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Suspended License in Georgia

Sometimes it seems that the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety thinks their job is to suspend as many driver's licenses as possible. And of course, once a license is suspended, it seems that you need an act of Congress to get it reinstated.

There are any number of reasons why a Georgia driver's license could be suspended. Allowing your insurance to lapse, failure to appear to pay a parking ticket, conviction of a license suspension traffic offense, conviction of a drug offense, and the list goes on.

Many people, either through ignorance or because of necessity, drive while their licenses are in a state of suspension. Let's look at the laws pertaining to license suspensions. Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with driving with an Habitual Violator revocation, which is a felony. In this section we are going to deal with misdemeanor license suspensions only.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License

First Offense

This is a misdemeanor. For a first suspended license charge within a five year period, if you are convicted you have to do at least 2 days in jail and pay a minimum fine of $500.00. Your license will be suspended for an additional 6 months unless you qualify for a Nolo Contendere plea.


Second or Third Offense Within Five Year Period

This is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Minimum jail time is 10 days. The minimum fine is $1000.00 and can be as high as $2500.00.

A conviction will definitely mean additional license suspension on top of your existing suspension. Hiring an attorney is critical since a specialist might be able to find a defense to your case.

Fourth or Subsequent Offense within Five Year Period

This is a one to five felony and the fine is no less than $2500 and no more than $5000. You will receive additional suspension on top of whatever suspension you are serving.

When Does a Suspension Start

In most cases, a suspension starts as soon as you are convicted of a traffic offense that calls for a license suspension. You are usually served with notice of suspension at the time of conviction.

Other times your suspension starts without you ever receiving notice. For example, if you did not appear in traffic court, or if your insurance lapsed, your license might be suspended without you knowing.

There is a statutory defense to suspensions for failure to appear and for lapsed insurance. An arresting officer must verify that you received actual notice of the suspension and put it on the citation. If he does not, we should be able to win your case.

OCGA § 40-5-121

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