From construction to fluctuating speed limits, the roads in the New Jersey area can, at times, feel more like an obstacle course than a place for vehicles. With so much going on, it can be easy to inadvertently neglect the local traffic laws, and this can create problems. Furthermore, this confusion can also lead to the possibility of receiving a traffic violation for an offense that you did not commit. Whatever the case may be, here is some valuable information on the various traffic offenses that you may face and some tips on how to fight and beat a traffic ticket in New Jersey.
Before you go about fighting the ticket in court, there are a few things that you will want to ask yourself. The most important thing to ask will be “do I have proof that can be presented as evidence to the court?” Of course, if you feel that you do not have sufficient proof, but still feel that you have been unjustly cited, then you will want to contact a New Jersey ticket lawyer to speak with them about your options moving forward.
You also need to make sure that you have the necessary time in your daily schedule to arrive at the court on the correct date to fight the ticket, and also any following hearing dates that you may be required to attend. The state of New Jersey will allow for what is known as a “reasonable postponement”, and this means that you can ask to reschedule the hearing for a later date, but only after the initial appearance to fight the ticket. If you are unable to appear in court for the original hearing date that is posted on the ticket, you will need to contact the NJ court immediately to reschedule an initial hearing.
Another question to ask yourself is “will the offense add points to my driving record?” No one wants additional points on their record, as points can lead to higher insurance premiums and, if they accrue, they could result in your license being suspended or revoked. If you are unsure as to whether the traffic violation will result in points, you can check with the local court municipality and they should be able to tell you the fines and points that you face. If you have further concerns about how the addition of points may affect you driving record, contact an NJ lawyer and they will be able to explain the repercussions that the points will have on your driving record.
Lastly, you will want to ask yourself if you believe the offense will lead to jail time. Of course, most of the common traffic violations will not result in jail time, however, there are some more serious offenses, such as a DUI or OWI, that can lead to jail time, especially if it is not your first offense. If there is any chance that you could end up in jail then it is very important to contact the proper traffic ticket law firm in NJ now.
As with every state, New Jersey has its own set of traffic laws and with these laws come varying penalties. Whether it ends with a fine, points on your driving record, or both, traffic violations can end up hurting more than just the bank account. If you have been given a citation and feel that you have the means to justify your case, then you will want to challenge the ticket in court. There are several options that can be pursued when you are cited for a violation:
If you feel that you have been wrongfully cited with a traffic ticket then you may want to consider pleading “not guilty.” By taking this stance, you are simply stating that you do not believe that you were at fault and therefore should not be held liable for the violation. This means that you are accepting your right to contest the violation and stand before the judge. To plead “not guilty”, you must arrive at the courthouse on the date printed on the ticket and appear before the judge.
It is worth noting that there are certain New Jersey municipalities that request a notification at least 3 days prior to the date on the citation. To ensure that you do not run into any scheduling issues with the court at which you will be fighting the ticket, you will want to contact the court shortly after receiving the citation, and they will be able to confirm the court date. At this time, you will want to let them know that you intend to fight the ticket, as it may be necessary for them to log it in the scheduling system. Let the clerk know if there is not a specific date listed on the ticket and they will be able to schedule a court hearing date.
Once a hearing date has been scheduled you will want to contact an attorney in the NJ area and speak with them about your options. And while hiring an attorney is not required, and in fact, if you cannot afford an attorney, you do have the option of speaking to a state-appointed attorney about your case, it is recommended that you hire a private new jersey criminal lawyer if at all possible.
Depending on the evidence that you are able to present for your case, your lawyer will be able to determine the best way to move forward. One option that may be pursued is to reach a plea agreement with the court. In essence, a plea agreement means that you will be pleading guilty to the charges, but in return, you may receive lighter penalties, based on the evidence to support your argument. However, if you cannot come to an agreement, then you will need to appear before a judge.
