Juvenile Traffic Offenses in Georgia

The Attorneys at EHG Law Firm have experience defending various traffic offenses. We want to help protect your child's driver's license.

Atlanta DUI Lawyer Erin Gerstenzang

Understanding Juvenile Traffic Citations in the Atlanta Area

If you’re a young driver in the state of Georgia, you need to be aware of the unique challenges you may face when it comes to traffic citations. Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57.1), younger drivers are held to a higher standard compared to their older counterparts. This means that if you’re a young driver, especially one who relies on your license to get to work or school, it’s crucial to consult with a Georgia Traffic Attorney before making any decisions in a Georgia Juvenile Court.

Juvenile Traffic Cases – Handled Separately

Most traffic tickets issued to juveniles are processed as Juvenile Traffic Offenses. Defined by O.C.G.A. § 15-11-630, this encompasses any violation related to the operation of motor vehicles on Georgia’s roads or waterways. These cases are mandated to be heard separately from other court proceedings. These sessions are typically informal, and in some areas, non-petitioned cases are even handled in a conference room rather than a courtroom.

If a juvenile is adjudicated guilty of a traffic offense, the court has several potential actions, including issuing warnings, suspending licenses, ordering defensive driving courses or substance abuse programs, imposing fines, requiring community service, mandating participation in counseling or educational programs, and in some instances, placing the juvenile on probation or even in a detention facility.

There are also “traffic diversion” programs in some jurisdictions, allowing juveniles to complete certain conditions like defensive driving or community service to have their charges dismissed. This helps avoid adjudications being recorded with the Department of Driver Services, preventing points from being added to the juvenile’s license.

License Suspension for Under 21 Drivers

If you’re under 21 years old and you’re convicted of certain offenses, your driver’s license will be suspended. These offenses include:

  • Hit and Run – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270
  • Racing on Highways or Streets
  • Using a Motor Vehicle in Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer
  • Reckless Driving – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390
  • DUI – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391
  • Any offense for which four or more points are assessable under O.C.G.A. 40-5-57.

For young drivers, it’s essential to understand that a conviction, even a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), will result in license suspension. So, it’s best to consult with an attorney to explore your options.

License Suspension for Under-18 Drivers

If you’re under 18 years old and accumulate four or more points within a 12-month period, your license will be suspended. It’s vital to note that a plea of nolo contendere is considered a conviction and won’t prevent license suspension for drivers under 21.

Offense Code Section Points Assessed
Aggressive Driving O.C.G.A §40-6-397 6
Unlawful Passing of a School Bus O.C.G.A §40-6-163 6
Reckless Driving O.C.G.A §40-6-390 4
Improper Passing on Hill or Curve O.C.G.A §40-6-45 4
Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device O.C.G.A §40-6-20 3
Failure to Obey Police Officer O.C.G.A §40-6-2 3
Open Container of an Alcoholic Beverage while Driving O.C.G.A §40-6-253 2
Failure to Secure Load O.C.G.A §40-6-248.1 2
Child Safety Restraint First Violation O.C.G.A §40-6-76 1
Child Safety Restraint Second or Subsequent Violation O.C.G.A §40-6-76 2
Use of a Wireless Device O.C.G.A §40-6-241.1 1
Operating a Vehicle While Texting O.C.G.A §40-6-241.2 1

Speed Points
1 to 14 mph over the speed limit 0 points
15 to 18 mph over the speed limit 2 points
19 to 23 mph over the speed limit 3 points
24 to 33 mph over the speed limit 4 points
34+ mph over the speed limit 6 points

Paying Online Might Trigger a Suspension of a Juvenile’s License

Paying the fine on a juvenile traffic ticket without contesting it in court can result in points being added to the juvenile’s license and potential suspension. Going to court allows for exploring alternative options and potentially more favorable outcomes. The Georgia Department of Driver Services assigns points based on the severity of the offense, and accumulating four points within 12 months can lead to suspension.

Reinstatement Process

If your license is suspended under either of these provisions, you may be eligible for reinstatement after a specific period:

  • For a first suspension, you’ll need to wait for 6 months.
  • For a second suspension, the waiting period is 12 months.

Reinstatement involves paying a reinstatement fee and fulfilling additional requirements:

  • For a first suspension, the reinstatement fee is $210 (in person) or $200 (by mail). You’ll also need to provide proof of completing a defensive driving course.
  • For a second suspension, the reinstatement fee is $310 (in person) or $300 (by mail).

