If you are facing tickets for serious traffic offenses or have received many traffic tickets close together, you could face very high penalties for your driving offenses. In New Jersey, some very serious crimes like driving while intoxicated (DWI) are considered traffic offenses. If you commit one of these offenses or commit too many small infractions too close in time, you could even face license suspensions and jail time.
If you or a loved one was issued a traffic ticket, talk to an attorney about the case. Even for minor traffic offenses, the penalties can be very high. For a free consultation on your traffic ticket case, contact the Gloucester City traffic ticket defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Our number is (609) 616-4956.
Most Serious Traffic Offenses in Gloucester City, NJ
Many offenses that would be crimes in other states are listed as violations of the motor vehicle code in New Jersey. Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes includes the offenses for New Jerseys traffic offenses, and lays out the penalties for the most serious offenses.
DWI is one of the obvious examples of a serious crime that counts as a traffic ticket. This offense can come with a license suspension and jail time – even for a first-time offense. Because of this, it is vital that you seek legal representation for DWI charges, especially if it is your second, third, or subsequent violation.
Alongside DWI, it is also a serious traffic offense to refuse a breathalyzer test. If you are pulled over for DWI, but refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test after you’ve been arrested, you can face additional license suspensions and fines.
Reckless driving carries the potential of 60 days in jail and up to $200 in fines. A second offense can carry up to 3 months in jail. This makes it a very serious offense, akin to criminal charges. However, you must have driven your car in a way that could have endangered the lives or safety of others to be convicted. That means there is plenty of room for an attorney to argue your case.
Leaving the scene of an accident is also a serious offense. The minimum fine for failing to stop after an accident that causes injury or death is $2,500. The fine can rise as high as $5,000, and you can spend 180 days in jail for this offense.
Many of these offenses – as well as some other, less serious offenses – carry “surcharges,” too. While you pay fines one time for the traffic offense, you may also need to continue to pay the MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) a “surcharge” each year to maintain your license. For example, the surcharge for driving with a suspended license is $250 per year for 3 years (total of $750). For a more serious offense like a first or second DWI, it is $1,000 per year for 3 years ($3,000 total). Failing to pay a surcharge means a license suspension.
Drivers’ License Points and Suspensions
If you never committed a traffic offense as serious as one of the offenses listed above, you could still face license suspensions and high fines if you accumulate too many “points” on your license. Each traffic offense has its own point value, which is assessed against your license when you are convicted or plead guilty to the traffic offense or traffic ticket. Some offenses carry very low point levels, such as 2 points for speeding 1-14 miles per hour over the speed limit.
If you build up 12 points on your license, your license is automatically suspended. That means that if you were charged with a high-level traffic ticket on top of other points, you could be facing a suspension. These points are also bad by themselves, since many insurance companies raise your premiums if you have too many points on your license.
Every year you spend without receiving a ticket allows you to drop 3 points from your license. You may also be able to participate in programs or classes focusing on driver safety to get additional points removed from your license. However, the best way to avoid points is to beat the ticket in the first place.
Hiring a traffic ticket attorney to fight your case may help you avoid any points in the first place. If you are facing a ticket with a high point value, such as an 8-point ticket for reckless driving or a 5-point ticket for driving 30 or more mph over the speed limit, an attorney may be able to convince the police officer or prosecutor to let you off with a guilty plea to a lower ticket. This may still mean paying some fines, but a ticket like careless driving (2 points) or speeding by 1-14 mph (2 points) may be much better for your record than the high-value offense. This could save your license, save you from fines, and help keep your insurance premiums from skyrocketing.
Our Gloucester City, NJ Attorneys Can Help with Traffic Tickets and Offenses
If you or a loved one is facing an expensive traffic ticket, high points on your license, or a very serious traffic offense, talk to an attorney today. The Gloucester City traffic ticket defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych offer free consultations on new cases. To schedule your consultation, contact our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.