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What is the statue of limitations on a misdemeanor for failure to appear to traffic court in GA?

Valdosta, GA |

I was stopped by a GA police officer for driving with suspended license from FL in Jan. 2012. I spent a couple of hours in jail then bonded out. I was in jail in FL when my court date came in March 2012 so I never went back to GA due to felony probation in FL. If I was to ever go back to GA will my case still be open? Will I get arrested? What will happen?

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Attorney answers 3


Ordinarily, a misdemeanor must be prosecuted within 2 yrs of the incident. However, periods of time when a person is not a resident of GA may not be included in the statute of limitation period, so in your situation the time may be longer than 2 yrs. I advise that you speak with a GA criminal defense attorney in the county where your case is, and see if there may be a way to resolve the GA case without having to reappear in GA, such as maybe a bond forfeiture. However, I advise that you also speak with a FL attorney to try clearing up your FL license situation, because you may continue to get in this type of situation without that being fixed as soon as possible.


There is probably a warrant for your arrest and it will remain active until you are arrested.


The statute of limitations on a misdemeanor is two years, but that pertains to the initiation of criminal proceedings, and not when the case must be heard. If you had a court date in March 2012, the State initiated criminal proceedings against you either by a Uniform Traffic Citation or by an accusation. Therefore, the statute of limitations does not apply to your case. Since you did not appear for your court date, there is a strong probability that there is a warrant for your arrest. You can be arrested on this bench warrant, if you enter the State of Georgia. It is possible that you could be arrested in Florida on this outstanding warrant in Georgia. You need to consult with an attorney in Georgia to help resolve the bench warrant, and an attorney in Florida to help resolve your license issues immediately.

I am not your attorney nor is there an attorney-client relationship, even though I have answered your question here on