In conclusion, understanding the implications of juvenile traffic citations in Georgia is crucial for young drivers. Seeking legal counsel and being aware of the consequences can help you make informed decisions and navigate the process effectively. Remember, your driving record matters, and it’s worth taking the necessary steps to protect your driving privileges.

Read More

  • Stay Focused on the Road: It’s easy to get distracted, especially for teens.
  • Stay Away from Alcohol and Drugs: Driving under the influence can have terrible consequences. Let’s make sure we stay safe and sober behind the wheel.
  • Slow Down: Speeding is a big factor in fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
  • Get Plenty of Rest: Driving when you’re tired is risky. Teens need lots of sleep to stay alert and safe.
  • Buckle Up: Seat belts save lives, plain and simple.

A Driver Improvement Program, also known as a Clinic, offers a 6-hour defensive driving course that’s officially approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). Its main goal is to educate drivers about safe driving habits and attitudes, as well as to help improve the skills of drivers who have encountered problems on the road. This course can be taken for various reasons:

  • If it’s required by the court,
  • To reduce points on your driving record,
  • To reinstate your driver’s license,
  • To lower your insurance premiums, or
  • Simply for personal education and improvement.
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Defense Attorney Erin H. Gerstenzang

Juvenile defense for traffic tickets in Georgia

For more than a decade, Erin Gerstenzang has been teaching lawyers across the country how to handle DUI cases. Everything from trial techniques to innovative solutions for client problems, Erin is a sought-after speaker who sets the gold standard for what exceptional defense looks like in DUI. With a nationally known course on defending DUI clients, Erin is the go-to for lawyers looking to improve their skills.

Erin Gerstenzang, a member of the Faculty of the National College for DUI Defense, also brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the field of DUI defense. She has served as the Chair of the Georgia Public Defender Council’s DUI Trial Strategies Annual Program for seven years and currently holds a position on the Executive Board of the Georgia Association for Criminal Defense Attorneys, where she heads the Judicial Recommendation Committee.

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What it's like to work with Erin

Absolutely the best, kindest, most upfront and caring attorney I have come across!

I called Erin for a simple consultation, and WOW, the wealth of knowledge the gave me was enough for me to go into court and represent myself effectively! She is not a crook or a scam artist out to take advantage of you, she genuinely cares about you and wants you to come out victorious, whether you do or do not use her. I highly recommend her, because not only is she sweet, kind and caring, she is upfront, honesty and to the point – exactly what a lawyer should be! She is definitely an asset to the Atlanta area attorneys and to any client who should choose to use her! There is no better option.

Best Attorney – who can empathize, understand your problems & finds best way to get you out of it – got all my charges dismissed

I was looking for an attorney who could understand my case, who will be able to effectively fight for me and get the best outcome. That’s exactly what Ms. Erin did. She got to drop all the charges including reckless driving and also got my arrest to be restricted. I highly Recommend Ms. Erin.

Pleasant, effective and efficient – thanks Erin!

I wanted the best possible legal outcome and Erin also came highly recommended through another lawyer. She was 100% worth it. Without getting into specifics, I would not have managed the same outcome if I appeared in court on my own. She knew the system, the judges, the court, etc and was extremely timely in her communications and follow-up in the lead up to my court date. Hiring was simple (electronic documents and payment); we communicated over calls and texts, without me having to meet her till the morning of my court date. She was patient in answering all of our questions and explained the legal scenarios clearly. So glad we hired her given the peace of mind and result. Thank you Erin!


If you are definitely looking for a lawyer that would represent you because they have your best interest at heart, Erin is the right person for the task. Not only would she explore and exhaust all options for your case, but she would guide you and give you feedback. She is excellent , knowledgeable, experienced and friendly. I was facing DUI and I had priors before, Erin was able to fight on my behalf and secure a favorable outcome in my case.

Great Lawyer!

Erin was amazing to deal with from start to finish. She really knew what she was doing and knew her way around the courthouse and prosecutors so that we could get the best result possible. She was very professional and communicated things to me very quickly and easily. She helped me out of a somewhat major traffic violation with only a fine. I would highly recommend her to anyone.