If you have no intention of reaching a plea agreement, and instead you plan on fighting the offenses listed on the ticket, then it will be necessary to hire a traffic ticket attorney. As the name suggests, a traffic ticket attorney is a lawyer that specializes in cases that involve driving related offenses. The lawyer will be able to thoroughly explain the charges and the consequences of those charges if you are found guilty. In addition, the attorney will be able to give you an idea as to what the expected outcome in fighting the ticket will be. If you have been given a citation for a more serious driving related offense, such as a DUI, then contacting an attorney is of the utmost importance, as they will have the ability to look into the case and find your best course of defense.
An attorney that is familiar with trying traffic related offenses will have a good idea as to the most powerful pieces of evidence that you can bring to the court to support your case. There is no doubt that the evidence will vary significantly, based on the type of traffic offense, however, the best way to prove your innocence is by providing any tangible evidence that suggests that you did not commit the violation.
If there is no physical proof to show that you are not at fault, then your lawyer may recommend that you challenge the conclusion of the officer who wrote the citation. After all, police are only human and they too make mistakes. In certain circumstances, where it is the officer’s word against yours, this tactic can work well. For instance, if you were flagged for an unsafe turn, then you may be able to convince the judge that you thought that you had ample clearance for the turn, and thus, you assumed it to be safe.
There are other defenses that might fit your situation, depending on the charges, such as proving that you were acting to prevent harm. If you are a commercial business owner like a Heating & Cooling contractor or other home service industry with a lot of employed drivers on the road you will want to make sure your employees are licensed, following the traffic laws and other safety policies to ensure they don’t receive any unnecessary tickets. For example, if you swerved to avoid a child who appeared as though they were going to run into the street and the officer did not see this unfold, then you can explain the special circumstances, and based on your argument, the judge may drop the charges. And although this type of situation can be difficult to prove, a seasoned lawyer will know how to present the circumstances in a manner that will give you a chance at winning.
One more possible defense is to prove that you were legally justified in your actions. To be legally justified means that you acted within the constraints of the law, even though the officer on the scene may feel differently. One likely scenario, in this case, would be if your vehicle was having trouble and you pulled off to the side of the road to prevent becoming a danger to the other drivers. It is certainly possible that this could happen, and it is also entirely possible that the officer had no idea that your vehicle was having issues, even if they were reported during the stop.
Whatever the case may be, by contacting a NJ traffic ticket lawyer you will substantially increase your chances of having the charges reduced or dropped entirely. Not only will a lawyer be able to guide you through the process, but they will also be aware of any loopholes in the system that you may be able to use as a defense.
In the end, there are only two possible outcomes that can occur when fighting a ticket – guilty or not guilty. In the case that your evidence does not stack up in court and you are found guilty then you will be forced to pay all of the fees associated with the citation and the points will be added to your driving record. In addition, this means that your car insurance premiums will substantially increase due to the increase in points.
On the other hand, if a “not guilty” verdict is returned, then you will be able to sigh with relief. A verdict of not guilty means that you will not have to pay any of the traffic violation fines that were linked to the offense, nor will you be responsible for paying any court fees for fighting your case. In addition, there will be no points added to your driving record and this will ensure that your insurance company does not raise the rates on your premium.
If you were found guilty of the stated charges and you feel that the decision was erroneous, then, within the state of New Jersey, you can file an appeal. An appeal must be made within 20 days of the conviction and there is a $100 mandatory fee for such a filing. The decision for an appeal is best left up to your traffic ticket attorney, as they will know the best way to move forward.
There is no doubt that drivers in the state of New Jersey are occasionally cited for traffic violations that they did not commit. If you feel that you have been a victim of an incorrect traffic citation then you will want to consider fighting the ticket. And while it is possible to plead “not guilty” and argue the case yourself, you will most likely want to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney, and this is especially true if the charges could result in the suspension of driving privileges, such as would be the case for a DUI or OWI. A New Jersey traffic attorney can take in all of the evidence and lay out the options for starting your defense. Once the judge has heard the case a verdict will be reached, and depending on the success of your defense, there is a chance that the charges will be dropped. In this case, you will not incur any court related fees or points on your license, and you will have beat your traffic ticket. Keep in mind these tips when fighting a traffic ticket in the state of New Jersey and there is a chance that your driving record will remain clean.