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Laying Drags in Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-251 prohibits drivers from creating a danger to people or property by causing a vehicle to move in a zigzag or circular course or to spin around. The State must prove that the driver acted "intentionally and unnecessarily to secure a conviction."
It specifies that such behavior is forbidden on public streets, highways, public or private driveways, airport runways, or parking lots.
Exceptions to the Laying Drags law
The law exempts drivers operating vehicles on raceways, drag strips, or other locations typically used for drag races.
Notably, the law also makes an exception if the driver was attempting to avoid a collision, injury, or damage.
That means that the circumstances surrounding the incident are relevant. If you can prove that another driver swerved into your lane and you had to zigzag to avoid them, you may be able to avoid a conviction. This is one way that a Georgia Traffic Court Attorney can help you with your case. I can help you gather evidence, find witnesses, and ask the right questions to help you prove your innocence.
Defenses to the Laying Drags law
Merely leaving skid marks on the road is not enough to support a conviction for Laying Drags. In Hale v. State, a police officer heard the sound of an engine revving and screeching tires. When he arrived at Hale's position, he found that Defendant Hale's car had just stopped. He saw burnt oil and rubber smoke coming from Hale's tires. Approximately 50 feet of skid marks went "forward and back" on the road in front of Hale's house. Hale was convicted but appealed the ruling.
On appeal, the Court found that skid marks that went "forward and back" in a straight line. There was no evidence to suggest that Hale drove his vehicle in a zigzag or in a circle. Therefore, the Court held, Hale did not violate the statute as it was written. The Court overturned his conviction. Hale v. State, 262 Ga. App. 710, 586 S.E.2d 372 (2003).
Another defense to a Laying Drags ticket is possible if the ticket doesn't contain enough details to support the charge. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-251 requires that police officers sufficiently describe the offense on the relevant charging document. That can be a traffic ticket, warrant, accusation, or indictment.
Consequences for a Laying Drags conviction
Laying drags is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Georgia. As such, it carries a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail or on probation. However, most drivers are likely to face a fine for a first offense. That does not mean that you should not take the charge seriously. Fines for traffic offenses can be steep. Legally, they may be up to $1,000 plus court costs and fees.
If you are convicted of Laying Drags, the Department of Driver Services will assess 3 points on your driver's license. Click here to read more about license points and how they can affect your ability to keep driving.
Additionally, convictions for traffic offenses will likely raise your insurance rates. They can have other collateral consequences as well. For some people, they can negatively affect job prospects.
As your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I treat each client as an individual – no two people are the same, and no two cases are the same. I consider the factors of your life – your job, your financial situation, etc. – and help negotiate an outcome that's as painless as possible.
Relationship to Other Charges
By itself, a ticket for Laying Drags may not seem like a big deal. Most people convicted of Laying Drags are not looking at jail time, and 3 points on your license seems negligible.
However, it is essential to note that Laying Drags can form the basis for another, more serious charge: Reckless Stunt Driving. This charge is a suspendable offense. This means that a conviction will automatically and immediately suspend your license. Click here to learn more about Reckless Stunt Driving.
Questions? Call me today.
If you have received a ticket for Laying Drags in Georgia, you shouldn't go to court alone. I have over a decade of experience handling traffic matters around the State of Georgia, and I can help you navigate a difficult and confusing system. Questions? Call me today for a free consultation.
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