What are the Most Common Criminal Traffic Offenses?
Non-moving and moving traffic violations in Georgia could mean high fines, driver’s license suspension, and higher insurance rates.
During coronavirus lockdowns, VMT (vehicle miles traveled) plummeted to 1980s levels. Now, VMT is back up to a pre-pandemic level. Most drivers cannot travel more than a few blocks without violating at least one provision in the Georgia Traffic Code. If an officer sees a non-moving or moving violation, the officer has almost unlimited discretion when it comes to issuing a ticket.
On the record, supervisors point out that most felony arrests begin with traffic stops, and the revenue generated keeps taxes lower. Off the record, supervisors often admit they use traffic tickets as a management tool. If Officer Bill writes 20 tickets a month and Officer Betty writes two tickets a month, something is not right, especially if the two officers work the same shift and the same beat.
Traffic tickets have serious consequences. High fines are just the beginning. Driver’s license suspension is always just around the corner. Points quickly add up in Georgia. Additionally, moving violations, especially certain speeding tickets, often cause auto insurance rates to skyrocket. A Norcross criminal defense attorney can fight your ticket and reduce or eliminate these consequences.
Many drivers get tickets even though they obey the rules of the road. That is because their vehicles were illegal while they were in the garage.
Unlike most other states, Georgia doesn’t have a vehicle safety inspection requirement. However, thirteen counties, most of which are in the metro Atlanta area, have emission inspection requirements. Furthermore, every Georgia driver must annually renew their registration. As a result, especially in metro Atlanta, expired inspection and registration tickets are common.
The good news is that a non-moving violation usually does not trigger insurance rate hikes. The bad news is that these tickets still count toward license suspension, at least in most cases, and the fines are still high.
Speaking of registration, officers often ticket motorists for license plate display issues. Under the law, license plates must be securely attached to vehicles above the center of the bumper. It is illegal to use wire or display the license plate in a window. It is also illegal to use certain lights or oversize frames that obscure any part of the information on the license, like the top part of the letters.
Usually, if the motorist fixes the problem before the court date, the judge dismisses the case. That is especially true if the driver has a Norcross criminal defense attorney.
Speeding tickets are, by far, the most common moving violations. These tickets are often difficult to prove in court, mostly depending on the method the officer used:
Pacing: Basically, pacing is guessing a vehicle’s speed. It is almost impossible to pace another car when the officer is standing still. Furthermore, many vehicles, like muscle cars, sound fast even when they are not traveling fast.
RADAR: This acronym stands for Radio Detection And Ranging. RADAR guns, if properly calibrated, are often accurate at close range. At long range, they are inaccurate. Furthermore, if an officer points a RADAR gun at a cluster of vehicles, the results prove one of them was speeding, not which one was speeding.
LASER: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation devices are much more accurate, even at long distances. However, these devices also have lots of moving parts. If even one is not working right, an attorney could convince a judge to throw the results out of court.
Other common moving violations include school bus stop arm violations and failure to signal a turn or lane change. Obscure moving violations include changing lanes too close to an intersection and not stopping before exiting a private driveway or parking lot.
Count on a Dedicated Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Never take a traffic ticket lightly. For a free consultation with an experienced Norcross criminal defense lawyer, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law.