When you miss a court date for a traffic citation in Marietta, the court will place you in a failure to appear status (FTA). When this occurs, the Marietta Municipal Court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest as well as suspend your driver’s license.
First Steps in Marietta Municipal Court
It’s important to know that resolving your FTA status is your responsibility and that (1) every court handles FTAs differently; and (2) the process changes regularly.
If you plan to hire an attorney, let them handle these first steps. However, if you are resolving it yourself, you may want to reach out to the Marietta Municipal Court at (770) 794-5400 to get instructions about whether you will need to show up in court to resolve the matter. Generally, the Court Clerk is available Monday through Friday and they are located at 240 Lemon Street, Marietta, GA 30060.
What Fees Do I Pay for Failure to Appear Charges?
It is not a bad idea to be sure you have adequate funds available before going to court. Some judges and courts impose an FTA penalty before the warrant can be lifted and a new court date issued.
Keep in mind that these FTA fees are often separate from the traffic fees the court may impose for the underlying traffic ticket.
Do I Have to Hire an Attorney to Resolve My FTA Status in Marietta Municipal Court?
Bench warrants and license suspensions are serious matters. For this reason, many people decide to hire an attorney to handle their FTA and traffic ticket. In many instances, an attorney’s help means you will never have to go to court!
But, if you opt to resolve your case without legal representation, you should at least know the basics of how the Marietta Municipal Court works.
To start, understand that the process takes time – so be patient! Many people make the mistake of assuming it will only take an hour or two to complete their Failure to Appear hearing. But, the Municipal Court of Marietta is busy, and it is normal for some matters to take many hours to resolve. So it’s a good idea to plan ahead and build in some flexibility on your calendar.
Additionally, if you have paperwork related to your traffic offense, be sure to bring it when you go to court! Cases like expired registration and no proof of insurance can be more readily resolved when you have all the important documents with you.
Finally, it’s wise to research the underlying charge before you arrive at your hearing so that you have a better idea of what the law says. Prosecutors typically expect you to make a final decision about the case in court and they don’t always have the time to explain your options or to delve into the specific nuances of your original citation.
If you still have questions or want to speak with an attorney experienced with the Marietta criminal and traffic courts, schedule a free consultation with EHG Law Firm.