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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 116154
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years of law and traffic law
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I got a 'following too closely' ticket here in Atlanta, GA.

Customer Question

I got a 'following too closely' ticket here in Atlanta, GA. I was at fault, rear ended the car in front. No injuries to anyone, my car was badly damaged. The car in front had a few scratches and was able to drive away easily (after the cop came).
Is my ticket a felony, misdemeanor or infraction?
My driving history - only 3 speeding tickets in the last 8 years.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Is my ticket a felony, misdemeanor or infraction?

Response: It is a misdemeanor in Georgia with three points accessed on your driving record if convicted.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How serious is this specific misdemeanor, given that there was no bodily injury to anyone and its my first accident? Will it show up in background checks for future employment?
Also what are the chances of reducing it to an infraction by hiring a good attorney?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

How serious is this specific misdemeanor, given that there was no bodily injury to anyone and its my first accident?

Response 1: Following too closely is a serious offense in Georgia and carries up to 12 months in jail or $1,000.00 in fine if convicted.

Will it show up in background checks for future employment?

Response 2: Yes.

Also what are the chances of reducing it to an infraction by hiring a good attorney?

Response 3:Chances are good, but not a guarantee.

Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Final question - can this traffic misdemeanour record be expunged/restricted/sealed?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I do not know. So, I will opt out and let another Attorney to further assist you.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under GA law, there is no provision to seal or expunge a traffic misdemeanor I am afraid. A conviction on this would remain on your driver's license record, which is why there is no way to seal or expunge it. Now the typical first offense carries no jail time, but a fine of about $125-$200. Many times, with no injury and if the insurance company paid all the damage, the prosecutor will agree to a deferred adjudication, which is where you pay the fine and if you get no tickets in 6 months they will dismiss this citation meaning it would then not go on your record or be reported to DMV.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Your answers are far more informative/in-depth compared to the previous answers. Thank you! I have a couple more questions - so should i plead guilty or not guilty when I appear in court? and should I propose the deferred adjudication deal to the prosecutor in my first appearance, or would that happen the 2nd time I goto court? Who will initiate this conversation?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I would plead not guilty and ask for a conference with the prosecutor. Then you would meet with the prosecutor, typically right after you plead not guilty and ask for the conference, and you would propose a deal. Bring in proof your insurance is covering all the damage and tell the prosecutor you want to keep the ticket off your record, it was only property damage and ask them to consider a deferred adjudication or a dismissal of prosecution. You or your attorney needs to initiate the conversation.