Which Traffic Tickets Are Misdemeanor Crimes in Georgia?

Is a Speeding Ticket a Misdemeanor?

In most states, many traffic tickets, such as moving violations, are considered infractions. Only more serious violations, such as driving while under the influence, are considered misdemeanors or felonies that bring more severe consequences and leave you with a permanent criminal record. In those states, a traffic ticket results only in a fine and possibly demerit points on your driving record. Once you pay the fine, the matter is over unless you accrue so many points within a given timeframe that you are at risk of losing your license.

In Georgia, Most Traffic Violations Are Misdemeanors

Georgia is different. Here traffic tickets are more serious because most traffic violations are considered to be misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is the lowest level of crime and is generally punishable by fines and can lead to the possibility of jail time. As a criminal matter, however, it entitles you to a trial by jury and to due process, as in any other criminal matter.

Because most traffic offenses are considered misdemeanors here, our courts may be busier than other states. This can lead to compromises struck between you and the prosecutor or judge in order to expedite the matter. A negotiation between you and the other side can work in your favor, leading to reduced charges, reduced fines, or reduced jail sentences.

Are Speeding Tickets Misdemeanors?

In Georgia, most speeding tickets are misdemeanors and if you are convicted, points will be added to your driving record. Even though it is not a felony and you typically will not go to jail, you may need to pay fines of up to $1,000.

Facing a traffic violation in Marietta? Contact Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. at (770) 629-0154">(770) 629-0154 to talk to an attorney in a consultation.

How Can Misdemeanor Traffic Violations Affect You?

Because most traffic tickets in Georgia are technically misdemeanors, you face the disadvantage of jail time and a criminal record that can negatively affect your future. If it involves added points to your driving record, you also face increased auto insurance premiums. So, if you want to keep the violation off your record, reduce or eliminate the fine, as well as eliminate the possibility of future problems caused by a criminal record, you will have to contest the ticket in court.

Misdemeanor Penalties

In Georgia, simple misdemeanors (those that are not “aggravated”) carry penalties of up to $1,000 in fines and up to 12 months in county jail. Jail time is rare but it is a possibility. The judge on the case has the discretion to sentence you based on the severity of the situation. In addition to these penalties, the type of driving offense you were ticketed for may result in points on your record ranging from one point for operating your vehicle while texting up to six points for aggressive driving, unlawfully passing a school bus, or for speeding 34 miles per hour or more over the posted limit.

For adults over the age of 21, accumulating 15 or more points within a two-year period can result in losing your license for a year. Some driving offenses result in an automatic license suspension. These include hit and run, killing someone with your vehicle, street racing, DUI, driving without registration, without insurance, or with a suspended license.

Protect Your Driving Record & Your License in Cobb County, GA

If you have been ticketed recently in Cobb County, it is important to know that, once you pay your traffic fine, you have admitted guilt. If you need legal representation to fight any traffic offense, from DUI to speeding, reckless driving, or others, you can rely on Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. serving clients in and around Marietta.

The question then becomes, does a misdemeanor citation go on your record? At our firm, we care about assisting you in avoiding criminal penalties and keeping your driving record clean. We provide value-driven legal representation that is designed to help you obtain the best possible result.

Ready to discuss your case with a skilled attorney? Call our firm at (770) 629-0154">(770) 629-0154 to learn more about your case and your legal options.