Traffic/Motor Vehicle Law
It is important to understand that there are certain traffic violations, which have very serious consequences in New Jersey. Certainly, most people know the consequences of a dwi, dui or drunk driving conviction. Most people know that, in New Jersey, under the old law which was modified as of January 22, 2004, the first conviction for drunk driving had a minimum of 6 months suspension of driving privileges, a fine and a stay at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for a total of 12 hours over two days; a second conviction had a two year suspension of driving privileges and a 24 hour stay at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for purposes of evaluation and a larger fine; and a third or subsequent conviction for drunk driving had a ten year suspension of driving privileges, among other rather severe penalties. Now, for a second violation, a person shall be required to install an ignition interlock device or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for two years, in addition to the aforementioned driver's license suspension. Now, for a third or subsequent violation, a person shall be required to install an ignition interlock device or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for ten years, in addition to the aforementioned driver's license suspension. Under the old dwi law, one could be found guilty based upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant had a blood alcohol content of .10 percent by weight. Under the new dwi law, proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant had a blood alcohol content of .08 by weight is the standard of proof for finding a driver guilty of being under the influence of alcohol when operating a motor vehicle. The punishment for second and third or subsequent to third offender violations is virtually the same as under the old law, but for a first offender there are different levels of punishment. A first offender with a .08 but less than a .10 blood alcohol content by weight suffers a three month loss of driving privileges. A first offender, with a blood alcohol content by weight of .10 or more, suffers at least a seven month loss of driving privileges but no more than a one year loss of driving privileges. UNDER THE NEW LAW, A THIRD CONVICTION FOR DRUNK DRIVING/DUI/DWI REQUIRES A JAIL SENTENCE UNLIKE THE PRIOR LAW; WHERE ALTERNATIVES SUCH AS HOME CONFINEMENT, WORK RELEASE OR ENTERING AN INPATIENT ALCOHOL REHABILITATION PROGRAM WERE AVAILABLE. BEING CHARGED WITH A THIRD DRUNK DRIVING/DUI/DWI MEANS THAT YOU MUST FIGHT AGAINST BEING CONVICTED BECAUSE. IF CONVICTED YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO SERVE AT LEAST 90 DAYS IN JAIL, in New Jersey.
What most people probably do not know is that, in New Jersey, eluding the police is a very serious offense. In fact, it is a criminal offense to flee or attempt to elude a police or a law enforcement officer after having received any signal from such officer to bring the vehicle or vessel to a stop. N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b) makes it a third degree offense, punishable by up to five years imprisonment, to knowingly flee or attempt to elude any police or law enforcement officer as aforementioned and makes the aforementioned conduct a crime of the second degree if flight or the attempt to elude creates a risk of death or injury to any person. It is permissibly inferred that the flight or attempt to elude creates a risk of death or injury to any person if the person's conduct involves a violation of Chapter 4 of Title 39, such as careless or reckless driving or operating a vehicle at an excessive speed or operating a vehicle or vessel against traffic.
A third degree crime has, among other penalties, a maximum period of imprisonment of five years and a second degree crime has a maximum period of 10 years with the presumption of imprisonment, in New Jersey.
Operating a motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in the State of New Jersey without the required motor vehicle liability insurance coverage is a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:6B-1 and the violation of same has some rather severe penalties pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2. For a first offense, there is a fine of not less than $300 and no more than $1,000; a period of community service to be determined by the court; and the forfeiture of the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of the State Of New Jersey for a period of one year from the date of conviction. Upon subsequent conviction, one violating this particular law is subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and a period of imprisonment of 14 days and 30 days community service. After the expiration of this particular period of the forfeiture of driving privileges for a second offense, the offender must make application to the Director of the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles for a license to operate a motor vehicle which application may be granted at the discretion of the Director.
A violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-56.5, which is entitled"Abandonment of Motor Vehicles" makes it unlawful for any person to abandon a motor vehicle on or along any highway other than a limited access highway or other public property or on any private property. A vehicle, which has remained on or along any highway or other public property or on private property without such consent for a period of more that 48 hours or for any period without current license plates shall be presumed to be an abandoned vehicle. Any person violating this section of the Motor Vehicle Code is subject, for a first offense, to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 and the suspension of his license or driving privileges by the director of the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles for not more than two years. For any subsequent offense such an offender shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 and his license or driving privileges shall be either suspended or revoked for a period of not more than five years, in New Jersey.
N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 provides penalties for anyone found guilty of failing to immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of an accident or as close thereto as possible or forthwith returning to and in every event remaining at the scene until he has fulfilled the requirement of exhibiting his driver's license and registration certificate of his vehicle to the person injured or whose vehicle or property was damaged and to any police officer or witness of the accident and to the driver or occupants of the vehicle collided with and to render to a person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying of that person to a hospital or physician for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that the treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person. The penalties are a one year period of suspension of the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of the State Of New Jersey, a fine of not less than $500 nor more then $1,000 or imprisonment for 180 days, or both where the offender's vehicle is involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person other than the driver. For a second offense, involving injury or death, the driver shall permanently lose the right to operate a motor vehicle in the State. Where the accident results in only damage to a vehicle including the offender's own vehicle or other property, which is attended by any person, there is a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $400 or imprisonment for a period of not more than 30 days or both for a first offense and for a subsequent offense, a fine of not less than $400 and no more than $600 and imprisonment for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days or both, in addition to a six month driver's license suspension.
Being charged with a traffic offense can be a very serious matter.
For all cases in the Municipal Courts of New Jersey, you have the following rights:
- The right to know the accusation against you;
- The right to remain silent concerning your accusation (remember, anything you do say may be used against you);
- The right to retain an attorney of your choice;
- The right to a reasonable postponement to retain an attorney or prepare your defense which includes the right to subpoena witnesses on your behalf for trial;
- The right to testify or not testify on your behalf and a decision not to testify cannot be used against you
- The right to a trial before a Municipal Court Judge with the right to cross examine witnesses against you and present a defense on your behalf.
Our attorney(s) frequently appear in various municipal courts in Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Passaic County, Morris County and Union County.
Frederic C. Goetz, Esq., LLC and its highly trained staff of debt professionals are here to explain your options and assist you in any way possible. Please feel free to contact us at the number below with any questions you may have about our debt settlement programs.