Guide to Georgia Traffic Fines
When you are pulled over for a traffic offense in Georgia, you will almost always have Georgia traffic fines assessed by the court. What's more, Georgia can be one of the most expensive states in the country in which to be charged with a very common traffic violation—read further in this guide to find out which one. If you want to know how much you will be assessed in Georgia traffic fines, this guide can help you to come up with a good estimate.
It is worth keeping in mind that this guide cannot tell you exactly how much you will owe, especially if you are a repeat or habitual offender. The numbers in this guide, unless otherwise noted, apply only to first-time offenders who have not aggravated their offense by causing an accident or endangering other drivers or pedestrians around them. You may want to contact a Georgia traffic lawyer or call your local courthouse about the fines you may be assessed as a repeat offender, or for charges not covered in this guide.
Civil Infractions Versus Misdemeanors
Most Georgia traffic fines are assessed for civil infractions. If you are ticketed for a civil infraction, you have been accused of violating a traffic law and can still be required to pay Georgia traffic fines, but you will never be taken to jail. Civil infractions still carry all other penalties, including license points and increases to your insurance rates, but jail time will not be included in your punishment.
On the other hand, if you are charged with some more serious traffic offenses (like DUI), you could face misdemeanor charges. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you will not only have to pay Georgia traffic fines, you may also have to go to jail for up to a year. In practice, very few people committing common traffic offenses are charged with misdemeanors, and you are very unlikely to go to jail for a first-time offense, especially if you enter into a plea agreement with the state.
Speeders in Georgia, beware—the state has some of the highest speeding tickets in the entire country! You can be hit with both municipal and state of Georgia traffic fines totalling up to $1,000, and that's just for a first-time offense. You can also face jail time of up to 12 months for your first speeding offense, and your Georgia traffic fines can be doubled if you speed in a work zone.
Realistically, while this paints a very bleak picture for the worst-case scenario, you are unlikely to ever face Georgia traffic fines of more than $300 or so for a first-time offense. You can talk to the court about ways to have your sentence reduced, including traffic school.
Texting While Driving
As of July 1, 2010, it is illegal to text and drive in the state of Georgia. Violating the state's new law is a civil infraction punishable by a $150 fine and a point assessed on your driver's license.