Have You Been Charged with Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign in Georgia?
Failure to stop at a stop sign is a commonly charged crime in Georgia. Even though it seems self-explanatory, many people wonder how long you have to stop for, does a pause count, and what exactly constitutes an appropriate stop. Our Georgia Stop Sign Ticket Attorneys are well read in Georgia's traffic laws and can answer all these questions for you and more.
What is the Law on Stop Signs in Georgia?
O.C.G.A. §40-6-72 states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
There are multiple things we can ascertain from the statute. First, there is no mention of how long you should stop. You may have heard 3 seconds from someone, but that is not promulgated in the law. Second, pausing does not count as a stop. Third, you must stop at the stop line or before entering the crosswalk. If you were behind another car and you stopped, you must stop again when you reach the stop line or crosswalk. Lastly, stop at every sign no matter where it is. People ask whether they are required to stop even if it is in a parking lot. The answer is yes! The statute does not distinguish between parking lot signs and roadway signs so pay attention and stop every time.
Our advice as stop sign attorneys in Georgia is to stop at every stop sign and give it enough time that a reasonable person would consider you stopped instead of paused. Because police officers often make the final judgment call, it is best to be cautious.
The Penalty for Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign in Georgia
The most common punishment for failing to stop is points on your license and a fine. Failure to stop results in three points being added to your license. While that may not seem like a lot, remember that if you receive 15 points in a 24-month period, your license will be suspended.
However, running a stop sign could be the underlying reason a person is stopped for a DUI. If so, the court could add 12 months of probation to a person's case because of the traffic violation. This is quite common in DUI cases. Therefore a person convicted of DUI and failing to stop at a stop sign could face the punishment of 12 months of probation for the DUI charge and another 12 months of probation for the stop sign violation.
How a Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help
Even though the punishment for failing to stop at a stop sign in Georgia is not terrible, there are still ways that we can help you. Negotiating your ticket down to a basic rules violation could keep points off your license. Or if the intersection was not clearly marked and it appears that yield was what actually applied, then could result in your ticket being dismissed. Do not just plead guilty and accept the fine. There are always options at your disposal to help keep your consequences minimal. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.