Written by attorney David Scott Crawford

Georgia's Traffic Citation

Imagine this scenario: Katie is driving to work early one morning. She’s tired from having too little sleep. She’s running late, knowing that one more time she will be fired. Losing her job will mean she loses her apartment. She’s nearly to the parking lot with 5 minutes to spare when she hears a siren and looks up to see the lights in her mirror. She pulls over, hoping this will be a quick stop. As she looks in the passenger seat for her purse, she realizes that she never paid her auto insurance. She was planning to pay it with this next paycheck to get it reinstated. Panicking, she looks ahead and sees a straight shot of road. The thoughts race through her head. Should she try and explain this to the police? Fight it in court? She will never get out of jail because she cannot pay if she’s arrested and loses her job. Should she take her chances to run, knowing that she has nothing to lose? She knows that she will be going to jail when she is pulled over. Should she try to run? The officer is out of his car; she could get a very good head start. What does she have to lose by running?

If you have watched the Atlanta news recently, you will see that people often try to outrun the police. You will also see that it usually has deadly consequences. It’s easy to see how someone can feel trapped with no way out. While our state is not the heaviest in the fines, Georgia is unique in a couple of ways regarding our traffic citations.

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