If you forgot to attend a court date for a traffic violation in Smyrna, you have probably been placed in Failure to Appear (FTA) status by the Smyrna Municipal Court Clerk. Once this happens, if you don’t resolve the matter quickly, the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest – and contact the Department of Driver’s Services (DDS) to suspend your license.
Fortunately, you are in good company. Drivers frequently forget their appointment with traffic court and miss the notice from DDS alerting them that they have a suspended license status. If you don’t know that your license is suspended, you will be unpleasantly surprised when an officer pulls you over for a routine traffic stop.
Not only will you face new criminal traffic charges of driving on a suspended license, but you will also likely be arrested and your vehicle impounded.
What to Do After a Failure to Appear Suspension in Cobb County
You are responsible for resolving your FTA suspension directly with the court. If your traffic offense occurred in Smyrna, you should contact the Smyrna Municipal Court at (770) 431-2804 to schedule a hearing. They are located at the Smyrna City Hall Building – 2800 King St SE.
Sometimes, resolving your FTA status is as simple as paying a fine online. Other times, the Judge may require you to physically appear in court. Once you’ve taken steps to resolve the underlying citation, the court will issue you a 912 form (one for each citation) that you can bring to DDS to have the license suspension lifted.
Keep in mind that if you plan to hire an attorney, you should let her take care of these steps. If you have an attorney, she will reach out to and go to court on your behalf.
Negative Consequences of Pleading Guilty to a Traffic Offense
Most drivers want to get their driver’s license reinstated quickly – even if that means pleading guilty. But while it might seem like the easiest solution to getting back behind the wheel, this is not a decision you want to make hastily.
While simple, non-reportable traffic offenses usually result in few negative consequences, other than an additional fine, some cases are more complicated. In these situations, drivers should understand the possible risks for undesirable penalties.
For example, drivers under 21 years old could face a license suspension if they plead guilty to two or more offenses or any single four-point offense. Other charges, such as a hit-and-run, can get your license suspended no matter your age or number of points.
Out-of-state drivers also have significant concerns. Not only do you have to worry about how your home state will react to a Georgia conviction, but you are also at a disadvantage if Smyrna City Court requires you to appear before the judge. Instead of having a lawyer represent you, you now have to travel for your court date.
What if I Don’t Hire an Attorney for Failure to Appear Charges
It’s important to know that you do not have to hire an attorney to represent you for a failure to appear hearing on a simple traffic matter in Smyrna. But, it can be advantageous. Not only do attorneys provide the experience and know-how to resolve these cases with minimal hassle, but they can provide answers to your specific questions and concerns along the way so that you can be confident that you are getting the best possible outcome.
If you would like help simplifying the process, reach out to one of our attorneys today.