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Judge orders Georgia woman to serve jail time over traffic citation

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. (WGCL) — A Clayton County mother said a simple traffic citation nearly landed her behind bars thanks to a judge’s ruling.

“This morning I didn’t know what my fate was going to be,” Courtney Maldon said.

Maldon told CBS46 News that frightening uncertainty all started with a simple traffic stop.

“I was told that I failed to yield,” Maldon explained.

Maldon disagreed with the ticket. So, she hired a lawyer and headed to Clayton County Judge Michael T. Garrett’s courtroom to plead her case.

“It went well. That’s the part that shocked me,” said Maldon.

The state found her guilty and sentenced her to a $100 fine… that is until Judge Garrett decided to make just a tiny change to Maldon’s sentencing.

“But then the judge says no you have five consecutive weekends to go to jail. I’ve never heard nobody go to jail for a failure to yield,” she added.

Especially for someone who has never been arrested.

CBS46 reached out to Judge Garrett to ask about the sentence. He told us he has the right to hand out that sentence and stands by his decision.

For anyone planning to step inside Garrett’s courtroom, Maldon had this warning, “ I would say run, run as fast as you can, and pay the fine and do not pass go.”

Maldon was scheduled to start her jail sentence Friday, but another judge downgraded her sentence back down to a fine just in time.

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