If you’ve missed a court date for a criminal or traffic citation – you aren’t alone. Thousands of drivers around the country forget to attend traffic court every single day. And most of the time, people are unaware of surprisingly unpleasant consequences as a result.
When you don’t show up to your court date at Sandy Springs Municipal Court, they place you under a failure to appear (FTA) status. If they do not hear from you or your attorney, they will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and reach out to the Department of Driver’s Services (DDS) to suspend your license. If you are an out-of-state driver they will reach out to your DMV.
Once this happens, you receive a notice in the mail from the DDS (of DMV) informing you about your license suspension.
Some unlucky drivers miss that mailed notice and find out about the FTA, bench warrant, and suspended license from a police officer – after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop. At this point, the driver is probably facing jail time for a new charge of driving on a suspended license. And even worse, they can’t bond out of jail until they resolve the original bench warrant for the FTA.
The extremely unlucky folks can’t clear up the warrant in time and they get stuck in custody, waiting for days for the jail transport van to bring them back to the original jurisdiction.
Clearing Up a Bench Warrant and Failure to Appear in Sandy Springs
Once you learn about your FTA status, it is your responsibility (or your lawyer’s) to take prompt actions to resolve the charges, clear up the bench warrant issued by the Sandy Springs Municipal Court, and reinstate your driver’s license with the DDS.
While the process might vary from court to court, usually, you check with the Clerk of Court to determine if you will need to appear at a hearing or if there are other options. The court will not automatically schedule a new court date or opportunity to correct the FTA, so it’s up to you to take the necessary steps and contact the appropriate court.
If you plan to hire an attorney, you should let her handle all court communications.
If you plan to represent yourself, you can contact Sandy Springs Municipal Court at (770) 206-2075.
Am I Required to Hire an Attorney for a Failure to Appear Hearing in Georgia?
Determining whether or not to hire an attorney to resolve your FTA status should be a considered decision. Plenty of drivers in Georgia proceed without an attorney in traffic court.
If you decide to move forward on your own, you should become familiar with the rules and processes specific to your case and citation and do as much research as possible before going to court.
Keep in mind that FTA license suspensions can be simple, but they can also be incredibly messy. They can lead to unexpected suspended license charges, and they can be time-consuming and onerous to resolve.
If you would like help navigating and simplifying the process, reach out to one of our attorneys today.