In Georgia, failing to appear for traffic citations can have serious repercussions, with consequences extending beyond immediate fines. While there’s no specific statute of limitations for such failures, the legal process outlined in O.C.G.A. § 17-6-11 provides a framework for handling these cases. O.C.G.A. § 17-6-11 details that when an individual misses a court date, the clerk of court is mandated to send a notification before issuing a bench warrant, giving them 30 days to dispose of their charges or waive arraignment and plead not guilty.  Failure to resolve the matter by the end of the 30- day period will result in the clerk of court notifying DDS within 5 days. DDS will then suspend the accused driver’s license number until notified that the charge has been adjudicated. Pursuant to § OCGA 40-5-56 the driver’s license remains suspended until the person pays the fine. If the accused is pulled over while driving on a suspended license, they will most likely be arrested. 

In addition to the driver’s license suspension, the judge may also issue a bench warrant when a person fails to appear for court.  Notification of the bench warrant goes into a statewide computer system that law enforcement uses. If the individual is stopped for a traffic violation or any other reason, the officer will be able to see the warrant, and they will be taken into custody. Once the bench warrant is issued, a bench warrant can remain active indefinitely until it is resolved by appearing in court, paying fines, or taking other necessary legal actions to address the underlying citation. In Georgia, there’s no statute of limitations for bench warrants related to traffic citations, underlining the importance of addressing such matters promptly.

If you have a failure to appear that you need to resolve and you need assistance, please contact us today.