Providing Options After A Traffic Offense

Traffic tickets can feel like a part of life for those who live in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Even with expanding public transit, having a car is still a necessity for most individuals. When faced with a traffic violation, it can be easy to brush the tickets aside or ignore them. However, the consequences can potentially be very serious, including points on your license and eventual license suspension, if the violations are serious enough.

I am Timothy McCalep. As a knowledgeable attorney, I help clients throughout Atlanta as they navigate Georgia's traffic laws. I fight on behalf of clients who are dealing with any number of traffic offenses. I also regularly help clients who are out of state or passing through Atlanta and receive a traffic violation citation.

For many clients, I can go to court on your behalf without you ever having to attend.

In particular, I provide an experienced approach to the following matters:

Hit-and-Run

Driving in the state of Georgia is a privilege. As you know privileges come with responsibility. As a driver in Georgia, you not only have a duty to drive safely, but you must also render aid to those affected, if your driving becomes less than safe. Accordingly, Georgia law indicates that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle driven or attended by another person shall immediately stop at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene ensuring that he or she:

  1. Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;
  2. When asked, show his or her driver’s license to the person struck or the driver/ passenger of the other vehicle he or she collided with;
  3. Render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, which may include assistance, the transporting or the making of arrangements for the transporting a person to the doctor if such treatment is necessary or if the injured person requests to be transported; and
  4. Make a reasonable effort to contact emergency services and law enforcement to report the accident and request assistance, when the person injured is unconscious, appears deceased, or otherwise unable to communicate.

The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the above requirements. If an individual is the either killed or seriously injured as a car accident, and if the other driver chooses to leave the scene will be guilty of a felony, which is punishable by one to five years in prison.

If the accident is the cause of a not-so-serious injury and merely damage to a vehicle, the person who fails to stop and comply with the above requirements will be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine that ranges from $300.00 to $1,000.00, imprisonment up to 12 month, or both imprisonment and a fine.

2nd Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run Conviction Within a Five-Year Period- A person will be subject to a fine from $600.00 to $1,000.00, imprisonment up to 12 months, or both imprisonment and a fine.

3rd Hit-and-Run Misdemeanor Conviction Within a Five-Year Period- A person will be subject to a $1,000.00 fine, imprisonment up to 12 months, or both imprisonment and a fine.

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270

Don’t leave the scene. Call Timothy McCalep, immediately.

Driving With a Suspended License

Often times, individuals are not even aware their license is suspended due to a lack of prior notice. There is the possibility that you were cited for driving on a suspended license before you had even been notified that your privileges were revoked. Nonetheless, after explaining your situation to law enforcement, your citation remained. Attorney Timothy McCalep understands the law and can help you tell your version of events to a judge. It is true that driving with a suspended license is a violation of Georgia Laws.

Unless you license has be revoked because you are a habitual violator, if you drive a motor vehicle on any public highway of in Georgia without being licensed as required or at a time when your privilege to drive is suspended, disqualified, or revoked, you shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, if it is your first conviction. When found in violation, the consequence is imprisonment for at least two days, but not more than 12 months. Additionally, you may be required to pay a fine ranging from $500.00 to $1,000.00. If convicted, you will be fingerprinted and those fingerprints will be forwarded to the Georgia Crime Information Center where an identification number will be assigned to the individual for the purpose of tracking any future violations by the same offender.

For the second and third conviction within five years, a person will be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for at least ten days, but not more than 12 months, and there may be fine ranging from $1,000.00 to $2,500.00 that is also required.

For the fourth or subsequent conviction within five years, a person will be guilty of a felony and will be imprisoned for at least one year, but possibly up to five years, and required to pay a fine ranging between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00.

Your license will be confiscated and in order to obtain your driving privileges again, you must pay to have your license reinstated. Your license will also be suspended for an additional six months. It will cost you about $210.00 to reinstate your license following the first conviction, depending on the method of payment you choose. The reinstatement goes up to about $310.00 following the second conviction, and about $410.00 after the third conviction.

O.C.G.A § 40-5-121

Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance can cost you more than you think.

Insurance rates for the metro Atlanta area are high, but the risks you take by not obtaining insurance are even higher. Georgia law indicates that every car owner and driver must have auto insurance¬– at least carrying liability coverage. The liability coverage must provide at least $25,000.00 per person for bodily injury, $50,000.00 per accident for bodily injury to two or more people, and $25,000.00 per accident for property damage. If you do not comply with the above guidelines you will be in violation of the insurance requirement.

Once you car is insured, the insurance company will submit your policy information, electronically, to the Department of Driver Services, when it is purchased and when it lapses. You may self-insure your vehicle, if you do not purchase insurance from a carrier. However, you must carry an insurance card in your vehicle at all times; you can either an electronic copy of your insurance card, or you can store the paper copy in your glove compartment.

