Getting stopped by the police and being handed a traffic citation can be an intimidating situation. But that does not mean you have to let it ruin your day.
Because you have the ability to contest it, regardless of how trivial it may seem.
To stack the odds in your favor, however, you need to:
- Know your rights
- Understand the relevant laws surrounding traffic tickets in Atlanta
This article covers everything you need to know about the law, how to prepare for court, and what you need to consider when hiring an Atlanta traffic lawyer.
Know the Traffic Laws
Failing to comply with traffic laws can result in a traffic ticket, as well as other penalties, depending on the severity of the infringement. The most common reasons for being ticketed include:
- Speeding. This does not apply to simply going faster than the post speed limit, however. It is also illegal to drive faster than what is considered safe for things like inclement weather and heavy traffic.
- Driving specific types of vehicles on restricted roads or highways. For example, large trucks are only able to drive on interstates within the perimeter of Atlanta for a handful of reasons. Everything else is illegal.
- Changes lanes without signaling
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
Drivers who feel they were wrongly cited have the right to contest their tickets at a court hearing before a judge, where evidence will be presented.
When fighting a traffic ticket, it is important to gather evidence that can be used in your defense, including:
- Statements from witnesses
- Photos taken at the time the citation was issued
- Recordings from dash cams or security cameras. Pictures and videos may be useful when fighting a traffic citation, as they can offer visual evidence of the occurrence at the time.
- Police reports. These reports contain information such as who was involved in the incident and how it occurred.
Collecting this information, as well as presenting it during your court proceedings, will help the judge determine your guilt or innocence.
Prepare for Your Court Date
Failing to respond to a traffic ticket can bring serious repercussions, including – but not limited to – license revocation and incarceration. As such, you need to be ready to make a persuasive argument at your hearing.
What to Expect in Traffic Court
Generally speaking, most traffic courts are informal and will not require witnesses or evidence beyond what has already been submitted by the authority who issued the citation. The judge will ask questions about the incident to both parties involved before making a decision regarding guilt or innocence.
Tips For Preparing for Your Court Date
When preparing for a court date, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Dress appropriately. This means wearing something neat and professional-looking, like slacks or a skirt with a collared shirt. Save your jeans and gym shorts for lounging around at home.
- Arrive early so that you have plenty of time to get settled before proceedings begin. Arriving late will leave a negative impression on the judge, which could work against you.
- Be respectful. Do not argue with anyone involved, including police officers and possible witnesses.
- Speak clearly and concisely. Stay on topic, and do not offer up more information than necessary.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
When it comes to fighting a traffic ticket, many people think they should just pay the fine and move on. Yet, this is not always the best option, since paying a traffic ticket could come with certain repercussions. By pleading guilty or not contesting certain types of offenses, such as speeding or running a red light, your insurance premiums could rise.
Hiring an attorney can be beneficial in many ways. A competent lawyer will be familiar with the judicial process and paint your situation in an advantageous way. Additionally, an attorney can provide valuable advice about any potential legal implications associated with pleading guilty or no contest, which could save you a lot of money down the road.
When researching attorney’s in Atlanta, it is important to find someone who is well-versed in handling similar cases, since this demonstrates proficiency and proves that they understand all aspects of Georgia state laws related to traffic tickets and citations.
Once you have found a qualified lawyer to handle your case, it’s equally important to communicate your expectations before moving forward with representation.
Your attorney should examine all data concerning the circumstances of your ticket, including law enforcement documents and witness declarations. This information will help them build a strong defense strategy on your behalf during court proceedings.
In It to Win It
If you or someone you know was recently issued a traffic citation, the experienced attorneys at the Hines Law Firm are here to help. Do not be like most people and simply pay the fine and move on since it could end up hurting your wallet a lot in the long run.
Contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation to see if we are a good fit for what you need.