New Jersey’s traffic laws protect people and provide safety to motorists and pedestrians. Alleged violations of traffic laws are when people most often come into contact with the court system. McLaughlin & Nardi’s New Jersey attorneys regularly represent people fighting traffic tickets in New Jersey’s municipal courts.
Once you are issued a ticket you should never argue with a police officer. A police officer’s responsibility is to issue a summons, commonly referred to as a ticket, when the police officer believes that you committed a violation of the law. You should wait until your day in court when a judge or will decide if you did, in fact, violate the law. Your court date will typically be just days from the date you receive your summons.
The first scheduled court date is known as the arraignment. The arraignment is when the Court will inform you of the charges that have been filed against you and ask you how you plead. The typical answer is not guilty, guilty or no contest (typically in non-criminal matters.)
In most cases you should plead “not guilty” and consult with an experienced New Jersey attorney who can obtain discovery (i.e., evidence) which the state and the prosecutor will rely upon to prove that you are guilty (that you committed the offense you were charged with.)
It is important to hire an experienced New Jersey municipal court attorney to protect your rights after you receive a ticket. Even minor traffic offenses can have a serious impact on your driving privileges and criminal records. For example, a speeding ticket in New Jersey provides rigid penalties.
- Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit is 2 points;
- Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit is 4 points; and
- Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit is 5 points.
In addition, driving offenses can result in additional penalties such as an increase in insurance premiums or points that could result in suspension of driving privileges. Insurance companies will tally up the points you receive for all driving offenses to determine the amount of your insurance premiums. The more points you have the more expensive it will be for you to have insurance.
In addition, if you have six or more points within three years on your driving record then you will be put on probation and assessed a surcharge of $150. An additional surcharge of $25 will be assessed for each additional point. If you receive twelve points you will lose your driving privileges.
An experienced New Jersey municipal attorney will be able to explain and protect your rights and obtain the best possible plea agreement, if it is in your best interest. If it is not, your attorney can fight the ticket in a trial. Obtaining counsel from an experienced attorney is especially important when the prosecutor recommends amending your charge to one that is less serious because even less serious charges have fines, points, and penalties.
McLaughlin & Nardi’s attorneys are experienced in all aspects of municipal court matters, including traffic law violations. To learn more about what our experienced New Jersey municipal court attorneys can do to help, please visit our website, e-mail us, or call one of our lawyers at (973) 890-0004.