What are the consequences of not meeting the minimum insurance requirement?

Accordingly, any person who fails to comply with the Georgia insurance requirement will be guilty of a misdemeanor and subjected to a fine ranging from $200.00 to $1000.00. Additionally, you could face jail time for up to 12 months. Subsequently, you may be unable to register a vehicle or buy Georgia license plates or you may be restricted from renewing your current Georgia registration and tags. If you have an accident, your vehicle could be impounded and you will be responsible for various other expenses.

Whether you let your policy lapse or never purchased a policy in the first place, dealing with the consequences can be unpleasant. If you are arrested for driving without insurance, you should contact Timothy McCalep immediately, so he can provide with the legal advice that would be beneficial to disposing your case in the most effective and cost efficient manner.

Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle

Sirens and emergency lights inform drivers there is a pressing emergency. Please allow emergency vehicles the space to maneuver through traffic, so that they can get to their destination quickly and safely. It is your job to get out of the way as fast as possible and as safe as possible.

Georgia law requires that when an authorized emergency vehicle or a vehicle belonging to a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, using its emergency lights and sirens approaches, the driver of every other vehicle must yield the right of way and immediately pull over, and as close as possible to, the right-hand curb of the roadway to clear the intersection. Additionally, the driver must stop and remained pulled over until the authorized emergency vehicle or law enforcement vehicle has passed, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-74

Georgia also enforces a move over law. To reduce the number of injuries and fatalities to police officers, paramedics, firefighters, tow truck operators and highway maintenance workers and to ensure the safety of the general public, the law requires drivers travelling in the lane closest to the shoulder to move-over one lane when emergency and utility vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway and operating in an official capacity.

Sometimes it is not always safe to change lanes on the massive and crowded Atlanta highways. Sometimes situations happen in an instant. Sometimes moving over is not always the reasonable. Always remember to make safe smart choices while operating a motor vehicle. If you find yourself in situation where moving over or yielding were impossible for you do safely and you obtain a traffic citation, call Timothy McCalep and let him tell your version of events to a judge would will listen.

Texting and Driving

No Text Message is EVER That Important

More and more people are becoming more and more attached to their cellular devices. In today’s day society, cell phones are apart of our everyday lives. It’s natural. You should never text and drive because no text is more important that your life or the lives of others. But, like many other traffic violations, things happen. Georgia has made texting while driving illegal.

The law indicates that no person who is 18 years of age or older or who has a Class C license shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data. Additionally, no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle on any public road or highway while:

  1. Holding a wireless telecommunications device to conduct a voice communication;
  2. Using more than a single button on a wireless device to initiate or terminate a voice communication; or
  3. Reaching for a wireless telecommunications device in such a manner that requires the driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position properly restrained by a safety belt.

The only exclusions to this law apply when:

  1. A person is reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, serious road hazard, or a situation in which the person reasonably believes a person's health or safety is in immediate jeopardy;
  2. A person reporting a crime;
  3. A public utility employee or contractor is acting within the scope of his or her employment when responding to a public utility emergency;
  4. A law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, ambulance driver, or other similarly employed public safety first responder is performing his or her official duties; or
  5. A person is engaging in wireless communication while in a parked vehicle.

Tips to Avoid Driving While Distracted

Sometimes avoiding your phone while driving proves to be a difficult challenge. To help overcome the challenge, you should try one of the following tactics:

  • Completely turn your cell phone off.
  • Put your cell phone out of reach into an area like a trunk or glove box.
  • Download a cell phone application that prevents texting while driving.
  • Put your cell phone silent.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in the United States. Your texting and driving may cost you more than ONE point on your license. You may also be faced with a civil lawsuit or criminal charges. If convicted, you most certainly will be guilty of a felony offense and subjected to a $150.00 fine. No matter how big or small the situation maybe, allow Timothy McCalep help you navigate through your options.

Unlawful Passing of a School Bus

Prosecutors Take the Unlawful Passing of a School Bus SERIOUSLY

In Georgia, passing a school is a serious misdemeanor because the lives of children are at stake. Drivers travelling from either direction and passing any school bus stopped on the highway must stop before reaching the school bus when it is loading or unloading passengers. Drivers must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer flashing. If you are driving on a highway that is separated by a median, you do not need to stop when meeting or passing a school bus nor do you have to stop on a controlled-access highway when the school bus is stopped in a loading zone, which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

You may think have gotten away with violating this law if you are not immediately stopped by the police; however, that is not necessarily true. The law allows every school bus driver who observes a violation to record the vehicle description, license number of the offending vehicle, and time and place of occurrence on forms furnished by the Department of Public Safety, so long as the report is submitted within 15 days to the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.

What Are The Penalties If Found in Violation of the Law?

