Did You Just Get a Moving Violation Ticket?
Georgia law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a red light, even when turning right on red. What is less obvious to many drivers is that a motorist must clear the intersection before the light turns red. In other words, it doesn't matter if the light was yellow or even green when you entered the intersection. If the light is red when you leave the intersection, then you may be charged with Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device (e.g., red light violation). In Atlanta traffic, this is a common mistake to make, particularly when the traffic conditions are challenging and intersections are especially congested.
What Should You Be Worried About When You Receive a Ticket for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device?
There are two issues you should be concerned about when considering how to handle your moving violation. The first and most common concern is whether the additional points on your license will require a point-suspension. In Georgia, if you are over 21, and you accumulate 15 points within 2 years, your license may be suspended. However, it is rare that you will be facing this type of suspension; it would take many Georgia traffic violations within a short period for you to be worried about a point-suspension.
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The second and more realistic concern you should have is how a traffic ticket violation will affect your insurance rates. Often people assume that the insurance company cares about how many points are on your driving record. However, insurance companies don't care about point accumulation. This is primarily because each state calculates points differently, so an insurance company would be required to have 50 different standards for evaluating drivers in 50 different states.
Insurance companies do not necessarily care about how many points you have on your license. Rather, insurance companies are concerned with whether you are a reliably safe driver. A big part of their evaluation of you as a driver is how many traffic tickets you have received. The only way they know whether you have received a traffic ticket is when they see it listed on your driving history. As a result, the key to low insurance rates is keeping a moving violation off your driving record.
Will a "Nolo" Plea Help You?
A nolo plea is still documented on your driving history (even though you may not receive any points), which signals to your insurance company that you may no longer be as reliable a driver as you have been in the past. You could be penalized by higher insurance rates, regardless of a nolo plea. What you really should be looking for is either a complete dismissal or a reduction to a non-reportable offense so that your insurance rates are not affected.
Contact Attorney Erin Gerstenzang today to discuss available defenses to your ticket. Do not go to court without doing the necessary research to understand what your options are.