There are a lot of options to navigate when you go to Sandy Springs Municipal Court to resolve a misdemeanor traffic violation.
There are a variety of offenses that could land you in court. And many of them could result in thousands of dollars in fines, increased insurance rates, license suspension, and even jail time. Though the penalties will depend on multiple factors, including your age, driving history, and the severity of the offense.
Before you make any decisions in court, it is a good idea to be aware of the kinds of decisions you will need to make and what type of research to do in advance.
What Are My Plea Options?
One important decision you will make when you arrive at traffic court is deciding what plea is best for you. There are three basic types of pleas in criminal court: guilty, not guilty, and no contest (nolo).
Many people assume that a nolo plea is the best option. Usually, they do this to avoid a guilty plea and keep points off of their driving record. This choice sounds like a fantastic compromise since people usually focus on keeping insurance rates down. However, a nolo plea does not protect your insurance rates because the conviction is still on your driving record.
Additionally, many drivers do not realize that you can only plea nolo once every five years. And, while it is useless when it comes to hiding infractions from your insurance company, it is valuable in limited situations. So drivers should be careful not to waste this plea option.
Transferring to a Higher Court for a Traffic Violation
In every municipal court in Georgia, drivers have the right to transfer traffic misdemeanor cases up to the higher county court for a jury trial. Some municipal courts impose harsher penalties than higher courts, so it can be beneficial to have your case moved. But first, you should learn about the reputation of your municipal court and how it compares to the county court to ensure you make the best decision for your case.
Going to court is just the first step in the process. But people often assume that they must make a final decision at their initial court date. This misbelief often leads drivers to agree to unfair conditions at their first court date – including high fines – simply because they are unaware of the alternatives available.
But, if you familiarize yourself with the court options available, you can make a better decision about whether or not to accept the prosecutor’s offer. And, if you have an experienced traffic lawyer, they should know if it is beneficial to transfer a case based on the jurisdiction.
Can I Resolve A Traffic Violation Without A Lawyer?
You do not have to hire a lawyer to resolve a traffic violation at Sandy Springs Municipal Court. However, it might be a good idea to consult with an attorney to learn about your options.
If you’d like assistance or guidance, schedule a free consultation to speak to an attorney today.