If you are convicted of unlawfully passing a school bus, you will be subjected to a fine in the amount of $300.00 for a first offense, $750.00 for a second offense, and $1,000.00 for each subsequent offense in a five-year period. In fact, as a misdemeanor offense, the judge has wide discretion in fashioning any number of punishments outside of just a simple fine. You may also be required to serve up to 12 months in jail.

What Should I Do If I Receive a Citation in the Mail?

Call Timothy McCalep. Getting charged with passing a school bus or any other major traffic violation does not mean your situation is hopeless. It is very possible to dispute an invalid citation. If you have a good driving record, I may be able to get the charge reduced to a far less charge.

Construction Zone Speeding

Construction workers work at all times of the day and construction zones can potentially create dangerous situations. Because of this potential danger, Georgia imposes some serious punishments for drivers who violate construction zone laws. To minimize the potential damage to your driver’s record, it is important that you understand the law. The most common violation is speeding in a work zone. In Georgia, the "Highway work zone" means a segment of any highway, road, or street where the Department of Transportation, a county, a municipality, or any contractor for any of the foregoing is engaged in constructing, reconstructing, or maintaining the physical structure of the roadway or its shoulders or features adjacent to the roadway, including without limitation underground or overhead utilities or highway appurtenances, or any other type of work related thereto.

Signs must be posted, warning of the work, and the entity doing the work has the authority to reduce the posted speed limit in the zone. The signage used must conform to Georgia’s standards.

What are the Consequences?

A person convicted of exceeding the speed limit, reduced or otherwise, in any highway work zone designated pursuant to this Code section will be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and will be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $2,000.00 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both.

Call the Law Office of Timothy McCalep today if you want to fight your ticket. I offer aggressive and experienced representation.

Points Suspension

Your Privilege to Drive Operates on a Points System

A Georgia driver who accumulates 15 points on his or her license within a 24-month period will have his or her license suspended as a result.

How Do I Avoid Accumulating Points?

To avoid obtaining points on your license, you should continue to be a safe, alert driver. However, I understand that some times things happen. When you do receive a citation for violating one of Georgia’s many traffic laws, do not stress yourself out. The Department of Driver Services (DDS) allows you to request and obtain a points reduction and reduce the number of points assessed against your Georgia driver's license up to seven points, once every 5 years. To qualify for a Points Reduction, you must successfully complete a certified defensive driving course and provide the original certificate of completion to the DDS by mail or in person at one of our Customer Service Centers.

Please review the below chart to complete a preliminary assessment of the number of points you may have on your license.

ConvictionPoints
Aggressive Driving6 Points
Reckless Driving4 Points
Unlawful Passing School Bus6 Points
Improper Passing on Hill or Curve4 Points
Speeding:
15-18 mph over the limit2 Points
19-23 mph over the limit3 Points
24-33 mph over the limit4 Points
34 mph or more over the limit6 Points
Failure to Obey Traffic-Control Device3 Points
Failure to Obey Police Officer3 Points
Possessing and Open Container of An Alcoholic Beverage While Driving2 Points
Failure to Adequately Secure Load Resulting in An Accident2 Points
Violation of Child Safety Restraint
1st Offense1 Point
2nd Offense2 Points
Violation of Usage of Wireless Telecommunications Device Requirements1 Point
Operating a Vehicle While Texting1 Point
Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane- 4th and Subsequent Offense1 Point
All Other Moving Violations3 Points

Allow Timothy McCalep to help you take the necessary steps to avoid the suspension of your driver’s license. These points can add up quicker than you think–don’t allow the accumulation of points to strip you of your driving privileges. Don’t just simply pay the fines associated with traffic offense. Contact me first! You may not have known it, but your driving record is valuable. I may be able to help you avoid both the fees and the points.

What Can An Attorney Do For You?

Many people feel powerless when fighting traffic offenses. Some don't feel the need to contact a traffic violations lawyer because they're unsure of the impact an attorney can have on such a bureaucratic process. However, as a dedicated and tough attorney, I know that's not the case.

Atlanta is a traffic nightmare, and highways and interstates are part of our daily commutes. I understand that for many who pass through here, it's not always convenient to return and dispute a traffic violation, particularly if you live far away. I work with clients to minimize their appearances and reduce their burden.

We can work to establish an attorney-client relationship over the phone and via email, so that you don't have to take the time out of your busy schedule to return and contest your traffic violation.

I strive to help clients who are close to losing or have lost their licenses and have suffered a major life disruption as a result. I prepare extensively, and I take these matters head-on so that my clients can have peace of mind while driving without the fear of being pulled over and spending potentially thousands of dollars on fines.

Let's Discuss Your Issue Further

To schedule a consultation with me and learn more about how I can help with any traffic violations case, call me at 404-692-7525 or use the contact form.