Have You Been Charged with Following Too Closely in Georgia?
Following too closely is a very commonly charged offense. Most following too closely tickets result from an accident where a car is rear-ended. However, following too closely can also be the precursor charge. There has to be a traffic violation for an officer to initiate the stop, but sometimes the driver is charged with a DUI or possession of marijuana because of their driving. Officers say that often people are following others when they get the ticket for following too closely. Even if the car you are following is a friend or family member, you can still receive a ticket. Always leave plenty of room between vehicles whether you know them or not.
Georgia Law on Following too Closely
O.C.G.A. §40-6-49 states The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
What Does Reasonable and Prudent Mean?
What is reasonable and prudent within the meaning of the statute is a question for the jury. The jury will consider the evidence to see if the evidence supports the charge of following too closely. One example where the jury found that the accused was following too closely can be seen in Tam v. State. In that case, one officer testified at trial that the defendant was driving within ten feet of the vehicle in front of him. A second officer also testified and said he was driving from the opposite direction but that the defendant was driving so close to the car in front of him that the officer was unable to see the headlights on the defendant's car. Therefore, the jury found that the accused was following more closely than was reasonable or prudent. 225. Ga. App. 101, (1997).
Another case where the defendant was found guilty of following too closely is Hall v. State. The police officer testified that he observed the defendant following a truck at a distance of less than half a car length. The court held that the officer's testimony was sufficient to support a conviction. However, Hall was also convicted of possession of marijuana because of the following too closely stop. Therefore, Hall is facing a much more severe penalty because the officer also found marijuana once he was pulled over. 306 Ga. App. 484, (2010).
The Penalty for Following too Closely in Georgia
Whether or not an accident occurred from following too closely, the violation will add 3 points to your driving record. While three points does not seem substantial, an accumulation of 15 points in a 24 month period will result in your license being suspended. If you are under 18 years of age, 4 points on your license in 12 months will result in your license being suspended.
To avoid points being added to your license, it is best to call an experienced following too closely attorney in Georgia today. Even though you can pay the ticket, it is best to have a Georgia Lawyer take a look at your case. However, if following too closely led to a DUI or another offense, you definitely need to consult with an attorney. Your situations requires the attention of the best lawyers in Georgia. Our office is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call now for immediate help and receive a free case evaluation.