Motorists who receive a New Jersey traffic ticket could find themselves suffering severe consequences, including expensive fines, increased insurance premiums, and points placed on a driver’s license. Some circumstances may lead to the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.
The thought of attending a municipal court hearing, even traffic court, can be intimidating. The Breslow Law Offices are committed to protecting their clients’ right of innocence until proven guilty. Under the law, all motorists have the right to an attorney to ensure their rights are protected when dealing with traffic violations.
Attorneys Roy Breslow and Casey Breslow-Glugeth have more than 45 years of experience representing New Jersey motorists. They place a high value on the attorney-client relationship and take a traffic ticket offense as seriously as any other type of legal matter. Contact the Breslow Law Offices in Verona at 973-239-8000 or Long Beach Island at 609-494-8884 for a free legal consultation about traffic tickets.
What Happens If You Get a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?
The State of New Jersey is tough on NJ motorists. Drivers convicted of moving violations will be penalized with substantial fines, points on their licenses, and possibly prison time, depending upon the circumstances and if any previous driving infractions are recorded. The state operates on a penalty-based point system, and even a small infraction can result in an assignment of points. Here are some examples of how New Jersey will assign points to a driver’s license:
- Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over the limit, 2 points
- Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over the limit, 4 points
- Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over the limit, 5 points
- Moving against traffic, 2 points
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian in crosswalk 2 points
- Improper passing, 4 points
- Racing on the highway, 5 points
- Failure to obey traffic lights, 2 points (0 points if caught by the camera instead of law enforcement)
- Tailgating, 5 points
- Careless driving, 2 points
- Reckless driving, 5 points
- Improper U-turn, 3 points
These are only a handful of examples of traffic violations that can be charged in the State of New Jersey. NJ has a more extensive list of driving behaviors that can lead to points being placed on a driver’s license.
NJ Driving Record
Under New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) rules, any traffic infractions resulting in points can impact the status of an NJ driver’s license. Drivers accumulating 12 or more points within two years on their New Jersey license might find their driving privileges suspended. The length of the license suspension depends upon the number of points and in what timeframe the offenses were committed.
- 12 to 15 points: 30 days
- 16 to 18 points: 60 days
- 19 to 21 points: 90 days
- 22 to 24 points: 120 days
- 25 to 27 points: 150 days
- 28 or more points: 180 days+
The higher number of points assigned, the longer the suspension of driving privileges. Drivers who continue to accumulate points receive speeding tickets, or disregard NJ traffic laws can find themselves with a revoked license.
Can Drivers Reduce Points?
While a permanent record of traffic infractions will remain on NJ drivers’ records, the MVC does offer motorists a few ways to reduce their points.
- Complete the Driver Improvement Program (3 points removed)
- Voluntarily attend an MVC-approved defensive driving course (2 points removed, but only eligible once every five years)
- Go a full year without getting a new moving violation (3 points – but drivers can never fully remove points of their record)
Since offenses are never removed from a driver’s record in NJ, the best way to keep points down is to avoid significant penalties is to avoid accumulating offenses (and subsequent points) in the first place. This is a primary reason to always consult with an experienced NJ Traffic ticket attorney before admitting guilt to New Jersey municipal courts.
Repeat Offenders In New Jersey
Repeat offenders in New Jersey will typically continue to accumulate points on their licenses. This is why it’s important to consult with a traffic ticket defense attorney rather than simply paying the fine. Anyone who pays their traffic tickets is essentially admitting they are guilty of the motor vehicle infractions. This means they’ll receive a permanent blemish on their driving record. These blemishes will remain permanently. It’s important to note that motorists who commit traffic violations in other states, such as nearby New York, will still receive points issued by the MVC on their NJ driver’s licenses, usually two points.
Impact On Auto Insurance Rates
Traffic offenses can also ultimately result in auto insurance increases. Even two points can lead an insurance company to raise your policy premiums; four points generally results in a large insurance premium increase. Five or more points on a family policy can result in a policy cancelation which means it might be difficult to find affordable insurance because of multiple traffic tickets on household driver’s records.
New Jersey Fines, Court Costs, Surcharges, Prison
Traffic tickets resulting from motor vehicle violations occurring in New Jersey can be very expensive. Some infractions cost about $50 but other violations can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.
Drivers who opt to challenge a New Jersey traffic ticket will be required to pay a court cost of $34 in addition to any fines or surcharges. Drivers found guilty of certain types of traffic violations can also be remanded to prison for five days or longer, depending on the offense and how many times traffic offenses have occurred.
NJ MVC Surcharge Schedule
Drivers who accrue six points on their NJ driver’s license over the course of three years are required to pay a surcharge on top of any other fees paid. MVC reviews driver records anytime points are added to a driving record so repeat offenders will start to receive notice to pay surcharges.
- $150 surcharge for six or more points within three years of last posted violation.
- $25 for each point over six points.
- Accumulated points result in annual surcharges for three years.
Surcharges can add up to significant amounts of money, depending on the nature of the traffic violation offenses. If any assessed surcharges aren’t paid, a person’s driver’s license is suspended, unpaid surcharges are reported to collections, interest rates are charged, and wages can be garnished. The person will also be unable to transfer or sell personal property. If the person continues to drive while under a suspended license, this comes with severe consequences.
How Can a New Jersey Lawyer Help with Your Traffic Ticket?
Many drivers think they can easily represent themselves in municipal court for their traffic infraction since it’s just “a traffic ticket.” Unfortunately, NJ it’s not that simple and even a “simple” traffic ticket can be rather complex. On their court date, they typically find going up against a prosecutor can be tough without extensive experience in municipal court appearances. Any driver who is given a traffic ticket would benefit from hiring an NJ traffic ticket attorney to provide legal representation and handle their case.
An experienced traffic lawyer can evaluate the circumstances under which the ticket was issued and build a case to have the ticket dismissed or reduced. A skilled traffic attorney can look at the full picture and determine if any factors are present that would help their client contest a traffic ticket. Hiring an attorney usually helps save drivers money and time in dealing with traffic tickets issued by law enforcement in the State of New Jersey. They also help them to keep their driver licenses intact.
Get Help Today from The Best Traffic Lawyer in New Jersey
The Breslow Law Offices is one of the oldest and most prominent law firms in New Jersey. The firm’s experienced attorneys have been protecting New Jersey residents and providing them with sound legal advice for more than 45 years. Utilizing their unparalleled experience as NJ prosecutors, the Breslow attorneys are well-versed in both sides of the aisle when it comes to New Jersey courtrooms.
The Breslow Law Offices concentrate on establishing defense strategies to help their clients received dismissals or reduced consequences associated with offenses. Over the decades, our law firm has accumulated an incredible track record of dismissals and favorable negotiated pleas as they’ve assisted countless clients in courts across New Jersey.
To receive a free consultation about traffic tickets or other municipal, criminal, or family court offenses, call the Breslow Law Offices at 973-239-8000 (Verona office) or 609-494-8884 ( Long Beach Island office).