Municipal Court of Atlanta Strikes Again
Peach State Lawyer Daniel Farnsworth here. I was in the Municipal Court of Atlanta today once again trying to correct the court’s error.
Background: If you have a court date and you fail to appear in court, the court may report this Failure to Appear (FTA) to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). DDS will then suspend your privilege to drive in Georgia as a result of the FTA. The suspension will go into effect 28 calendar days after DDS receives notice you failed to appear. In the City of Atlanta, if you fail to appear, there is a procedure to follow to get your case out of FTA status (which may include paying $100 FTA fee). More importantly, the court is supposed to transmit a clearance letter, also known as a Release of Fine and Fees Form (DS-912) to DDS indicating the FTA has been cleared. This will allow you got back to DDS and reinstate your driving privilege.
THE PROBLEM: Today, I was in the municipal court of Atlanta to clear up a FTA issue. The problem was MY CLIENT DID NOT FAIL TO APPEAR!!! Read that again. My client and I appeared in court on the assigned court date. The case was reset. We were given a court date notice to come back at a later date. To client’s shock and surprise, client received a notice from DDS stating that his license was going to be suspended due to FTA. WHAT?!?!
So I appeared in Atlanta this morning and I had to have my client’s case specially set on the calendar so the judge could address this FTA. The good news is that I was successful in getting the judge to remove the FTA and notate the court’s error. The bad news is that this happens FAR TOO OFTEN in the Municipal Court of Atlanta.
If this has happened to you, or you missed a court date, please contact me today and see if I can help correct the issue. Time is of the essence in order to avoid a suspension.