Have You Been Charged with Unlawfully Passing a School Bus in Georgia?
The safety of children is of the utmost importance. Georgia law heavily punishes people who unlawfully pass a school bus. Our Georgia Unlawful Passing of a School Bus Attorneys have more than 50 combined years of experience defending those charged with traffic violations. We have many former prosecutors on our team that know how to put their expertise to work for you. Contact us now for a free case evaluation to avoid the severe penalties associated with unlawfully passing a school bus in Georgia.
Unlawfully Passing a School Bus Statute in Georgia
O.C.G.A. §40-6-163(a) outlines the duty drivers have when encountering a school bus in Georgia.. the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching such school bus when there are in operation on the school bus the visual signals as specified in Code Sections 40-8-111 and 40-8-115, and such driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated.
Therefore, once a bus is stopped with lights flashing and the stop signs have been activated, it is illegal for any vehicle to pass the bus.
However, there are situations where a driver does not have to stop when meeting or passing a school bus. If the bus is on a different roadway, then the drivers do not have to stop. For instance, if the driver was on a divided highway separated by a median, and a bus is stopping on the opposite side, that driver would not be required to stop.
Georgia Defenses to Unlawfully Passing a School Bus
Do not make the mistake of thinking nothing can be done to help your situation! There are always Georgia criminal defenses we can use to defend your case. Police officers make mistakes and sometimes misunderstand the law in situations where there is a divided highway. You may have received a ticket for passing a school bus in a situation where you were not legally required to stop. Our Georgia Passing a School Bus Lawyers can help you when no actual violation occurred.
Penalties for Unlawfully Passing a School Bus in Georgia
Over the past years, Georgia lawmakers have increased the penalties for passing a school bus in an effort to provide more protection to children. Therefore, police officers never issue warnings for this type of violation because they have been instructed to always issue a citation. Lawmakers have worked hard to ensure the consequences are much more than a slap on the wrist.
While unlawfully passing a school bus in Georgia is charged as a misdemeanor, the consequences will still have a significant impact on your life. It can include 12 months in jail or on probation, $1000 in fines, community service, defensive driving school, and any other conditions a judge believes will correct the driver's behavior. Passing a school bus carries a fine of at least $300 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third offense.
Additionally, unlawful passing of a school bus will result in 6 points being added to the driver's license. For a person under 21 years old, accumulating 4 or more points on their license will result in their license being suspended for 6 months.
A driver over 21 years of age will have their license suspended if they accumulate 15 points in a 24 month period. However, judges have the discretion to “court-order” a suspension of the driver's license for a misdemeanor traffic conviction.
Unlawfully Passing a School Bus as a Predicate Offense to a More Serious Charge
We have many clients that were initially stopped due to passing a school bus but were then subsequently charged with another offense such as DUI or possession of drugs. No matter what you have been charged with, our top-rated Georgia Criminal Lawyers can help. However, it is best to contact us from the very beginning!
Contact Us Now
Our unlawfully passing a school bus lawyers in Georgia exclusively practice criminal defense! We understand that you may have been charged with one traffic violation or received multiple charges. No office is more qualified or capable of handling your unlawful passing of a school bus case. We are here 24/7 to protect your rights and answer your questions. Call now!