Going to court without understanding your options can result in unnecessarily harsh penalties. So it’s in your best interest to perform some research before you appear at Roswell Municipal Court for a traffic violation.
Possible consequences for traffic offenses in Roswell, include fines up to $1000 per traffic offense, increased insurance rates, license suspension, and jail time. However, the penalties depend on several factors. Your age, driving record, and the severity of offense are all considered by the court when determining the punishment.
By researching your options before your court date, you can make informed decisions and understand the possible outcomes.
Understanding the Nolo Plea
Within moments of arriving at your arraignment, the court expects you to make some pretty big decisions – including your type of plea. So it’s a good idea to be aware of the options available and how they can affect you. You can choose one of three plea options in criminal court: guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo).
It’s common to see defendants plead nolo after the court informs them it would keep points off their driving record. While it seems like a great alternative to pleading guilty – you should familiarize yourself with the full scope of a nolo plea before you decide if it’s right for you.
For example, you should know that pleading no contest does not keep your insurance rates from increasing. While you might not get new points on your record, the conviction is still visible to insurance companies. And you could still incur a spike in premium based on the type of offense.
You should also be aware that you can only use certain nolo pleas once in five years. And while it might not help your insurance rates, there are specific situations where pleading no contest can be valuable. For example, if law enforcement charges a person with driving on a suspended license, pleading nolo prevents a 6-month additional license suspension.
Should You Move Your Traffic Case to a Higher Court?
Another common mistake is assuming you must make a final decision about your case at your arraignment. Most people don’t realize this is just the first step in the process. Unfortunately, this often results in defendants agreeing to unfair penalties – including high fines – simply because they are unaware of their options.
But you should know that you have the right to transfer your case to a higher court and take it before a jury. By moving to the county court, you could avoid the harsher penalties usually doled out by municipal courts. Though you should research and compare the courts to ensure you make the best decision for your case.
Can I Go to Traffic Court Without a Lawyer?
The court does not require you to hire a lawyer to resolve a traffic violation in Roswell Municipal Court. But an experienced traffic lawyer can help you make informed decisions about your plea options and whether or not to move your case based on the jurisdiction.
If you’d like assistance or guidance, schedule a free consultation to speak to an attorney today.