When Minors are Cited for Traffic Offenses in Georgia

Juvenile Defense Lawyer

When someone under the age of 17 is cited with a traffic violation in Georgia, it falls into one of two categories: Juvenile Traffic Offenses Juvenile Delinquency Offenses

The first category is what you might consider “normal driving violations” like speeding or citations involving equipment like window tint or a burnt out headlight. Georgia law requires that these issues be dealt with separate from criminal matters. There are some counties where they may hold an informal hearing in a conference room to settle these issues.

Generally speaking, minor traffic violations (like a seatbelt ticket or having a headlight out) are not things you’d hire a lawyer for. It’s typically more cost-effective to pay the fine and move on.

However, there are several seemingly minor traffic violations that someone under 21 can fairly easily lose their license for. Every situation is unique, but younger drivers are very susceptible to harsh penalties for fairly common driving situations including things like:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to Maintain Lane
  • Following too Close
  • Suspended License
  • Driving without a valid license
  • Reckless driving
  • Laying drags
  • DUI Suspended registration
  • Driving without Valid Insurance
  • Improper turn Failure to yield
  • Cell phone distraction

These driving offenses very likely require an attorney, especially if you intend to protect your right to drive and a clean driving record. Not showing up to court / simply paying the fine is the same as pleading guilty and can result in unexpected license suspension for under 18 drivers in Georgia. When you simply pay the fine, that can result in “points” being assessed against your license.

Points & Suspended Licenses

If you are under the age of 18 and have 4 points assessed against your driver’s license in a 12 month period, your license will be suspended. Look at some of the points for different offenses and you will see that there are many offenses where a single offense can lead to a 12-month suspension.

Sample list of Points System

Offense Code




Aggressive Driving

6 Points


Reckless Driving

4 Points


Unlawful Passing School Bus

6 Points


Improper Passing on Hill or Curve

4 Points



15 to 18 mph over the speed limit

2 Points

19 to 23 mph over the speed limit

3 Points

24 to 33 mph over the speed limit

4 Points

34 mph or more over the speed limit

6 Points



Failure to Obey Traffic-Control Device

3 Points


Failure to Obey Police Officer

3 Points


Possessing an Open Container of an Alcoholic Beverage while Driving

2 Points


Failure to Adequately Secure Load (except fresh farm produce), resulting in an Accident

2 Points


Violation of Child Safety Restraint

1st Offense

1 Point

2nd or Subsequent Offense

2 Points



Violation of usage of wireless telecommunication device requirements

1 Point


Operating a Vehicle while Text Messaging

1 Point


Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane – 4th and Subsequent Offense

1 Point

All Other Moving Violations

3 Points

Traffic Offenses Involving “Juvenile Delinquency Offenses”

This second category is much more problematic. This isn’t as much “driving offenses” as it is “crimes committed with an automobile”. These offenses range from misdemeanors to very serious felonies and include crimes like:

  • Street Racing
  • Using a Motor Vehicle to Flee a Crime or Attempting to Elude an Officer
  • Hit & Run
  • Reckless Driving
  • DUI / Underage DUI
  • Vehicular Homicide

If you are facing any of the above charges there is no question that representation will be required. Our team of juvenile defense attorneys can work with your family to ensure that we are protecting your child’s future and freedom. Contact our office today to learn how we can help protect your freedom, future and finances.