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Q

I was ticketed for "failure to maintain lane" back in November in Coweta County, Georgia. I went to court in February and plead nolo and received a $117 fine. Will the nolo affect my insurance premiums?


A

Yes, the offense of failing to maintain your lane could affect your Georgia auto insurance rates even though you plead nolo instead of guilty.

Typically nolo contendere means no contest and it does in GA as well but nolo pleas have a special meaning here in Georgia as well. In GA at the discretion of the judge can allow you to enter a plea of nolo and not receive points for the offense - you still get the conviction have to pay the fine/costs for it. You can do this only once every five years.

So if you plead guilty to a traffic offense, points may be assessed on your license. A guilty plea to a moving violation will be reported to the GA Department of Motor Vehicle Safety (DMVS) as required by law, and the guilty plea will appear on your driving record.

As one Georgia municipal court notes, you may plead nolo contendere ("no contest") to a traffic offense, but only if you have not entered a nolo contendere plea to another traffic offense in the last five years. The judge has discretion whether to accept a nolo contendere plea. A nolo contendere plea to a moving violation will be reported to DMVS as required by law, and the nolo contendere plea will appear on your driving record.

The difference between a nolo plea and a guilty plea is that a nolo plea does not result in points against your license. However, since you are allowed only one nolo plea every five years, if you plead nolo to this citation and you have another nolo on your record from the last five years, DMVS will consider this nolo contendere plea a guilty plea and points may be assessed against your license. So since you plead nolo to the traffic ticket in February you cannot plead nolo again to any traffic violation for the next five years.

While you did not receive points for the failure to maintain lane ticket it does go on your Georgia motor vehicle record (MVR) as a conviction and thus can be seen by your insurance company when they next pull your MVR. It will then depend upon your insurance company's rating system if this moving violation conviction will affect your premiums or not.

If your rates do go up due to this traffic ticket than click here to get car insurance comparison quotes.


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