In the criminal justice system, traffic tickets are easily the most common type of offense. These infractions are relatively minor compared to many criminal offenses, but that does not mean they cannot have a detrimental effect on your life. A conviction for a traffic offense could be costly both in terms of time and money.

If you were issued a ticket for a traffic violation, you could benefit from discussing your options with an experienced defense attorney. Like all criminal offenses, it could be possible to avoid certain penalties. A McDonough traffic lawyer could help you minimize the impact a ticket has on your life or have it dismissed entirely.

Common Types of Traffic Infractions in McDonough

Traffic offenses cover a broad range of behavior. On one end of the spectrum, there are minor infractions like the failure to yield the right of way. These offenses can bring costly fines but generally do not carry the risk of jail time. At the other end of the spectrum, there are serious criminal offenses like driving while intoxicated. These offenses could lead to time in jail and other complications like mandatory ignition interlock devices. Some of the most common types of traffic offenses include:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Open container violation
  • Failure to yield
  • Unlawful passing of a school bus
  • Reckless driving

While most minor traffic offenses can be resolved by just paying a fine, doing so is admission of guilt and could result in the increase of the offender’s insurance rates. Also, serious traffic offenses can carry mandatory license suspensions and jail time depending on the accused’s driving record. Because there are various ways that a traffic offense could negatively affect someone’s life, it is important to speak with a McDonough lawyer as soon as possible following the issuance of a ticket.

The Points System

Georgia utilizes a point system in which most traffic offenses are assigned a predetermined number of points which correlate with the seriousness of the offense. Drivers can accumulate between two and six points on their license per each conviction.

Not every offense will result in points on a driving record. The most serious traffic offenses carry mandatory license suspensions which are independent of the point system. On the other end of the spectrum, lesser offenses can carry no points. For example, speeding offenses that are less than 15 miles per hour above the limit will not accrue additional points. Out-of-state drivers also do not accrue points, although the state may forward a record of the conviction to their home state, which could result in penalties.

Offenses like aggressive driving or speeding more than 34 hours over the speed limit are worth six points, while violations of the open container law are worth two points. For drivers age 21 and above, the state will suspend driving privileges when they accrue 15 points within a 24-month window. For younger drivers, four points are enough for a suspension.

The suspension of driving privileges can make it difficult to maintain a job or meet day-to-day needs. Thankfully, it is possible to avoid a conviction for traffic offenses in some cases. An attorney in McDonough could negotiate a plea for a lesser offense that has a lower point impact.

Speak with a McDonough Traffic Attorney Right Away

From accumulating points on your license to getting stuck with steep fines, a traffic ticket may be more than a mild inconvenience. With the right approach, you could limit the impact of a ticket or have it dismissed. Let a McDonough traffic lawyer take the lead on your defense effort. To discuss how an attorney could help you fight your ticket, call today.

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Carl Chapman