No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable
and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and
potential hazards than existing. §40-6-180
So you’ve gotten a speeding ticket and you’re lucky enough to have
been caught in Georgia. Well, there are numerous opportunities in
which to try to get out of it right from the initial stop all the way
to the courtroom. Many of the following bits of advice apply anywhere,
but Georgia is unique in that it allows you to challenge a speeding
ticket in court. The following is an explaination as to how to fight a
speeding ticket in Georgia.
The first point in which you can attempt to get out of a speeding
ticket is with the officer who is about to write you the ticket.
Simply avoid being rude to the officer. Be courteous, HONESTLY explain
why you were speeding, and follow all of the officer’s orders
promptly. Although it has a small chance of successfully avoiding a
ticket depending on how much speeding you were doing, being courteous
to the officer will warrant you the highest chance of getting off with
a warning. Do not attempt to threaten or bribe an officer of the law.
If you get the ticket anyway, be sure to know when you are to appear
in court. Some tickets will allow you to enter this plea via email or
fax, so check your ticket to see if this is an option you can take
advantage of in order to avoid arraignment.
Appear in court at the appointed time and be ready to appear in court
in formal dress along with the cash necessary to pay your ticket. The
judge will ask you to enter a plea. If you choose to contest the
ticket, you should plea not guilty during arraignment. Be sure to be
prepared to argue your case as to why your ticket is invalid and be
prepared to offer evidence to the court as to why the ticket is
invalid. Typically, it is important to highlight errors in the ticket
itself or argue that the ticket is wrong or was given improperly. The
officer that wrote the ticket will likely be there to testify on his
This will result in one of a few typical consequences. More likely
than not, you may still have to suffer the full consequences and pay
the full price and take the full points from your license. You may be
given the opportunity to a reduced fine and point deduction for a
guilty plea, so you may have to decide if it’ll be worthwhile to
possibly pay the full price later on.
Arguing your case in court is the best shot you have in eliminating
your ticket. Keep in mind that if the officer that wrote your ticket
does not appear in court, it can not be enforced. This is not a
guarantee, but it helps. Delaying the court date can help ensure that
the officer either forgets or doesn’t show up. Georgia is very tough
on speeding violators so we suggest you hire an attorney in this
Still, remember that the best way to avoid a speeding ticket is to
never get one to begin with. Thank you.
Statutory Speed Limit: 70 MPH1 on interstate system or on physically
outside of urban areas with a population ³ 50,000. §40-6-181(b)(2)
65 MPH on the interstate system inside urban areas with a population ³
65 MPH on State divided highways without full access control. §40-6-181(b)(4)
55 MPH on other locations. §40-6-181(b)(5)
30 MPH in urban or residential district. §40-6-181(b)(1)
35 MPH on unpaved county road. §40-6-181(b)(1.1)
Fine amount ($ Range): Speed Law Violations-≥5 but ≤10 MPH over
limit-$25; >10 but ≤14 MPH over limit-$100; >14 but <19 MPH over
limit-$125; ≥19 but<24 MPH over limit-$150 ; ≥24 but <34 MPH over
Speeding in a Construction Zone -$100 to $2,000 5 §40-6-188(c)
An additional fine equal to 5% of the original fine is imposed and
deposited into the Peace Officer’s Annuity and Benefit Fund.
Defensive Driving School
In Georgia your fate is up to the court if they will allow you to take
Defensive Driving School. Georgia does not offer traffic school as an
option for keeping the ticket off your driving record. For a speeding
ticket, the judge may offer to reduce your speed by 3-5 mph to keep it
under the “less than 14 mph over the limit” requirement for reporting
to insurance companies. The catch is you’ll usually only get this kind
of leniency with a guilty plea.
Georgia’s DDS regulates the defensive driving schools within the
state. The six-hour classroom course must be taken through one of the
state-approved schools and must not cost more than $75. If a driver
attends a driver improvement course after the issuance of the citation
but before he/she makes a court appearance, the court shall reduce the
fine by 20 percent and the licensing agency shall assess no points
against the violator. This procedure is allowed only once in 5 years.
Georgia point system
I. A person’s license is subject to suspension if he/she accumulates
15 or more points within a 24 month period. At the end of the
suspension period, the point count is reduced to zero. Upon reaching
the requisite point assessment for the first time, the license
suspension is for 1 year. Upon reaching the requisite point assessment
for the second time within 5 years, the license suspension is for 3
years. Upon reaching the requisite point assessment for the third time
within 5 years, the license suspension is for 5 years; 2 years of this
suspension period are mandatory. §40-5-57(c)(1)(B) & (d) II. The
following points are assessed for speeding and speed related
Aggressive driving-6 points; reckless driving-4 points; exceeding the
speed by >14 MPH but <19 MPH-2 points; exceeding the speed by >19 MPH
but <24 MPH-3 points; exceeding the speed by >24 MPH but <34 MPH-4
points; exceeding the speed by >34 MPH-6 points; §40-5-57(c)(1)(A).
III. A person >18 years old is subject to the following license
suspensions if he/she accumulates 4 or more points within 12 months:
For a 1st suspension-6 months; for a 2ne suspension-12 months.
§40-5-57.1(a) & (b).
Hardship License in Georgia
A person may be issued a limited license for the purpose of (1) going
to and from a place of employment or performing employment duties, (2)
receiving medical care or obtaining medications, or (3) attending
educational institutions, alcohol/drug abuse support groups or a court
ordered driver improvement course. §40-5-64. II. Early License
Reinstatement: For a license suspension based upon reaching the
requisite point assessment for the first time, the license may be
reinstated immediately when the person completes a driver improvement
course, or in 120 days upon completion of a defensive driving course.
For a license suspension based upon reaching the requisite point
assessment for the second time within 5 years, the license may be
reinstated 120 days after the suspension date upon the completion of
an “advanced” driver improvement course. §40-5-84
A “serious traffic violation” includes exceeding the speed limit by 15
or more MPH or reckless driving. §40-5-142(22)