Atlanta, GA Failure to Yield @ left turn Ticket

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Latest post Sat, Jul 12 2008 7:36 PM by kba1. 3 replies.
  • Sat, Jul 12 2008 1:28 AM

    • kba1
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, May 30 2007
    • GA
    • Posts 12

    Question [=?] Atlanta, GA Failure to Yield @ left turn Ticket


    I am posting to find out whether I should go to court or if I do not have hope and should pay the ticket.

    I wonder if I can avoid points and insurance hikes.

    Last time I got a ticket I think was about 6 years ago, and that was when a lady hit me but the police offer thought it was my fault. I wont go into the story but wanted to mention that as far as my record.

    I was driving on a 2 lane road in downtown and needed to make a left turn. the light was a green left turn arrow so I proceeded and immediately the light turned green for the traffic coming towards me to go straight. I know I had 2 choices, either hit the accelerator and finish the turn or wait. I had moved forward and slightly over to the left, but because I had not moved much, the cars directly in front of me (at least 3) were also making left turns, and the cars in the lane next to them were already moving forward. There were about 5 cars in that lane, so as soon as they finished, I finished my turn. Incidentally, the cars directly in front of me were still waiting to try to make their left turn so they were not moving forward.

    Then immediately I was pulled over. Officer asked if I knew why, I said I was not sure. He said I almost caused an accident because I was in the middle of the road and went when it was not green. I said that actually the arrow was green when I went forward but that the light changed (this leads me to believe he might not have seen what happened in the beginning). He said you were supposed to keep going. I said, yes I hesitated and was going to explain why I didn't accelerate, but then he walked back to his car and then gave me the citation with court date. In Georgia (or at least Fulton county) they give you a choice of paying the ticket online and admitting guilt and then you do not go to court.

    the ticket says I am in violation of code section 40-6-71 of state law. remarks mention where I was making the turn and that I was blocking traffic almost caused an accident.

    What I would like to know is if I go to court will I be wasting my time because I have no chance? If I go to court and if the judge thinks i am guilty even after explanation, is there a chance of the points being less, or say going to traffic school?

    I looked up some references online but I am not sure how valid they are, and many mention speeding and dui. Someone told me to hire a lawyer, but is that useful in my case? From what I found, I think this will be 3 points and the ticket cost is $158.

    Thanks in advance
  • Sat, Jul 12 2008 12:40 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Atlanta, GA Failure to Yield @ left turn Ticket

    Essentially, it is going to be your word against the officer's. The policeman probably has experience testifying in court. How comfortable are you with making your case to the traffic judge? Do you consider yourself good at doing this or are you going to be nervous and tongue-tied?

    One thing I will mention, sometimes policemen do not show up for traffic court trials. If so, the traffic judge might throw out the ticket. Unfortunately, there probably is no way of knowing in advance whether the cop will or will not show up.

    Secondly, your last ticket was six years ago. Find out if the current ticket really will affect your insurance rates.

    Call your insurance company. You might get "a pass" from your insurance company just this once since the last ticket was so long ago and if it otherwise thinks you are a good customer. If you find out your rates won't be affected unless you get another ticket within a very short period of time, that might make your decision a little easier.

    If you do not contest the ticket, you can consider the traffic school option. In my state, you can't go to traffic school if you fight the ticket and lose. I would google traffic school in Georgia and see what you find out. But, I would lay odds that it's probably the same in your state.

    In my state some counties allow for "trial by declaration" on traffic tickets. You might read the back of your ticket to see if that is a possibility for you. If so, both you and the cop would submit your arguments in writing. My then 20 year old son used this option for a speeding ticket that he got. He got the ticket dismissed. Although I do not know it for a fact, I suspect the cop never got around to writing up his declaration. Cops have to write a lot of reports. In the grand scheme of things, writing a report about a traffic stop that occurred a couple of months previously (and which he may only vaguely remember) may not be a high priority when compared to other job duties or assignments.
  • Sat, Jul 12 2008 7:09 PM In reply to

    • kba1
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, May 30 2007
    • GA
    • Posts 12

    re: Atlanta, GA Failure to Yield @ left turn Ticket

    I am not a great speaker but I think I would be able to speak clearly and state the facts. For support I would keep a few notes in case I get nervous.

    I read that police officers sometimes do not show up. I also read that sometimes they will give out a bunch of tickets and schedule them for a day they can show up to court. I have been looking into a possibility of asking to request another trial date but have not yet found that out on google.

    Would calling my insurance company give them a red flag even if my ticket charge does not go through?

    I don't know how reliable this is (other google results do not seem much better) but it seems in GA I can not go to traffic school to reduce points:
    http://www.dmv.org/ga-georgia/traffic-tickets.php
    The back of my ticket just mentions the trial information, and that if you pay and sign the ticket you are saying you are guilty.

    and Georgia does not have trial by declaration.

    So if I can not request a different court date, chances are higher the police officer will be there and I also assume the judge would definitely take his side. That leads me to believe, if I still have time to pay the ticket, I should do that if my insurance company will not raise my premium based on this.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Anyone in Georgia have anything to add?
  • Sat, Jul 12 2008 7:36 PM In reply to

    • kba1
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, May 30 2007
    • GA
    • Posts 12

    re: Atlanta, GA Failure to Yield @ left turn Ticket

    Just wanted to add that I found out about a PLEA IN ABSENTIA.
    http://atlantaga.gov/government/courts/pleainabsentia.aspx

    Is this the same or similar to what you mentioned regarding, trial by declaration?
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