Many people do not realize that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that if you flout the law repeatedly, that privilege can be taken away. It is not uncommon for people in New Jersey to accumulate so many points through traffic violations that their driving privileges are suspended by the court. If your license is suspended, you cannot drive until it is restored. If you do, you run the risk of being charged with driving with a suspended license and facing serious penalties including jail time.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our Atlantic City driving with a suspended license lawyers have years of experience successfully defending clients against charges of driving with a suspended license. We understand that everyone has a story to tell and we will fight to bring have yours told and to bring your case to a positive resolution. Call us today at (609) 445-3533 for a free consultation.
Reasons for License Suspension in New Jersey
There are a number of reasons why your license may have been suspended in New Jersey. The following are some of the more common reasons for New Jersey license suspensions.
- Accumulation of 12 points or more on your driving record
- DUI or DWI conviction
- Causing a fatal accident
- Reckless driving conviction
- Failure to appear in court
- Failure to pay fines or surcharges
- Mental or physical condition has voided your driving privileges
How Driving with a Suspended License is Charged in New Jersey
Once your license has been suspended, you are not permitted to drive a vehicle in the state until it has been restored. If you are caught driving while your license is suspended, you will likely be arrested. Since the matter is technically a traffic offense, the police may choose to simply issue a ticket with a court date on it. If this is the case, get in contact with an experienced driving with suspended license lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych right away to being preparing for court.
If you are arrested, you will be taken to the local police station for the booking process. Most likely, you will be released without a bail hearing for this type of offense, but if you are sent before a judge, be sure you have an experienced bail hearing defense attorney like those at our firm. After this, your case will be handled in the traffic section of the municipal court.
Sometimes, traffic cases can be handled in one court appearance. Your lawyer and the prosecutor can discuss a potential deal prior to the case. This might include you taking driving classes or fulfilling some other obligation in exchange for the charged being dropped. The prosecutor may also offer to allow you to plead to a lesser charge or to recommend the judge give you a lenient sentence. If you do not wish to accept a deal or your lawyer needs more time to negotiate, you can plead not guilty and come back to court another time after both sides have had more of a chance to discuss the matter.
If you do not wish to accept a deal, our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych are ready and able to take your case to trial. Be aware, however, that there are no jury trials in municipal court. Instead, the trial will be decided by a single judge.
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in New Jersey
The penalties for driving with a suspended license vary depending on whether you have any prior convictions for the same offense. For a first offense, you can face fines of up to $500 plus an extension to your license suspension period of up to 6 months. For a second offense, you can face fines up to $750, up to five days in jail, and an extension of your license suspension period for up to 6 months. For a third offense, you face a fine of up to $1,000 and 10 days in jail. Like with first and second offenses, the court has the option to extend the license suspension for up to 6 months.
There are aggravating circumstances that can increase the penalties for driving with a suspended license. If you are driving with a suspended license during a vehicle accident that leads to someone’s injury, you could face an additional 45 to 180 days in jail. If you are driving with a suspended license due to an insurance violation, you will face an additional $500 fine as well a 1 to 2-year license suspension and between 10 and 90 days in jail.
If you are convicted of driving with a suspended license while in a school zone, you will have an additional $500 fine, an additional 1 to 2 years of license suspension, and between 60 and 90 days of jail time. If your license was suspended due to DUI or DWI, you will receive an additional $500 fine, 1 to 2 extra years of license suspension, between 10 and 90 days in jail, and you will have your vehicle registration revoked.
Call Our Experienced Driving with a Suspended License Defense Attorneys Today
Depending on the circumstances and your driving record, you can face some severe penalties for being caught driving with a suspended license. You should not try to fight this charge without the assistance of an experienced Atlantic City criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Our attorneys have successfully worked to get many of our clients’ cases downgraded or dismissed. We understand that every client’s situation is unique, and we will treat you as a person, and not just as another filed to be closed. For a free consultation, call our office at (609) 445-3533 today.