Sandy Springs Traffic Lawyer
While you may remind yourself regularly to pay attention, watch your speed, and exercise caution behind the wheel, if you are like most drivers, you have probably been pulled over or failed to avoid a crash at least once. The distress in such a situation is great enough even if no one is badly harmed, but if someone is harmed, or if you are accused of a serious traffic offense, your distress is prolonged, and possibly aggravated by uncertainty, as your court date approaches.
If you find yourself in this position, a Sandy Springs traffic lawyer could help you avoid the penalties issued upon conviction, and work to protect your driver’s license. By calling Hawkins Spizman, you can speak with a skilled defense attorney to learn more about how to defend your traffic case in court.
Responding to Traffic Violations in Sandy Springs
Some traffic citations in Sandy Springs allow the recipient to pay a fine, which implies an admission of guilt, without a court appearance. However, a driver cited for a “must appear” offense, such as aggressive driving or a hit-and-run, must appear in court.
A driver who wants to plead “not guilty” in response to a Sandy Springs ordinance may have a bench trial before a judge in Sandy Springs Municipal Court. If they want to plead “not guilty” to a State misdemeanor charge, they may have a bench trial in municipal court or, if they choose, have their case transferred to the Fulton County Superior Court for a jury trial.
Suspension of Driver’s Licenses and Other Penalties
According to the Official Code of Georgia §40-13-21, as long as the accused submits a written waiver of a jury trial, municipal and probate courts have the power to try and to impose sentences for violating ordinances for which the penalty does not exceed misdemeanor grade. The court must keep a publicly accessible written record of such occurrences.
A conviction for certain offenses can result in the mandatory suspension of a driver’s license. These offenses include homicide by vehicle, any felony committed using a motor vehicle, hit and run, racing, fleein or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, and driving with a suspended license. If you are facing one of these charges, a conviction could seriously affect your life.
Responding to an Accident
Under the Official Code of Georgia §40-6-270, a driver involved in a traffic accident resulting in damage, injury, or death has a legal duty to stop and return to the accident. The driver also must:
- Provide their vehicle registration number, address, and name,
- Show their driver’s license to anyone struck and to any driver, occupant, or person in the other vehicle,
- Render reasonable assistance, including transportation or arrangement for transportation to a medical facility, if it is necessary or if the injured person requests it,
- Summon emergency medical providers and law enforcement if someone appears to be deceased or unconscious as a result of the accident, and;
- Remain at the scene until fulfilling these requirements.
A driver who fails to complete any of these duties after an accident that results in serious injury or death faces a felony charge punishable by one to four years in prison. In a case involving a non-serious injury or vehicle damage, knowingly failing to perform these duties is a misdemeanor for which the penalty, for a first conviction, includes a fine of $300 to $1,000, and up to 12 months in jail, or both. A driver charged with a hit-and-run could face serious consequences if found guilty and may benefit from making a consultation appointment to discuss defense strategies with a Sandy Springs traffic lawyer.
Contact a Sandy Springs Traffic Attorney Today
Traffic laws can be complicated and confusing. A charge for a traffic offense will not wait until you are ready before it disrupts your life, and the resulting stress and confusion can take a significant mental and emotional toll.
You do not need to bear this difficulty alone. Contact a Sandy Springs traffic lawyer who understands traffic law and may be able to lighten the burden you are feeling.