Failure to Appear (FTA) Status and Penalties
If you missed your court date for either a criminal or traffic citation, you are in failure to appear status and a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest. In addition, your driver’s license may be suspended (see additional circumstances below).
You may be able to avoid further penalties by scheduling an appearance before a judge at a Failure to Appear (FTA) hearing. Also, your driver’s license may be reinstated according to the below guidelines.
The court schedules Failure to Appear (FTA) hearings on a limited basis Monday - Thursday so that defendants can have FTA charges reviewed by a judge. If your case is in FTA status, you should contact the court at (404) 658-6940 for more information and to make sure your FTA hearing can be scheduled. The court is open to the public at 7:00 am. Defendants whose original hearing was scheduled for 8:00 am will only be placed on an 8:00 am FTA calendar and must arrive at the Clerk's Office between 7:00 am and 7:30 am to be eligible to be placed on the 8:00 am FTA calendar. Defendants whose original hearing was scheduled for 3:00 pm will only be placed on a 3:00 pm FTA calendar and must arrive at the Clerk's Office between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to be placed on the 3:00 pm FTA calendar. Please note that after the defendant has been placed on a calendar, the judge hearing the FTA calendar has the discretion to reset that case as necessary. Information and assistance is available at any customer service window located when you first enter the building EXCEPT for Window 7.
Please note that if you appear in court the Traffic Violation Bureau (TVB) fine listed may not apply. However, the judge may order a fine amount which may be more or less than the TVB fine amount paid prior to court. Also, please note that the judge may require your FTA penalty to be paid prior to your FTA court appearance. Please contact the court for more information on how this may affect you.
Note: FTA hearings will not be scheduled on Fridays.
Suspension of license due to Failure to Appear (FTA) in Court
Georgia Code requires the following penalties for those failing to appear in court for traffic violations.
375-3-3-.12 Suspension of License for Failure to Appear
(a) Suspension. The Department shall suspend the driver's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state of any person who has failed to respond to a citation to appear before a court of competent jurisdiction of this state or of any other state for a traffic violation other than a parking violation. The Department shall forthwith notify such person that his license is to be suspended subject to review as provided for by law.
If your license was suspended for failure to appear you must:
- Obtain a 912 license reinstatement form or clearance letter from the court.
- Take the 912 form or clearance letter to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) to have your driving privileges reinstated. There will be an additional fee which is payable to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Only the DDS can reinstate your driving privileges.
For more info on the Georgia Department of Driver Services:
Phone (678) 413-8400
Municipal Court of Atlanta
150 Garnett Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Fax: 404 658-7363
Last updated: 3/7/2013 7:01:18 PM