Stellar Lawyer

I hired Attorney Erin regarding traffic; I was so impressed with her thoroughness engagement and professionalism. She was able to get the largest charge dismissed and I paid a fine for the lesser charge. She was engaged and caring. I always knew what was going on and her prices were very reasonable. This is the lawyer to trust!

Highly recommended!

Erin is confident, competent, knowledgeable, responsive and proactive. These are the key qualities I was looking for in an attorney. She was able to answer all of my questions and managed my expectations – while I was weighing my options. I ultimately decided to take my DUI case to trial and the ruling was in my favor, icing on the cake! If you are looking for legal representation, I strongly recommend consulting/hiring Erin.

Erin saved me time, money and a whole lotta tears

Erin is top notch and made everything easy + seamless when I was feeling very frustrated and upset. I got a speeding ticket in Brookhaven and was not only thrilled with the result she achieved, but also how quickly she helped me.

As an attorney myself, I thought about handling the ticket on my own. I’m so glad I didn’t! She got me a better result than I ever could have imagined in no time. Get off the fence and contact her if you want this weight lifted off your shoulders.

Really Really Great Attorney

Let’s start by saying I was charged with D.U.I ; Marijuana possession; Single car accident on a major highway here in Atlanta; & Refused sobriety test. It didn’t matter Mrs.Gerstenzang went to work had charges reduced to Wreckless Driving with a reduced fine. No headaches of D.U.I classes, no drug evaluation; no probation.

She was Awesome! I would recommend her to represent you. Trust me.

Great Traffic Lawyer

I’ve been a lawyer long enough to know that traffic court, especially in the City of Atlanta, is a very specialized practice. Accordingly, when our son was involved in a minor traffic accident, and we did not want to have to submit to the Atlanta Traffic Court’s “Pre-Trial Intervention-Traffic” scam, we reached out to Erin to handle it. Through her knowledge of the system, the solicitors, and the judges, she got us a great result, which was certainly much better than we could have achieved on our own.

I highly recommend her.

Fantastic lawyer, best possible outcome for the case

Erin was hired for a DUI case involving prescription medication. What made the case difficult was because of certain medical issues the client was not able to participate in his own defense. Erin had to think outside the box in representing the client, which she did with great compassion and success. She did a wonderful job of keeping us informed of her plans for representation and was always available to speak to us when necessary.

In our experience Erin really went to bat for her client. If you need legal representation in this area she is the best.

The best call I ever made

I found myself in a bit of a bind and needed someone that knew the system and could respond quickly. Erin turned on a dime to get me out of the immediate situation I was in and then worked with me to resolve the larger issues with in a month. I have her number in my cell phone and gave it to my family and friends so they know who to call if something goes wrong.

Erin Saved My License!!!

I was arrested for DUI in July, and it was a very scary and stressful time. Erin was able to turn all of that around for me.

The video of my arrest was terrible…after watching what I could stomach, it was apparent that Erin had her work cut out for her. My case was very complicated, and there were several factors that made it difficult to win. In court, it was very clear that Erin is highly respected among her peers. Erin was able to guide me through this tough time, while keeping my driving status in tact, not to mention avoiding jail time! I appreciate Erin’s hard work and dedication.

Amazing Lawyer Hands Down!

Erin deserves nothing less than five stars for her intelligence, commitment, passion, and success as a lawyer. With such an abundance of passion for her practice, Erin is one of the best lawyers in town. She is caring, and can move mountains for clients. Whether I needed help day or night, she was always there for me. Law is not just a job for Erin, but it is a passion and a part of her life. Her success in her cases shows her dedication to her clients. I would recommend Erin in a heart beat to anyone who is looking for a lawyer who not only cares about winning a case, but cares about the clients future. I don’t know what I would of done without Erin by my side supporting and representing me.

Very Impressed

I was referred to Erin through my older cousin who had used her in the past for a DUI case. This was my second DUI so he recommended her as one of the best in Dekalb county. My case was a very peculiar one and there were a lot of factors involved because it involved DUI, Hit and Run and Equipment violation. Erin was able to get all my charges dropped and only have the Equipment violation. I am THOROUGHLY pleased with the gracefulness and professionalism that Erin upheld throughout the entire process. She never seemed defeated or became flustered no matter what new evidence presented itself. She was very knowledgable and I Would definitely recommend her to anyone dealing with DUI or any other criminal offense.

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