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Most states have some sort of points system when it comes to driving infractions. You can think of this as a demerit structure. When you do something “bad,” for example, get a speeding ticket or fail to stop at a stop sign, you are assessed points on your driving record. In the state of Georgia, the organization that keeps track of all your driving points is the Georgia Department of Driver Services. This is the same body that also issues you your driver’s license.
Why Keeping Points Off Your Driving Record
The reason that points matter so much is that if you get too many points, your privilege to drive can be suspended. As a Georgia resident over the age of twenty-one (21), if you accrue fifteen (15) points in any twenty-four (24) month period, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will administratively suspend your driver’s license. That means you cannot operate a motor vehicle for any reason. You cannot drive work, to school or even to the hospital for an emergency. That is pretty rough. If you think about it, even someone who is found guilty of Driving under the Influence gets a limited permit to drive to certain places, like work.
With that in mind, let us turn to the more important inquiry, which is how you keep points off of your driver’s license. Remember, most moving violations carry points. Something like failure to yield, improper lane change or failing to stop at a stop sign carry 3 points; while others like aggressive driving or failing to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading kids carry a hefty 6 points. For that reason, you should do everything you reasonably can to keep points off your driving record.
Keeping points off your driving record will require you to appear in court and take some action, rather than just paying the ticket. Once you get to court, one option is to try to negotiate a reduction of your infraction with the prosecutor assigned to your case. Perhaps there are some favorable facts or circumstances unique to your case that can help to get a reduction. Another option is to contest the accusation by taking your case to trial. Remember, all traffic violations are crimes in Georgia so the case must follow criminal procedure. The State is required to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You can force them to do this by taking your case to trial. But you better have a good reason why you think you will win – taking a case to trial out of spite and hoping you will win is not a good strategy.
If you have a traffic violation of any type, it is well worth your time to contact our office. We have handled thousands of tickets all throughout Georgia and have a high success rate at getting violations amended, reduced or dismissed. We would love to help you achieve the best result possible on your case. Call us today for a free consultation.