Police departments across New Jersey are responsible for enforcing the traffic laws. Violations may range from relatively minor such as failing to make a complete stop to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), which has very harsh potential consequences. Some of the penalties that motorists may face include fines, driving record penalty points, driver's license suspension, community service, and even incarceration.
Traffic Court Venue
Most traffic violations are processed at the Municipal Court level in New Jersey. These courts have limited jurisdiction and handle disorderly person offenses, traffic violations, Fish and Game laws, and others. Across the state, Municipal Courts process roughly six million cases annually. Camden County is home to 33 of these court venues.
Camden County 07/2018 – 06/2019
Some minor traffic offenses may be resolved without a court appearance. Eligibility for this option is noted on the traffic ticket. This involves pleading guilty, waiving your right to appear, and paying the fine amount. The New Jersey Municipal Courts implemented the NJMCdirect online portal that facilitates these transactions.
The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) maintains the driving record of each motorist and assesses penalty points for many violations. Keep in mind that traffic violations are also likely to cause an increase in auto insurance premiums. Some of the details are as follows:
- Examples of point values include:
- Failing to yield at an intersection: (2)
- Speeding: (2, 4, or 5)
- Reckless Driving: (5)
- Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries: (8)
- Drivers that accumulated six or more in three years may be required to pay a surcharge
- An accumulation of 12 points results in a license suspension
The “Distracted Driving” Epidemic
A massive safety problem has emerged resulting from drivers that are using handheld devices, onboard technology, and other distractions. This problem is estimated to cause more than 3,000 fatalities and nearly 400,000 injuries in the U.S. annually. New Jersey motorists can be fined $200 for a first offense.
Payment of Fines
Those who fail to pay their court-ordered fines and fees may have a warrant issued for their arrest and have their driver's license suspended. The courts often allow defendants to make monthly payments toward the full amount. You may also be permitted to perform community service instead of paying the full amount.
The Benefit of Retaining an Experienced Defense Lawyer
Many local courts are overwhelmed with a high volume of traffic cases that they attempt to resolve quickly using a limited staff. This often results in a hurried pace where the rights of alleged violators are not properly considered. Having an attorney that is familiar with this environment will better ensure that your right to due process is protected.
Your attorney may challenge the evidence to detect weaknesses or inconsistencies. He or she may engage in negotiations that result in reduced or amended charges on your behalf.
Legal Representation for Traffic Violations in New Jersey
Some traffic violations can result in license suspension, significant fines, increased insurance rates, and more. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney with many years of experience defending motorists in these cases. Please contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.