My experience is as follows:
I received a speeding ticket for 88 in a 70
I called the courthouse before my first court appearance and was told I owed $180.
I subsequently checked around on the internet and found out (from this site and others) about the Super Speeder ticket of $200.
I called the court again and the person gave me the same information as previously stated. I then asked about the Super Speeder fine and she acknowledged that I would indeed be charged the $200 fine at a later date by the state after the initial ticket was paid. I asked her for advice and she stated she couldn’t give me any legal advice, but that when I arrived for my court appearance they would ask me whether I would plead guilty, whether I would plead not guilty and receive another court date for an actual hearing, or whether I wanted to request a speed reduction. She stated that the latter would be the way to go and that it would cost you the original ticket fine plus court cost of $40.
I arrived at the courthouse early. I was not allowed to bring a cell phone or purse (ladies) into court (as well as weapons, of course). One of the court personnel had us sign a sheet and explained briefly that we would be in one of two lines, pleading guilty and paying the fine (and the $200 Super Speeder, if applicable), requesting a court hearing or requesting a speed reduction.
When the precedings began, the judge told us that if we wished to speak with lawyer at that time we could do so. Many people left the court to talk to several of the half-dozen lawyers congregating in the court. I remained seated. The judge then explained the different options available to us. It was the same information given previously, with one exception–requesting a speed reduction would entail coming back yet again for another court date. And, of course, we weren’t guaranteed a speed reduction. At this point there was a great murmur in the court as people like me–people that called ahead and tried to get all the correct information–sounded our frustration at this new information. At this point the judge asked us again if we wished to speak with one of the lawyers. Nearly everyone stood and left the courtroom to speak with a lawyer. The first group of lawyers were charging between $250 and $300, I believe + your ticket fine + court costs ($60, by the way, instead of the $40 I was initially told). I tried to listen in on some of the conversations as I was waiting to speak with one of the lawyers and I believe that some of the lawyers were asking for straight cash (an ATM was located down the street for your convenience, sir or maam). The last group of lawyers, two of whom I met with, were charging $200 + your ticket fine + court costs. We all (in my category of 88 in a 70 and facing a Super Speeder) were told that our speed would be reduced to 74 or so and we would receive neither point deductions nor the dreaded Super Speeder fine.
I won’t name my lawyers, so as to protect the innocent, etc, but one was a man who looked like Lee Harvey Oswald and a woman who favored Liv Tyler. I was able to pay them with a credit card. It was a little awkward because they don’t give you a straight receipt, but rather send you one via e-mail. Get their business card and maybe bring a smartphone (leave it in your car, though) so you can check your e-mail for the receipt.
After speaking to all of their clients, myself included, they handed the tickets and other paperwork over to the prosecutor and told us that we could go home. I felt a little strange about leaving them to do to do it alone, but this is the way it was.
I called my lawyer on my way back home and she said that the paperwork was in order and that they were awaiting the judge’s decision. I would receive another e-mail with the results or disposition (?) of the case in a few days. I’ll keep you abreast, when I receive that second e-mail and, of course, after I verify with a court official (whose name I will write down, time and date I called). As you may imagine, I do not wish to visit Darien again, in the near or distant future. I may be avoiding Georgia as well.
In retrospect, I believe that one of the dozen or so solicitations I received in the mail from Georgia solicitors was $185. So you may get a cheaper lawyer. And, how are they allowed to get your information from you? Is our information a matter of public record? I suppose it is. I believe that legally, a traffic ticket is like an arrest, innocent until proven guilty, just like the police blotter in the paper, right? But them sending us unsolicited “Spam” is not right. Who knows.
Do what you want, but this is the way I went.
By the way you may also find the following useful…
Macintosh County Courthouse
310 North Way ( Hwy. 17 )
Darien, Georgia 31305
Note that the street is “North Way” not “Northway.”
Approximate Latitude: 31°22’11.27″N
Approximate Longitude: 81°26’2.53″W
I was able to find directions using my Garmin GPS, but not Google Earth. If you look it up on Google Earth, it will bring you to a dirt road. About 1.46 miles south of this is the actual courthouse, located on the left side of the road. I have attached three photos, which you may also find helpful.