Almost everyone receives a traffic violation now and again. Most consider traffic tickets to be a minor issue, but they can cause a major headache. The standard response upon receiving a ticket, whether speeding, parking or another type of traffic summons, is to simply mail in payment for the fine. That may be the quickest way to put it out of your mind. However, in doing so, you are admitting to guilt, and you may be exposing yourself to penalties beyond the fine set forth on the ticket, including points, automatic license suspension, Motor Vehicle surcharges, and higher insurance rates.
Traffic violations are a serious matter and should be handled by a traffic court lawyer who has experience and will consider the impact of the violation on your driving record. Appearing in court with an experienced lawyer could get you a plea bargain, keep points off your record, avoid suspension of your driving privilege, avoid any surcharges in insurance and lastly, avoid any time in jail.
Traffic Violations Attorneys in Mount Holly, NJ
At The Law Offices of Greenblatt, Lieberman, Richards, & Weishoff, LLC our attorneys take every traffic violation seriously, whether you choose to accept a plea bargain or to fight a charge at trial. We work to protect your rights and prevent any harsh consequences to your driver’s license and your insurance rates. We are passionate about providing traffic attorney services at a reasonable cost. In New Jersey, when you receive a speeding ticket or traffic citation, you should be concerned with your:
- driving record,
- auto insurance rates,
- fines/court costs/surcharges,
- suspensions, and
- jail time.
Violations and Points on your Driving Record
If you are convicted of a moving violation, this will add points to your driver’s license. Moving violations are listed below, followed by how many points will be added to your license:
- improper turn, 3 points
- unsafe lane change, 2 points
- careless driving, 2 points
- failure to stop for traffic light, 2 points
- speeding (over 30 mph limit), 5 points
- speeding (15-29 mph over limit), 4 points
- speeding (1-14 mph over limit), 2 points
- reckless driving, 5 points
- tailgating, 5 points
- improper passing, 4 points
- improper passing of a school bus, 5 points
- leaving the scene of an accident with injury, 8 points
- leaving the scene of an accident, 2 points
If you are a repeat violator, if you are convicted in an out-of-state moving violation, or if you receive multiple points within a 2-year period, the point system may be different. If you collect more than 12 points in 2 years, your license may be suspended. So, as stated above, think twice before you admit guilt and pay your traffic violation.
Ways to Get Points Removed
There are ways to get points taken off your record, and a skilled traffic attorney will assist you in this. If you complete a Driver Improvement Program, take a defensive driving course, or go without any new violations for a year, you can get two to three points removed.
Auto Insurance Rate Increases
If you are convicted of a traffic violation, you can count on your auto insurance rate to increase. Depending on your insurance policy, the type of violation, your driving record and accident history, some typical rate increases that accompany traffic violations include but are not limited to the following:
- driving without a license, 18% increase
- improper turn, 14% increase
- careless driving, 16% increase
- speeding (over 30 mph limit), 15% rate increase
- speeding (15-29 mph over limit), 12% increase
- speeding (1-14 mph over limit), 11% increase
- reckless driving, 22% increase
- tailgating, 13% increase
- improper passing, 14% increase
Any traffic violation in New Jersey carries a potential fine if you are found to be guilty. The more serious the offense, the higher the fine. For instance, if you are convicted of speeding 39 mph over the limit, the fine will be much greater than if you are only 5 mph over the limit. Often, one police stop will come with multiple traffic violations. If you run a red light, you will receive a fine for not yielding to the light, plus reckless driving. If you aren’t wearing your seatbelt when they come to your window, count on another fine. The total amount of these fines could be significant by the time the traffic stop is done.
If you do choose to go to court, a local Municipal Court will likely charge you up to $33 in court costs for their time.
You can be hit with a surcharge for certain violations if convicted. You will need to pay the surcharge every year for three years. Those violations include driving without a license, driving with a suspended license and driving without insurance, all of which range from $100 to $250 per year. Getting six or more points within three years will give you an addition surcharge as well.
Traffic violations can also lead to jail time. For instance, if you are convicted of driving while your license is suspended, or for DUI, you may be subject to mandatory jail time, which can range from one day to six months.