People who fail to appear at court hearings in Georgia can face serious consequences. A drivers’ license suspension can be a devastating consequence.
This is a harsh rule, particularly if you failed to show up due to an oversight. For many people, a driver’s license is a passport to work, to buy groceries and take kids to school. The loss of a drivers’ license can push people into poverty.
Even if you fail to show up for a traffic citation for an offense like speeding, the judge is likely to issue a bench warrant for your arrest and your drivers’ license will be suspended.
Georgia Rule 375-3-3-.12 states a drivers’ license can be suspended for failure to appear at court “for a traffic violation other than a parking violation.”
The suspension is effective 28 calendar days after Georgia Department of Driver Services receives notice about the failure to appear.
If your license is suspended, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There is no quick fix in this situation
Can an Immediate Payment Solve a Drivers’ License Suspension over Failure to Appear?
No. if you failed to show up court you lose the option to pay the fine in person at the court, in the mail, online or over the phone. You must appear before a judge after a failure to appear motion has been entered.
What Can Happen if You Fail to Appear?
If you failed to appear at your court hearing, a court may impose a fine of hundreds of dollars. Separate fines will likely be imposed if you were due to appear because of more than one traffic infractions. If you could show good cause for not appearing, the judge might waive this penalty.
It’s important to schedule a failure to appear (FTA) hearing as soon as possible so as you can pay fines and get your driver’s license back.
You should be prepared for a packed court schedule and to have the original traffic charge adjudicated at this time.
Most courts in Georgia submit FTA releases to the DDS electronically although you are given a written court release. Once the release is received and the fee is paid, your driving privileges will be reinstated immediately after processing takes place.
At the Law Office of Michael West, our criminal defense lawyer can help you deal with failure to appear cases. Call us for help at (404) 913-1529.