Have You Been Charged with Making an Illegal U-Turn in Georgia?
There are hundreds of traffic laws in Georgia and making one mistake can cost you points on your license or substantial fines. It is important to stay up to date on the changes in Georgia traffic laws and to always pay attention to your surroundings. While U-turns are permitted in most places, there are some instances where they are prohibited. If you didn't see a sign that a U-turn was not allowed or made a U-turn anyway, you could receive a citation for an illegal U-turn. If you have received a ticket for making an illegal U-turn in Georgia, call us today. Our Georgia Traffic Attorneys have unparalleled experience with traffic cases and can help you today.
Georgia Law on U-Turns
It is illegal to make a U-turn in four situations in Georgia:
- Upon any curve;
- When approaching the crest of a grade where your vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of another vehicle approaching from either direction;
- Where the turn cannot be made safely and without interfering with other traffic; or
- Where a prohibition is posted.
Penalty for Illegal U-Turn in Georgia
Minor traffic violations in Georgia are charged as misdemeanor offenses. This means the penalty could be a fine up to $1,000, jail time up to one year, or both.
The customary punishment for an illegal U-turn charge is a fine with the possibility of three points being added to your driving record. Having points added to your license can be very expensive. It can result in your insurance premiums being increased or even being dropped by your insurance provider. If you already have points on your license, an extra three points could result in your license being suspended or revoked. Then it costs hundreds of dollars to get your license reinstated.
However, if the U-turn resulted in an accident, then you could be subject to civil liability for the damages that occurred. Some examples include:
- If there was a sign stating U-turns prohibited and you proceeded anyways and were hit from behind, it is likely that the accident will be determined to be your fault. Therefore, you will be responsible for any damages from the wreck.
- If you made a U-turn on a curve or where another vehicle was unable to see you, then you will likely be at fault for the accident and have to pay any damages that arose from the crash.
Most people consider traffic violations to be trivial offenses, but they can result in substantial penalties. Do not make a mistake and just pay the ticket. Contact our Georgia Traffic Lawyers now to discuss your case.
Defenses to Illegal U-Turns in Georgia
The sign was unreadable or missing: If you made a U-turn at an intersection where the sign was missing, or it was unreadable, that would be an appropriate defense. Evidence will be needed demonstrating that the condition of the sign or that one was not there in order to be successful. One of our Georgia Traffic Attorneys could assist with this defense.
It was made in an emergency situation: If you made a U-turn because your car was breaking down, that might be a defense. While the best option would be to pull off to the side of the road, if the most reasonable choice was to make a U-turn, a judge may take that into consideration
Mistake: If the officer pulled over the wrong vehicle or you were improperly stopped, any evidence supporting this would be greatly beneficial to your case.
The U-turn was made in order to avoid an accident: While you will be still charged with an illegal U-turn, it could lead to a lower fine or no points off your license.
Defenses that Will Not Be Accepted in Georgia
I did not see the sign: Even though you may not have seen the sign, that does not make your action right. The U-turn was still illegal.
There was no sign: As set out in the statute, there does not have to be a sign for the U-turn to be illegal. If the turn was made on a curve or where a car could not see you coming from either direction, it is still prohibited.
If you have been charged with a traffic violation, contact Lawson and Berry. Our Attorneys will investigate all of the details surrounding your case and evaluate your options. We will then assist you in forming the best defense and helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Don't wait, call today to schedule you free case evaluation.