By: William C. Head, Criminal Defense Attorney Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyer 404-567-5515
While most people who have a revoked or suspended license are aware of that driver’s license status, some Georgia drivers may be unaware of their lack of a valid drivers license in GA. Because dozens of potential causes exist (under Georgia driving laws) for a person to have a suspended license, if no mail notice of the action taken at the GA DMV (Georgia DDS) was sent out to (or never received by) the person caught driving without a license, this lack of notice can happen.
Some quick examples of how this can happen including forgetting about traffic tickets and missing the traffic court date leading to an “FTA” (failure to appear), a points suspension, or moving to a new address and not getting notice of a “superspeeder GA” default in timely paying the extra $200 tax that is assessed by the State of Georgia via U.S. mail notification after the misdemeanor speeding case is closed out. Plus, several non-driving issues can cause license suspension, including failing to pay child support payments or dropping out of high school.
Unfortunately, if caught driving with a suspended license GA, the police officer will be compelled to arrest you, since this motor vehicle crime (like DUI and hit and run) is one for which a law enforcement officer must remove you from being a further risk to the public, as a suspended or unlicensed driver. Law enforcement officers assume that no license also means no car insurance.
Plus, a conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license can lead to jail time being imposed, by a criminal court judge, along with other penalties like probation, fines, and (if involved in a car accident, making restitution to others). Some Georgia statutes make a jail sentence mandatory upon the judge, especially for a repeat offense of driving while under suspension.
Yes, every traffic offense that is a moving violation is a misdemeanor in Georgia. All misdemeanors in GA unless specially modified by a particular statute, (e.g., seat belt violations), call for up to $1,000 fine and up to 12 months of jail time.
Three categories of clients hire our law office to assist with their traffic tickets, and these are:
Several steps are needed to rectify a driving on suspended license problem. Hiring a traffic lawyer is the quickest route to clearing up the legal problem, and having a legal advocate may provide a needed “buffer” between you and the criminal justice system. To utilize “self-help,” without hiring a traffic attorney you will need to do these things:
Various Georgia statutes call for different levels of punishment for those caught driving under suspension or without a plastic license. Your traffic ticket should identify the code section (which can be searched on Google) and the penalty for driving without a license. But, the range of criminal punishments and driver’s license actions include:
As part of a steady tightening of security after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center towers, many states (including Georgia) began refusing to issue a driver’s license for illegal immigrants (even where the applicant had another valid license issued by another state). Current federal policy toward anyone found in the United States without the legal right to be here is far more ominous and potentially life-changing if arrested.