Written by attorney Jodie E. Rosser

Regaining Eligibility of a Georgia Limited Work Permit following a Plea to a Traffic Citation

What to do if you have already paid the fine for a traffic citation received while driving on a limited work permit following a plea or conviction of Driving Under the Influence (DUI)?

If you have already paid a fine and plead guilty to a traffic citation while on a limited work permit and you have received notice from the Department of Drivers Services (DDS) stating that your limited work permit is revoked and you will not be eligible for reinstatement, you may still be able to get your limited work permit back and be eligible for early reinstatement by seeking to have your plea of guilty to the traffic citation withdrawn. You may wish to contact the attorney who previously represented you in the original DUI or a DUI attorney who knows how to negotiate a plea withdrawal.

A Motion for Withdrawal of Guilty Plea should be filed with the court having jurisdiction over the traffic citation with a proposed Order for Withdrawal. If you did not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waive your rights under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Georgia by entering your guilty plea and it is still within the term of the court or, for some courts, within a reasonable period of time, then the Judge presiding may allow you to withdraw your plea. The granting of the withdrawal is within the discretion of the court. Different jurisdictions throughout Georgia have different requirements and standards that the Judge will utilize. Some require that the State or court Solicitor is in agreement. Others will not issue the Order for the withdrawal until you appear in court before them. Some solicitors and judges are more agreeable to a withdrawal if they have been advised that you will again be pleading guilty to the offense at a later date. Many courts retain the fine that you have already paid as a bond or surety that you will reappear.

If the Judge is in agreement, the Judge will issue an Order withdrawing your previous guilty plea and will notify DDS of the withdrawal. DDS will then make the notation in their system and you will be able to reapply for a new limited work permit. Your previous limited work permit will not become valid; you must reapply and pay the fee. A new court date will be set and the court will treat your traffic citation as reopened or as if you had not plead guilty or paid the fine previously. You will have another arraignment date set. You must appear at all court dates.

When you have reached the date in which you are eligible for early reinstatement of your full driving privileges and if you have completed all other necessary requirements, you may apply with DDS to have your driving privileges reinstated and get a new plastic license produced. Once you have this physical license, you may plead guilty to the traffic citation without consequence to your limited work permit or ability to reinstate early. You will often have to appear in person to plead guilty this time.

Please note that this guide does not take into account all issues in which a Motion to Withdraw a Guilty Plea would be allowed or the entire legal benefits one might get from withdrawing a guilty plea. There are other constitutional rights which may allow a plea withdrawal. This guide is only for the limited informational purpose stated above. Also, this guide assumes that there are no other issues with your driving privileges, that your license will not be suspended for points accumulated due to a guilty plea, and that the underlying traffic citation is not a suspendable offense in its self. It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a qualified attorney as these are technical legal issues.

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