By: Mary Agramonte, W. Scott Smith PC
If you are a high school or college aged student with a traffic ticket pending in Georgia, it is important to note that young drivers have much different penalties in traffic court than adult drivers. There are several traffic citations in Georgia that can have harsh consequences to those convicted if under the age of 21.
The following offenses will suspend a driver’s license if the driver is under the age of 21 at the time of the conviction:
- Speeding 24-mph or more over the limit
- Hit and Run
- Fleeing or Attempting to Elude
- Reckless Driving
- Improper Passing on a Hill or a Curve
- Unlawful Passing of a School Bus
- Driving under the Influence
- Aggressive Driving
In addition to the offenses listed above, if the driver is under the age of 18, accumulating 4 or more points in any 12-month period will also suspend driving privileges. This can occur by being cited in two separate incidents. For example, if a driver is first convicted of Following too Closely at one point, and within the year, a minor speeding ticket, this would put the teen driver over four points, thereby suspending his or her license.
Simply paying the ticket and not attending court is considered a conviction and will count towards the points accumulation.
In the above scenarios, there is no limited permit available for driving privileges. The State will issue a minimum 6-month license suspension. There is one exception to that rule: if the driver is convicted of driving 24-mph over the speeding ticket, and they are between the ages of 18 and 21, the sentencing judge may issue a limited permit in their discretion.
In addition to the license suspension, penalties for under 21 teen and young adult drivers may include probation, driving classes, community service, and fines (and jail, in some scenarios like hit and run, fleeing and attempting to elude, reckless driving, DUI, and more).
Due to the consequences of traffic tickets on teen and young adult drivers, it is highly beneficial to consult with an experienced traffic defense lawyer. A skilled criminal defense lawyer knows the repercussions of traffic tickets on under 21 drivers, and can potentially negotiate amended charges and reduced penalties. This will not only protect young drivers from license suspensions, but can also avoid points being assessed and reported to insurance companies, thereby avoiding rate increases.
If you are a driver under the age of 21 years old, or the parent of one, reach out to the lawyers at W. Scott Smith for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999