While many people have a driver’s license, driving is not an absolute right but a privilege. If a person proves themselves to be dangerous behind the wheel, the state may suspend their driver’s license, making it illegal for them to operate a motor vehicle. A person who drives on a suspended license may encounter serious criminal penalties, including possible jail time.
You might not go to jail for your first offense for driving on a suspended license. However, subsequent offenses may come with the added penalty of a jail sentence. Your jail term may vary based on the circumstances of your case and the underlying reason why your license was suspended.
If you were stopped by law enforcement for driving with a suspended driver’s license, our NJ license suspension lawyers can help you. Call our team at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych and ask about a free case review. Call us at (609) 616-4956.
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License in NJ
The penalties for driving on a suspended driver’s license can be found under N.J.S.A. § 39:3-40 and include a variety of punishments. Penalties may differ based on why your license was suspended to begin with. For example, you might face harsher penalties if your license was suspended for a DWI rather than an accumulation of too many points.
For a first violation of driving on a suspended license in New Jersey, you will be fined $500. If your license was suspended for a DWI or refusal to submit to chemical testing after a DWI stop, your license will also be revoked. Revocation is more serious than suspension because you do not get your license back when the revocation period ends. You must apply for a completely new driver’s license, which could be denied depending on your circumstances.
For a second offense of driving on a suspended license, your fine will increase to $750. The bigger punishment, however, is jail time. A second offense for driving on a suspended license may land you in jail for at least 1 day but no more than 5 days. Your license will also be revoked if your second offense happens within 5 years of your first offense.
For a third or subsequent offense, your fine increases to $1,000, and your jail time increases to 10 days. Your license may also be revoked if your offense is within 5 years of your prior violations.
Jail Time for Driving on a Suspended License in NJ
These punishments for driving on a suspended license come with possible jail time as a penalty, but the potential jail time is low. The court may, however, impose harsher jail sentences.
Upon conviction, the court can impose a longer term of imprisonment. You could spend at least 45 days in jail but not more than 180. However, this option is only available to the judge if you injured someone while you were driving on a suspended license.
If you were intoxicated while driving on a suspended license, you face even more jail time. The court may sentence you to no less than 10 days in jail, up to 90 days. This jail time may be in addition to any other penalties mentioned above. You might face even more fines and jail time if your violation occurred on school property, in a school zone, or at a school crossing.
If you believe your traffic violation may be subject to these or other penalties, call our Atlantic City license suspension attorneys for help.
Why Would My Driver’s License Be Suspended in NJ?
There are many reasons why a person’s driver’s license might be suspended. A driver’s license is automatically suspended in New Jersey when the driver accumulates too many points. Points are assessed against your license according to the New Jersey Point Schedule. Once a driver has accumulated 12 points, their license is suspended. Most violations are worth 2, 3, or 4 points, although a few are worth more. It might take only 3 or 4 violations for your license to be suspended.
Other people have their license suspended because of one violation, regardless of the points attached to that violation. For example, drivers convicted of DWI often face license suspensions as a mandatory part of their punishment. As mentioned above, DWI charges are especially serious, and driving on a DWI-suspended license is more likely to lead to jail time and additional penalties.
Any number of violations could cost you your license. Talk to our NJ license suspension attorneys if you have accrued points on your record and are worried about a possible suspension.
Fighting Charges for Driving on a Suspended License in NJ
The best way to fight your charges will depend on the details of your case. Some drivers have an easier time challenging their violations while others may be better off arguing for lower penalties.
In some cases, you may be able to fight jail time by challenging the charges for driving on a suspended license. If the police pulled you over illegally or do not have the evidence to prove that you were the one driving, then they cannot convict you of driving with a suspended license. Alternatively, we may be able to challenge charges for driving while intoxicated with a suspended license by challenging the BAC test and other evidence of drunk driving.
In other cases, we might not be able to have your charges dropped or dismissed, but we may be able to advocate for a more lenient penalty that does not include jail time. In cases where jail time is within the court’s discretion, we can argue for the least amount of jail time possible. For drivers with fewer violations in their driving history or less serious violations, we may have an easier time convincing a judge to skip jail time. However, there is no guarantee how your case will turn out, and you should consult with our NJ criminal defense attorneys about your case.
Call Our NJ License Suspension Attorneys for Assistance
If you were cited for driving on a suspended license, jail time is possible. Our Cape May criminal defense attorneys can help you challenge your charges and fight to help you avoid incarceration. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956. Our passionate team provides free initial case evaluations to get you started.