Driving is such an everyday part of life that we may forget driving is a privilege that can be taken away. We rely on the ability to jump in our vehicles and go wherever we want at the moment we decide to go there. But we may keep our privilege only so long as we follow the rules.
The rules that drivers must follow are designed to keep everyone safe on the roads. Because of the damage that can be done by persons who break traffic laws, the consequences of violating the rules of the road are designed to get drivers’ attention with fines and the possible loss of driving privileges.
The trial attorneys at the New Jersey law firm of Deutchman & Drews, LLC, take defending clients on traffic violations seriously. They bring big court experience to a small court setting helping clients protect their rights and reputations with the best possible defense against traffic tickets.
Driving Behavior Considered Most Dangerous in New Jersey
Drivers can get traffic tickets for a lot of smaller infractions that don’t usually result in significant penalties. But there are certain driving behaviors that can result in accidents and significant injuries. Drivers who engage in higher-risk driving will face severe penalties designed to strongly discourage similar future activities.
Drivers who are convicted of any of the following will pay more in fines, can spend time in jail, and may have their license suspended.
- Racing on a road or highway
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Driving recklessly
- Driving while intoxicated
- Going 30 mph or more over the posted speed limit
- Improper passing of a school bus
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries
New Jersey’s Points for Traffic Violations System
New Jersey assigns a certain number of points for various moving violations. The lowest number of points per violation is 2 and the highest number is 8. Accumulating too many points results in a surcharge that must be paid annually and is in addition to any other financial penalty imposed for committing an offense.
A driver that accumulates 6 or more points in a three-year period will incur a surcharge of $150 plus $25 for each additional point over 6 to be paid annually for an additional three years. For every year a driver goes without a violation 3 points are deducted from the driver’s record. Drivers can also earn a 2-point reduction for taking an online defensive driving course.
Accumulating 12 or more points in a two-year period will result in a minimum 30-day license suspension.
Points on your driver’s license can also potentially lead to surcharges being assessed by your auto insurance carrier.
Penalties for Convictions of Traffic Violations
Penalties for traffic violations will usually involve some type of fine. The seriousness of the offense and the number of previous offenses will determine the amount of the fine and if jail time, license suspension, and/or a surcharge will also be imposed.
Drivers in New Jersey are surcharged annually for three years for committing certain driving offenses. Traffic violations that result in surcharges include:
- $250 per year for driving with a suspended license
- $250 per year for operating an uninsured vehicle
- $1,000 per year for first or second DWI
- $1,500 per year for a third DWI within 3 years of the last offense
- $1,000 per year for refusing to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test
Reckless driving – A person convicted of reckless driving may receive a fine of up to $200 and 60 days in jail. If convicted of a second offense the fine may be as high as $500 and the jail time extended to 90 days. A reckless driving conviction adds 5 points to a driver’s record.
DWI – A first DWI offense can result in fines up to $500, jail up to 30 days, license forfeiture until an ignition interlock device is installed, completion of intoxicated driver education, and the $1,000 annual surcharge.
Speeding – The penalties for speeding depend on how fast a driver was going. Penalties for speeding can range anywhere from $86 to $261 in fines and 2 to 5 points on your license . Violations of 40 mph or more over the speed limit require a court appearance.
Collateral Consequences of Traffic Tickets
The consequences of traffic tickets can cause major disruptions in every area of a person’s life. Unexpected expenses – like surcharges and higher insurance premiums – may put a strain on finances. Relying on alternative transportation may be necessary. Social obligations and activities may be affected. Additional responsibilities can be imposed. Personal reputations may be harmed.
Because there can be so much at stake for a serious traffic violation, the prosecutor must be able to prove all the elements of the violation charged. A successful defense will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and cast doubt on the credibility of the proof.
Benefits of Contesting a Traffic Citation
Anyone charged with a traffic violation has the right to contest the charges against them in municipal court. Contesting traffic violations forces the state to prove their case. A good defense attorney will determine the strength of the State’s case and try to negotiate the best deal possible or try your case.
At Deutchman & Drews, LLC, our municipal court lawyers defend drivers charged with traffic violations. Your rights and reputation deserve a vigorous defense. Call 732-828-1300 to schedule a free consultation or contact Deutchman & Drews, LLC here.