Posted by Jim Yeargan in Atlanta DUI Law on February 22, 2015
People who have received a traffic citation in the City of Atlanta now have a new option to dispose of their ticket, and avoiding an increase in their insurance premiums. Many people are not aware that the Municipal Court of Atlanta located at 150 Garnett Street Atlanta, Georgia 30303 has a pretrial diversion program for traffic tickets.
Pretrial Diversion Program Fee
Individuals who enter this pretrial diversion program pay a program “fee” of anywhere from $100 to $300 dollars based on their citation. The pretrial diversion program fee is never more than the fine for the individual’s ticket. Additionally, court costs are not added to the program fee the way they are to fines. This is a huge break for people as court costs can increase a ticket fine by an extra 40%
Once the pretrial diversion program fee has been paid the person’s ticket is dismissed, and will not go on their driving history. Since the ticket never appears on the person’s driving history their insurance rates will not increase.
How To Enter The Pretrial Diversion Program
In order to participate in the pretrial diversion program, you must go to court on your assigned court date. You cannot sign up for the program online.
When you get to court the clerk, or prosecutor, should inform you about the program. If no one tells you about the program simply ask if you may participate.
Who May Participate In The Pretrial Diversion Program
Only individuals with certain traffic charges may participate in the pretrial diversion program. People charged with:
- Traffic accidents,
- Driving With A Suspended License,
- Fleeing and Attempting to Elude,
- Reckless Driving,
- No Proof of Insurance,
- Suspended Registration,
- Driving Without A License,
- Speeding 31 mph or higher over the posted speed limit,
- Hit and Run, and
- Passing A School Bus With Its Equipment Activated
may not participate in Atlanta’s Pretrial Diversion Traffic Program. Please keep in mind this is not a complete list of offenses that may not participate in the program.
For individuals charged with Failure to Obey A Traffic Control Device, Laying Drags, Running A Red Light, Running A Stop Sign, Turning Where Prohibited, Passing In A No Passing Zone, Failure to Secure Load, Speeding up to 30 mph, or less, over the posted speed limit, Improper Lane Change (without an accident), Failure to Maintain Lane (without an accident), and many other traffic offenses the Pretrial Diversion Traffic Program is an excellent way to dismiss the charges against you, and keep your driving record clean.
Further, drivers who are worried about accumulating points on their driver’s license should also participate in this program. Once the charges have been dismissed no points will go on your driving history. This is an excellent option for individuals who have Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL’s), or who must keep a clean driving history for work-related purposes.
Additionally, you must be at least 21 years old to participate in the program. Drivers under the age of 21 may participate in the Teen Learning Control (TLC) program. This program offers young drivers many of the same benefits of the diversion program but requires them to attend certain driver improvement/education classes focused on young drivers. To learn more about the Teens Learning Control Program click on this link https://www.atlantaga.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=11001
The vast majority of individuals who participate in the diversion program simply pay the program fee and are done. People who receive speeding tickets for 20 mph, or more, over the posted speed limit, must also complete defensive driving school. If you have not completed defensive driving school by your court date, or you cannot pay the program fee on your court date, the court will give you 90 days to complete driving school or pay your fee.
You can come back to the Municipal Court of Atlanta courthouse any day, at any time during normal business hours, within the 90-day time frame, go to a clerk’s window, and pay and/or submit proof you have completed defensive driving school. You do not have to go back to court. If you have not completed driving school, or have the money to pay, within 90 days you will have to return to court, and let the judge know. Failure to pay your fee, or return to court if you cannot pay, will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.
The 90 days continuance is not only for individuals who need to complete defensive driving school. Anyone who cannot pay their program fee is given up to 90 days to pay.
The Municipal Court of Atlanta’s Pretrial Diversion Program is an excellent resource for drivers, age 21 or older with minor traffic offenses, who want to keep their driving history clean. To learn more about the Municipal Court of Atlanta, and their other programs, please click this link.