I'm a visitor and I was involved in an accident in Atlanta. I was struck by another vehicle that went through a stop sign, causing me to have moderate impact to an oncoming vehicle. The police were called and as we went through the process of writing a report etc, he ran my license and suddenly I was under arrest for a suspended license which I was unaware of after an accident I didn't cause. After I was released I found out that I received citations for the license and for "failing to remain my lane" (after be struck by another car? the suspension was due to an assessment from my home state of NY which went unpaid because I never received any document requesting payment to my forwarded address in Los Angeles, where I have been for the past few months. I can't really afford an attorney right now. What can I do? I have photos of the accident, my driving record which also shows my license currently valid. What if I plead no-contest? Will this stay on my record?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Either contest it, or certainly it will stay on your driving record. You'll likely pay a lot more in insurance premiums and it could cause you problems now and in the future in California. In addition, you might be sued by one or more of the other drivers. Get a second job if you need to and hire a good traffic lawyer in Atlanta, and view this as an opportunity to get straight with your driving record. You may or may not have been at fault at this accident (we don't know), but it is not an excuse to leave a serious issue (such as a license suspension) outstanding because you moved and they couldn't find you.
A no-contest plea will have the same effect on your criminal record and receive the same punishment as a guilty plea. The only difference is that points will not be reported on your license for driving on a suspended license, and a nolo plea cannot be used against you in a civil lawsuit. You should be able to beat this charge, but you are really going to need a lawyer to do so. Also, you should contact your own insurance company to let them know the situation, as they may instruct you to handle things a certain way. You also need to re-post your question to a NY lawyer about the procedure for clearing up your license there, as not doing so will cause this to happen again if you are ever pulled over.
The answer to this questions is informational only, and it is not intended to be legal advise. Only an attorney who has met with you and gone over all of the specific facts of your case can give you legal advice upon which you should rely. Follow up questions are welcome via the email below, and our firm offers free consultations via phone or in person. We have convenient offices in Winder, Jefferson, and Gainesville Georgia, and you should feel free to contact our office at (770) 307-4899, via email at email@example.com, or through our website: hicksmasseyandgardner.com.
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