What Happens if You Are Charged with Driving While Suspended Under N.J.S.A. 39:3-40?

Driving with a suspended license in New Jersey can result in serious consequences, including hefty fines, further suspension of your driving privileges, and in some cases, even incarceration.  If you cause an injury while driving without your license, or if the suspension involved a drunk driving offense, you could even be charged with a felony.  The penalties are serious, but representation by a skilled and experienced DWI lawyer will improve your odds of beating the charges and moving on with your life.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Atlantic City Traffic Violation Lawyers

The New Jersey traffic violation lawyers at the law offices of John J. Zarych bring more than 45 years of experience to every license suspension matter we handle.  Whether your suspension was due to driving while intoxicated (DWI), reckless driving, or other traffic offenses, we are prepared to aggressively challenge your traffic ticket in municipal courts throughout the Atlantic County and Cape May County areas.  We handle DWI and license suspension matters in Atlantic City, Ocean City, Hamilton Township, Galloway Township, Egg Harbor Township, Wildwood, and throughout other local communities.

To set up a free legal consultation with our New Jersey suspended license attorneys, call the law offices of John J. Zarych right away at (609) 625-3006, including nights and weekends.  We’re here to help you understand your next steps.

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Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in New Jersey

The penalties you face for driving with a suspended license depend on two factors: your history of prior offenses, and the way the offense is categorized.  Generally speaking, drivers face the following penalties for driving while suspended in New Jersey:

  • First Offense
    • Fine — $500
    • License Suspension — Up to 6 months
    • Sentence — None
  • Second Offense
    • Fine — $750
    • License Suspension — Up to 6 months
    • Sentence — 5 days in jail
  • Third Offense
    • Fine — $1,000
    • License Suspension — Up to 6 months
    • Sentence — 10 days in jail

Driving while suspended is a traffic violation, not a criminal offense, which means you will not receive a criminal record.  However, there are certain situations where driving with a suspended license becomes a crime.  In these situations, the resulting penalties are more substantial.  Additionally, the defendant will receive a criminal record, which can create lasting problems when it comes to seeking employment or taking advantage of other opportunities.

Felony Sentencing for Prior DWI Offenses (Driving While Intoxicated)

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Harsher penalties are possible in scenarios where suspended driving is categorized as a felony, known in New Jersey as an indictable crime or indictable offense.  For example, operating a vehicle with a suspended license is a fourth degree felony under N.J.S.A. § 2C:40-26 if your license was previously revoked or suspended due to DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).  New Jersey criminal penalties for a fourth degree crime include fines of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.

If the driver causes an injury, he or she must be sentenced to a minimum of 45 days in jail, with a maximum term of 180 days (six months).   Causing serious injury due to driving while suspended is a fourth degree crime and can result in one additional year of license suspension, bringing the suspension period from six months to 18 months, in addition to the penalties described above.

If the driver causes a fatal accident while driving without a license, it is a crime of the third degree.  The penalties for a third degree crime in New Jersey may include a fine of up to $15,000 and up to five years in prison.  Again, the license suspension will be extended by an additional year, bringing the full suspension period to a total of 18 months.

When you lose your driving privileges, you also lose your independence, your freedom, your mobility, and your ability to commute to your job.  You can also receive costly fines, or even be sentenced to jail time.  But you don’t have to face the charges on your own.

Trust an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney with Your Case

At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our skilled driving while suspended lawyers have handled many of these cases successfully and may be able to amend the charges to reduce the penalties you face.  As criminal defense attorneys handling a variety of indictable crimes, we are amply equipped with the knowledge, resources, and experience to represent clients charged with felony violations.

If you or one of your family members received a ticket for traffic violations including driving with a suspended license, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 625-3006 today to set up a free legal consultation.