Legal Question in Traffic Law in Georgia

failure to maintain lane

My daughter went to court here in Newnan, Ga about a ticket she received for failure to maintain lane. She pleaded not guilty. She could have paid a fine and have been done with it. Because she pleaded not guilty, she had to appear again. Now, the same judge is saying he wants to review the video. My daughter has not seen it either. He is now making her come back to court again and sit down with the policeman who cited her, and a prosecuting attorney and the judge. He even told her that she could be put in jail up to one year. All she is being accused of as far as I know is crossing over the line. She was not speeding or drinking. This same officer has stopped her several times and accused her of the same thing, but never giving her a ticket. What are her rights? She has to appear again on Nov. 29. We are extremely worried that a minor offense is ballooning out of proportion. Does she need a lawyer to defend her?

Asked on 11/16/06, 10:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office
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Re: failure to maintain lane

Everything you mentioned is pretty normal for anyone pleading not guilty in traffic court. Since you and your daughter are unfamiliar with the procedure you should talk to a lawyer. All traffic offenses in Georgia are misdmeanors with a maximum penalty in most cases of 1 year and $1000 and a Judge MUST advise a defendant of that. (Note: our office does not accept traffic cases. Another lawyer in my building does. Visit www.joelbaskin.com for details on his practice).

I should add that in most courts the first appearance is an arraignment and the case is set for trial if there is a not guilty plea.

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11/16/06, 11:31 pm

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