Municipal Offense: Driving While Suspended in New Jersey
At first glance, it seems like the Municipal Court handles only minor matters. Nonetheless, some municipal cases can result in substantial fines and even jail time. That is true in the case of a person who is ticketed for driving while suspended in New Jersey.
New Jersey law makes it a crime for a person to drive when their license is not valid. Many people do so through error, and there may be legal remedies to help them address the situation. By understanding why a license gets suspended and how to correct the problem, most people can get back on the road legally.
Driver licenses may be suspended either through an action of the court or the DMV. A first offense for driving with a suspended or revoked license may result in a $500 fine. For second and third offenses, the penalties go up to $750 and $1,000, respectively. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission may also impose a $250 assessment. While a first offense of driving while suspended does not usually result in jail time, a second violation carries a mandatory one to five days in jail, and a third violation results in a mandatory 10 days of incarceration.
A license may be suspended for a number of reasons. Occasionally, this happens because the driver failed to have proper insurance coverage. Some licenses are suspended as the result of a DUI. The judge is permitted to increase the financial penalties by $500 if the driver’s license was suspended because of DUI charges. Suspensions may also be lengthened to as long as two years when a DUI is involved, and the person who violates that suspension may be subject to lengthened jail time.
In most instances, a driver’s license is revoked because they failed to pay certain fees or fines, usually in relation to some kind of earlier traffic violation. Sometimes people think they sent in their fine and resolved the issue, but something went wrong. Perhaps the check got lost in the mail or the driver simply forgot to take care of a ticket. Or they simply forgot to get restored after the suspension period ended. Regardless, the court can be very strict when it comes to enforcing driving while suspended penalties.
Experienced municipal court attorneys understand the defenses to cases like this. For example, the state is required to provide the driver with adequate notice of the suspension. If this is not done, the penalties may be reduced or dropped.
For a free consultation with an experienced municipal court lawyer, call this office today at 732-297-8200.