FAQs and Myths
The following is just a short list of question our clients frequently ask us. There are also some areas of traffic/criminal law where myths exist. For example:
1. CAN I LOSE MY DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR A TRAFFIC OFFENSE?
YES. Many traffic offenses are not simple. In fact, certain traffic offenses like driving while suspended/revoked and driving without insurance carry penalties which are similar or greater than those for a DWI/DUI conviction. In addition, driving while suspended/revoked and no insurance carry mandatory jail terms for multiple offenders. Of course, DWI/DUI charges have their own set of serious penalties. www.new-jersey-dui-defense.com
You should also know that certain criminal disorderly persons offenses such as drug possession and possession of alcohol by a minor in a motor vehicle both carry 6 month license losses. There have been some changes in the law recently which allow persons convicted of a drug possession charge in municipal court to make a special application to keep their license for work. Our office can assist you with this.
2. DO I REALLY HAVE A DEFENSE TO MY CASE IF THE POLICE FOUND DRUGS IN MY CAR?
YES, YOU HAVE DEFENSES. There have been recent changes in the search and seizure law in New Jersey which greatly favor defendants. Traditionally, police officers were allowed to search your vehicle incident to your arrest for a separate violation. That ability to search has been greatly restricted by recent New Jersey case law. In some circumstances, everything found by the police officers in the car can be suppressed from evidence. This may help you win your case. We can provide you guidance on these issues.
3. WHY AM I PAYING SURCHARGES WHEN I HAVE HAD A GOOD DRIVING RECORD FOR A YEAR AND HAVE HAD POINT REDUCTIONS OR COMPLETED A DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE?
Most people don't understand that under New Jersey law, if you accumulate 6 or more points in a period of 3 years or less, you must pay an insurance surcharge of $150.00 for the first 6 points and $25.00 for each additional point. The point surcharge remains in effect so long as you have 6 or more points on your record resulting from violations posted in the immediate past 3 years.
What most people also don't understand is that point reductions issued for 1 year of violation or suspension free driving do not count in reviewing the 3 year record for surcharge purposes. Likewise, point reductions for safe driving courses DO NOT help reduce the surcharge. That is why it is so important if you have a point violation to consult an attorney who may help you reduce or eliminate the points altogether. We can help you with this.
4. IS A "NO INSURANCE" VIOLATION JUST A SIMPLE TICKET?
NO. For a first offense of driving without insurance in New Jersey, the penalty is $300.00 plus a 6 month loss of your driver's license. These penalties are worse than if you were caught driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% BAC. Often, there are defenses to a no insurance charge depending on whether it was your car, depending on where the car was garaged, depending on whether you now have insurance. For a second offense, there is a mandatory 14 day jail term and mandatory community service. Although past performance is no guarantee of future success, we have had tremendous results in helping clients avoid a driver's license suspension for no insurance.
If you have a driving with no insurance ticket, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced traffic court attorney immediately. We can help you with this. HERE'S HOW
5. IS A SUSPENDED/REVOKED DRIVER'S VIOLATION JUST A SIMPLE TICKET?
NO. For a first offense of driving while suspended/revoked, the fine is $500.00 and the judge can suspend your license for up to 6 months. The driver's license suspension can be more severe for this offense than if you were caught driving under the influence with a .08% BAC. What is worse, second and third offenses carry much higher fines. In addition, the second offense carries 2 days in jail. The third offense carries a MANDATORY minimum 10 days in jail. If you were issued a driving while suspended or revoked ticket in conjunction with a moving violation, the law has changed. The prosecutor can ask to "stack" your prior convictions so that you receive 10 additional days in jail for every driving while suspended ticket in excess of 3 offenses. Because of the exposure, you should contact an experienced traffic attorney to assist in reducing or eliminating your suspension. There are defenses to these tickets which include: whether you were given notice by Motor Vehicles of your proposed suspension, whether you were actually operating the vehicle, whether it was a suspended license or a suspended registration ticket. If you contact our office, we can guide you through these issues. HERE'S HOW
6. HOW SERIOUS IS A DWI/DUI TICKET?
A DWI/DUI in New Jersey is an extremely serious offense. Although it is heard in municipal court, the penalties can ruin your life. For more information, see www.new-jersey-dui-defense.com