can find out about it. However, there are many ways to avoid having a conviction appear on your record. Further, Nolo Contendere has different effects for drivers under the age of 21. It is best to consult an attorney about the effect of a “Nolo” in each case.
What services do we provide for your traffic ticket case?
We offer services to keep your driving record clear without your appearence in court. Our legal services include; contacting the court, the prosecutor and/or the court personnel on your behalf; working with you to put together any evidence required; negotiating a resolution subject to your approval; handling the paperwork and financial considerations such as payment for any court costs, fines or contempt fees.
What type of payments do you accept if I decide to use your services?
We accept major credit cards, Western Union and money orders from Walmart or convenience stores and personal checks and money orders via the U.S. Postal Service.
How does the point system work in Georgia?
Georgia has a “point system” that causes points to accrue to your driving record whenever you are convicted of an offense. These points can affect the validity of your license. The effect these points have on you can vary widely based on how old you are or how many points you have received in the past. It is extremely important to contact an attorney if you are under 21 years old, or if you aren’t sure how many points you currently have on your record. In addition, insurance companies search your Motor Vehicle Record to determine how many points you have. Typically, the more points you have, the higher the premium. Here are a few of the most common offenses:
Traffic Violation Points
Aggressive Driving 6 points
Reckless Driving 4 points
Unlawful Passing of a School Bus 6 points
Improper Passing on hill or curve 4 points
Speeding (15-18 over) 2 points
Speeding (19-23 over) 3 points
Speeding (24-33 over) 4 points
Speeding (34 or more over) 6 points
Red Light Violation (non-photo) 3 points
Open Container while Driving 2 points
Should I just pay the ticket and save the trouble?
No. You should know that if you just pay a speeding or traffic ticket in Georgia, you are pleading guilty to the offense and you will face the consequences of such conviction. While at the time you are pulled over these tickets may seem no more than just a nuisance, the long-term consequences of being convicted of the charges or “just paying” a speeding or traffic ticket in Georgia can be very serious and extremely costly.
Some of the potential problems are:
• A fine and/or court costs.
• Points added to your driving record
• Suspension or revocation of your license.
• The ticket will stay on your record FOREVER.
• Car insurance premiums increased and/or denial of insurance.
• They show up on background checks done by prospective employers and can even be used as evidence against you if you are sued as a result of an automobile collision.
If a recent ticket has put you in danger of suffering any or all of these hardships, don’t worry. Hendrick & Maloof has the experience and skill to represent you and attempt to assist you in avoiding these expensive results. The facts of each case varies, so contact us for an evaluation of the circumstances of your particular case.
What do I need to know if I receive a ticket in a state other than the state where I am licensed?
An extremely overlooked aspect of traffic violations is the effect an out-of-state conviction can have on your license in your home state. In many cases, an officer may tell you that no points will accrue if you simply pay your fine. This may be true in that officer’s state, but may have a devastating effect on your license in your home state.
Furthermore, an officer is not educated as a lawyer, and it is not in your best interests to rely on any legal advice he offers. Because states have different license regulations, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney in this situation to be sure of the effects to your license in your home state. Because of Troy Hendrick’s position as the lead Georgia attorney in the national network of Tixnix.com attorneys, he has access to the top traffic attorneys in other states across the nation. The best advice comes from attorneys licensed and practicing in traffic law in each state.
Shouldn’t I just pay the Georgia Traffic ticket in the mail?
On the backs of most tickets, you will find what is known as the “window fine.” The instructions will advise you that you can pay this fine through the mail. However, they do not advise you of the effect of paying the ticket. If you pay the window fine through the mail, you will be found guilty and in many cases, the convictions will appear on your driving record. You may also see an increase in your insurance rates. You should contact an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to discuss your rights. At Hendrick & Maloof we will do our best to work with you to minimize or dismiss your speeding ticket.
I’m from out of state. My home state will never find out about the ticket I got while travelling through Georgia.
False. The Georgia Department of Safety reports traffic citations to most states, including speeding tickets, to your home state. Check with your local Department of Safety or equivalent agency to find out the consequences of getting a ticket in Georgia. Each state imposes its own penalties. As a matter of fact, in some states, your driver’s license could be suspended if you are convicted of excessive speeding (i.e. 20+ MPH over the posted speed limit).
If I still have to pay a fine, why would hiring an attorney have value?
First of all, there are certain legal issues that only an attorney might be able to identify. Your citation might contain a fatal defect. Secondly, an attorney might be able to handle your court appearances in your absence. In some of the crowded metro-Atlanta traffic courts, this alone can save you many hours of valuable time. But the most important value is the total cost of a traffic violation conviction. The insurance premium increase can be far more costly over time than a legal fee. Because of Troy Hendrick’s position as the lead Georgia attorney in the national TixNix.com network, the firm can offer extremely competitive legal fees—in many cases 30-50 percent less than the going rates.
The Law Offices of Troy Hendrick will fight for you in every aspect of your violation, including eliminating or mitigating any required fines. But, in some cases, paying a fine to a reduced charge can be the most economical way to deal with a traffic violation.
How long will my speeding ticket stay on my record and who has access to my permanent record?
The DDS and law enforcement agencies have immediate access to your driving record. In addition, for “good cause” reasons, employers, attorneys and insurance companies may be granted access. Unless expunged by court order, offenses stay on your permanent record. However, your insurance company may only be concerned with offenses during the last several years when setting your premium.
Will my insurance rates go up if I get a speeding ticket?
Your insurance premiums could increase from 25% to 400% after a traffic conviction. Many people just pay the ticket when a knowledgeable attorney in many cases is able to save their driving record and keep their insurance rates from increasing. Traffic violations will follow you for years and can cause increased penalties for any future violations.