Being pulled over for a minor traffic crime might not seem like a huge deal, but it can sometimes come with some pretty serious consequences. These consequences can be confusing, however, when you are an out-of-state driver pulled over in the state of New Jersey. You should know that New Jersey will report the incident to your home state motor vehicle agency if they are part of the Interstate Driving Compact or have a separate agreement with the state. Because each state uses their own unique point system to classify drivers for suspension and insurance assesment purposes, a ticket in New Jersey that results in no points may result in multiple points in other states.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, we have years of experience working successfully to get our client’s traffic tickets dismissed or downgraded. We will study your particular situation and act in accordance with what will benefit you most from an economic standpoint, as well as with what will keep your license from being suspended. For a free consultation, call our office today at (609) 755-3115.
How Traffic Stops Work in New Jersey
Any time an officer has reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, even a minor traffic offense, they are permitted to pull you over. You must comply by pulling your car to nearest safe location on the side of the road or in a lot. The officer will ask to see your driver’s license, registration information, and insurance information. If you do not have one or multiple of these documents in the vehicle as you are required to, you could face further charges.
For serious traffic offenses like DUI, the officer will place you under arrest after the traffic stop is complete. However, for most traffic offenses the officer will simply issue a ticket with a court date on it if you would like to appear to contest the ticket. It will also give you the option to pay online, by mail, or by phone. You should consult with an experienced traffic court lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych before paying any ticket, as there can be unforeseen consequences down the road related to your cost of insurance and other matters.
Types of Traffic Offenses in New Jersey for Out of State Drivers
There are a multitude of different traffic offenses that can be charged in the state of New Jersey. They can range from the most serious offenses like DUI, to minor infractions like failure to wear a seatbelt. Some of the most common charges include the following:
- Reckless driving
- Careless driving
- Driving without a license
- Driving while your license is suspended
- Illegal turns
- Failure to yield to pedestrian or other vehicles
- Disregarding traffic signs or signals
- Causing an accident resulting in injury
- Broken taillight
- Driving without insurance
- Not wearing a seatbelt
Penalties for New Jersey Traffic Tickets in New Jersey
Penalties for traffic tickets in New Jersey will vary greatly depending on the severity of the crime alleged. For example, a person convicted of reckless driving can face jail time up to 60 days. A person caught speeding less than 10 miles over the speed limit, on the other hand, can face only an $85 fine. Most traffic tickets carry fines rather than jail time, but those fines can be quite high in some instances. In addition, your biggest worry may be how your state considers the ticket for the assessment of points used in the determination of your insurance rates.
How Out-of-State Drivers Are Affected Differently By New Jersey Traffic Tickets
For New Jersey drivers, when they plead guilty to or are convicted of a traffic offense, they are assessed a certain number of points on their driving record. However, other states are not always bound by the number of points a ticket is worth in New Jersey. They could impose their own, higher amount of points or some other penalty based on the state’s system.
For example, say you are a Pennsylvania driver who gets pulled over in New Jersey. The officer approaches your car and you properly provide them with your license, registration, and insurance information. The officer ultimately issues you a ticket for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. In the state of New Jersey, this is a zero-point offense, meaning it will not affect your insurance rates or ability to drive. If you look this information up, you may be tempted simply to pay the fine and move on.
However, what you may not realize is that it is the Pennsylvania motor vehicle agency who assesses points on your record when they receive notice from New Jersey that you committed a traffic violation. Under Pennsylvania law, the motor vehicle agency may assess up to four points on your record for this offense. This could have disastrous effects on your insurance prices and could lead to a license suspension depending on whether or not you already have points.
These complex situations regarding getting a ticket in one state while being licensed in another are one of the main reasons you should always contact an experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych before acting to pay your ticket and plead guilty. Our knowledgeable staff can advise you on the potential consequences of doing so. If necessary, we can contest the matter in court. Typically in traffic cases where you live out of state, your lawyer will be permitted to appear on your behalf and you will not have to travel back to New Jersey to contest the ticket. However, this can vary depending on factors like the severity of the offense.
Call Our Skilled New Jersey Traffic Ticket Lawyers for Out of State Drivers Today
It can be complicated when you live and have a driver’s license from a different state but are issued a traffic ticket in the state of New Jersey. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our attorneys can advise you on the potential consequences, economic or otherwise, in your home state for pleading guilty to a New Jersey traffic offense. We will work to get the charges dismissed or downgraded to something that will not have major effects on your life. Call us today at (609) 755-3115 for a free consultation.