Atlanta, GA asked in Traffic Tickets for Georgia

Q: Can an officer demand you to sign your signature on a citation during a traffic stop in the state of Georgia?

The officer threatened me with jail to sign my name as it appears on my state driver's license during a traffic citation and not to write no contract on the citation.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Lynne Fleming
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  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Savannah, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Yes, in Georgia, an officer can tell you to sign a citation or threaten to arrest you. Your signature simply acknowledges receipt of the citation- it is not an admission of guilt.

Glenn T. Stern agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Glenn T. Stern
Glenn T. Stern pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Most traffic violations in Georgia are misdemeanors (that is, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in custody).

OCGA § 40-13-2.1 is the relevant statute:

"(a) A person who is issued a citation as provided in this chapter or Code Section 17-6-11, relating to display of driver's license in lieu of bail, shall sign the citation to acknowledge receipt of the citation and of his or her obligation to appear for trial. The officer shall advise the person that signing the citation is not an admission of guilt and that failure to sign will result in the person having to post a cash bond. If the person refuses to sign the citation, it shall constitute reasonable cause to believe that the person will not appear at trial and the officer may bring the person before a judicial officer or traffic violations bureau to post a bond as is otherwise provided by law."

When you sign your citation, that is, in essence, your bond and a promise to show up in the case. If you refuse, you can be taken into custody and then have to post a cash bond as collateral to ensure you will show up on your hearing date.

A citation is not a contract, and signing one is not submission to jurisdiction or any of the many things people claim on the internet. It's just an acknowledgement that you received a copy of it.

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