Traffic crimes are sometimes taken lightly in popular culture. What many people do not realize, however, is that they can be very serious and result in significant punishments and financial penalties for those who are convicted of such offenses. If you have recently been charged with a traffic violation, you should not hesitate to protect your rights by consulting a criminal defense attorney. Using his insights as a former prosecutor to help defendants, Atlanta traffic offenses lawyer Ryan Schwartz can explore the details of your situation and craft a legal strategy suited to your needs.Fighting Traffic Charges in Georgia
Many types of traffic crimes are set forth in the Georgia Driver’s Manual and, more specifically, in Chapter 40 of the Georgia Criminal Code. Some common examples include driving without a license, driving without insurance, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, speeding, and seat belt violations. Some of these offenses, such as driving with a seatbelt, are more minor and will typically result in citations. These traffic citations can be paid immediately, or they can be contested by a driver in traffic court. These are not really crimes in the truest sense, but more like infractions that can be dealt with administratively.
On the other hand, driving without a license, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident are very serious criminal accusations that can result in jail time. Reckless driving in Georgia, for example, can result in fines of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to a year. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in similar penalties. Additionally, under Georgia law, a conviction for any of these offenses can also result in the mandatory revocation of your driver’s license, often for a long period of time. Before accepting a plea deal of any sort with a prosecutor, it is important that you determine how this might affect your ability to hold a driver’s license.
Depending on your situation, various defenses may be available to fight the charges against you. If law enforcement conducted a sudden search of your vehicle, you are entitled to the same Fourth Amendment protections that citizens have when dealing with drug charges. A police officer may not search your vehicle without a reason to believe that you are acting suspiciously or have engaged in criminal activity.
If you are dealing with other criminal charges, such as reckless driving or speeding, a useful defense is often providing proof of what really happened. A police officer may have incorrectly observed your speed or your driving habits and may be attempting to hold you responsible for a crime that you did not commit. By using the evidence available to you, including pictures, witness testimony, and your own account of events, a lawyer can assist you in proving that you did not commit the offense of which you have been charged.Consult a Traffic Offenses Lawyer in the Atlanta Area
Whether you are charged with driving without a seatbelt or leaving the scene of an accident, a skilled Atlanta traffic offenses attorney can assist you in seeking to mitigate or eliminate the consequences. While it may be tempting to deal with traffic crimes on your own, even traffic court can be intimidating for a defendant who has never been inside a courtroom before. There are often complicated procedures to follow that can spell the difference between failure and success in overturning unwarranted charges. Ryan Schwartz also can assist individuals who need a DUI lawyer or guidance on a wide range of other criminal matters, ranging from drug crimes to theft and domestic violence. He can represent people across the Atlanta metro region, including in Woodstock, Decatur, Lawrenceville, Gainesville, Duluth, Dawsonville, and Newnan, among other Georgia communities. Call (678) 460-7568 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.