It can be an extremely frustrating experience to find out the government suspended your license due to a missed court date. This is what is referred to as a Failure to Appear (FTA) suspension.
Licenses are suspended daily across the country for these charges as it is common for drivers to overlook traffic ticket court dates. As a result, there are a surprisingly high number of FTA cases in traffic court. However, the problem with FTA suspensions is that you are often unaware that you missed a court date and that your license is now suspended as a result.
For this reason, if an officer pulls you over for a normal traffic stop, it is usually a surprise to learn that they are charging you with driving on a suspended license. And, in many cases, the officer will arrest you and impound your vehicle.
How Do I Get My License Reinstated After a Failure to Appear in Gwinnett County
The first step for getting your Georgia driver’s license reinstated is to contact the issuing court. If your offense occurred in Gwinnett County, Georgia, you likely need to contact the Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court at (877) 794-0988 for instructions as to how to clear the matter.
If you plan to hire an attorney – let her do the heavy lifting here.
Resolving the FTA status is sometimes as simple as paying a fine, but other times it will require an in-person appearance if you don’t have an attorney.
If the court has suspended your license, the suspension will not be lifted until you deal with the underlying citation and complete the appropriate paperwork. Typically, the quickest way to make this happen is by working out an agreement with the government and entering a plea.
Should I Plead Guilty to A Traffic Offense?
This part of the process is where things can get tricky. If the underlying citation is a simple, non-reportable traffic offense, then a guilty plea usually has few negative consequences – other than an additional fine.
However, sometimes a guilty plea can have far-reaching consequences – including a new license suspension. And your opportunity to negotiate a more favorable resolution is limited because you missed your initial court date.
Understandably, most drivers want to reinstate their license as quickly as possible. But hasty decisions can have devastating consequences at this point in the process.
For example, if you are under 21 years old, a guilty plea to two or more offenses or any single four-point offense could suspend your Georgia driving privileges.
Additionally, the process can be even more difficult for out-of-state drivers. Not only do you have to worry about how your home state will react to the Georgia conviction, but you are also at a disadvantage if the court requires you to appear before the judge.
Should I Hire an Attorney for a Failure to Appear Charge in Gwinnett County?
FTA license suspensions can be messy. They often lead to unexpected suspended license charges, and they can be time-consuming and expensive to resolve. Luckily, with some research and a lot of leg work, you can opt to move forward without an attorney.
However, if you would like to explore how we can help make this easier on you, reach out to one of our attorneys today.