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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26823
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I was pulled over 40-2-8 driving with suspended

Customer Question

I was pulled over for a 40-2-8 driving with suspended registration
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Ga
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, my court date is tomorow at 8 am
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I dont think so
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is my first offense
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.


In Georgia, driving with an expired registration is not a traffic offense. That is, it is considered a misdemeanor which is a crime, and it carries a maximum possible penalty of a year in jail and/or a fine of anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Additionally, a second such conviction within 5 years of the first one carries a 10-day minimum jail sentence and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

While you probably will be able to avoid jail on a first offense, you can end up with a criminal record, and that's not advisable. It would therefore be in your best interest to have a lawyer with you on your court date, to see if this case can somehow be bargained down to a traffic infraction.

Or, since in Georgia, if you fight a case like this, the DA has to prove you knew your registration was suspended, this may be a case you would want to take to trial, since what you knew or didn't know could be difficult to prove. Your best chance of winning a trial, or getting a reduction in charges would be with the services of a lawyer.

If you have a lawyer, bring him with you to your court date, and he'll take it from there. If you don't, plead NOT guilty at your arraignment, which is what you need to do to keep all of your rights open. Then, if you can afford to hire a lawyer, you can ask the court for a continuance to come back to court with an attorney. If you cannot hire a lawyer, you can ask the court to appoint you a public defender.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did i complete the form?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

What form?

I think that our replies crossed. Please read the answer I've provided.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you i read your response, i dont think i have time to hire a lawyer.... What should i plead?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can i get a public defender when i go to my court date?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are u still there??
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

You should plead NOT GUILTY. That's the only plea that keeps your rights open. If you plead anything other than NOT GUILTY, you will have given yourself a misdemeanor conviction and the judge can sentence you to anything he wants to up to a year.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can i get a public defender when i go my court date?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Pleading not guilty gives you the opportunity to negotiate a plea with the DA or to choose to go to an eventual trial on the case. If you want a plea, you should not take one until you have negotiated one you want.

You can always change your plea from Not Guilty to Guilty. You CANNOT change it from Guilty to Not Guilty. So you need to do your bargaining up front to avoid a record.

Once you plead not guilty you can ask the judge to appoint you a public defender. Public defender's are for indigent people. If you make too much money, the judge will tell you that you will have to hire a lawyer. If you're poor, the judge should agree to appoint you one.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had no clue that i was driving under suspension
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are u still there? Im sorry i just really didnt think it would be so serious
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. I left the computer to have my lunch.

Yes, it's potentially serious. THat's why you need to have a lawyer. He might be able to bargain the case down to a driving with an expired registration, which is a less serious offense and which doesn't involve a license suspension. Driving on a suspended registration also can get your license suspended for 120 days.

If you didn't know that your license was suspended and don't think the state could prove that you did know, you could fight the case and take it to trial. But once again, since the maximum risk is a year of jail time, you don't want to do that without a lawyer.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.