By Erin Gerstenzang

City of Atlanta Municipal Court has the PTIT program (also known as “diversion”) – which is critical to the efficient resolution of thousands of tickets each month. In many instances, PTIT is an excellent way to resolve a traffic ticket in the municipal court of Atlanta.

PTIT Images.001PTIT stands for Pre-Trial Intervention – Traffic. The individuals who are eligible for PTIT are offered the opportunity to opt-in at their first court appearance (also referred to as a traffic court arraignment). For those that do opt-in, their case is transferred out of the original courtroom and transferred to the PTIT calendar.

Usually, you will be sent to the third floor where you will be handed a few different forms and asked to fill them out while you wait to meet with one of the two PTIT administrators. Be prepared to wait patiently.   This process can take a while depending on the volume of participants, and the number of people they have working that day.

Once it is your turn to speak with the administrator, he/she will tell you what you will need to do in order to successfully complete PTIT. Usually, this is not a negotiation. The penalty normally consists of a fine payment or a defensive driving class or both that you will need to complete in order to *earn* your dismissal.

PTIT Images.002A traffic ticket that is dismissed through PTIT should not be reported to your driving history, whether you are a Georgia driver or an out-of-state driver. This is a great benefit to most drivers who would otherwise be facing a reportable traffic offense that could have a negative impact on insurance rates or lead to other licensing concerns.

Keep in mind that participants are only allowed to enroll in PTIT once per year. This creates a disincentive to *waste* PTIT on an offense that is already non-reportable. So for instance, if you were cited for “too fast for conditions” it should already be non-reportable. Therefore, if you enroll in PTIT for this ticket, you will not be eligible to use PTIT should you receive a citation in the next 12 months.

Out Of State Drivers

PTIT Images.003PTIT is great for out-of-state drivers as well as Georgia drivers. You may have been cited for an offense that would normally not be a reportable offense for Georgia drivers. However, if you have an out-of-state license, Georgia will report all offenses to your home state. As a result, a reduction to a non-reportable offense may not provide you the same benefit that a Georgia driver would receive.

For example, if you received a ticket for driving 14 mph over the speed limit, most attorneys would advise you that it is a non-reportable offense. Therefore, if you entered a plea of guilty to it, you wouldn’t have to worry about it appearing on your driving record. That is true, for Georgia drivers. However, if you have a license from another state, Georgia will report this offense to your home state and it may be reported according to the rules in your home state. However, since PTIT offers a dismissal as opposed to a non-reportable conviction, this option is often very appealing to out-of-state drivers because there is no danger of the offense being recorded on the driving record by the home state.

If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible for PTIT, you should contact the court directly at 404-658-6618. The PTIT representative will be able to tell you whether you are a candidate for PTIT and what would be required of you.