Contact an Essex County Traffic Lawyer to Assist with Your Citation
While most people know that racking up too many “points” on their license can eventually lead to the loss of their driving privileges, what most New Jersey residents do not know is that some traffic offenses can carry a driver’s license suspension even for a single first-time offense. In addition, while most traffic offenses (including DUI) are not crimes under New Jersey law, certain driving-related offenses can result in criminal prosecution without the help of an Essex County traffic lawyer.
If you have received a traffic citation in Essex County or Morristown, or if you have been charged with a traffic crime under New Jersey law, it is important that you discuss your case with a traffic defense attorney. While losing your license is one possibility, a conviction could potentially result in other penalties and trigger other non-judicial consequences as well. With more than a decade of experience handling traffic offense cases and criminal trials in Essex County and Morristown, defense attorney Scott Gorman can protect you, and we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free and confidential consultation.
Traffic Violation Lawyer for Citations in Essex County, Morristown and More
In order to determine the penalties that are on the table in your case, you first need to know the specific statute or statutes that you are accused of violating. In New Jersey, the potential sentences for traffic offenses range from no points on your driver’s license and a relatively small fine to multiple motor vehicle points, jail time, huge fines, and permanent license revocation. Essex County traffic court attorney Scott Gorman handles traffic and criminal cases involving all types of offenses, including:
- Driving in an unsafe manner
- Driving on a suspended or revoked license
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driving without auto insurance
- Eluding a police officer
- Failure to observe traffic lanes
- Failure to stop for a traffic light or improper turn at a traffic light
- Failure to yield at an intersection
- Improper passing
- Improper passing of a school bus
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle
- Racing on the highway
- Careless driving
- Reckless driving
- Unlawful use of a median strip
Understanding the Consequences of Common Traffic Violations in New Jersey
While New Jersey state troopers and Essex County police officers stop drivers every day for a wide variety of traffic violations, some violations are particularly common. Although getting pulled over for one of these common traffic violations might not seem like a big deal, it is extremely important that you hire an Essex County traffic defense lawyer. Traffic tickets can be very costly in New Jersey, and accumulating points on your driving record can increase the risks of getting pulled over again in the future.
In addition to fines, surcharges and other costs, many people are surprised to learn that common traffic violations can also carry jail time. Whether to impose jail time is in the judge’s discretion, and having an Essex County traffic violation lawyer who knows how to avoid jail time can be critical for many drivers.
If you have received a speeding ticket in New Jersey, you should not simply pay the ticket and move on. You may be able to fight your ticket on various grounds, and doing so successfully could save you from substantial costs. Accumulating 12 or more points from multiple speeding tickets can also result in a driver’s license suspension. The points for speeding tickets in New Jersey are as follows:
- Driving 1-14 Miles Per Hour Over the Speed Limit – 2 Points
- Driving 14–29 Miles Per Hour Over the Speed Limit – 4 Points
- Driving 30 Miles Per Hour or More Over the Speed Limit – 5 Points
In addition to getting a speeding ticket, drivers who get pulled over for driving above the posted limit can also face charges for reckless driving, street racing and other traffic violations in some cases. If you are being charged with multiple speeding-related offenses, you could be at risk of losing your license, even if this is your first time going to court.
Failure to Stop or Yield
Failure to stop and failure to yield are extremely common traffic violations in New Jersey. Police officers will often monitor highly trafficked intersections and pull over drivers who run red lights or pass by stop signs without coming to a complete stop. Drivers can also get ticketed for failing to yield the right of way at roundabouts, intersections and merging areas. Similar to speeding and most other New Jersey traffic offenses, failure to stop or yield can lead to fines, assessments, surcharges, points and/or possible jail time depending on a driver’s record and the specific circumstances involved.
Driving in an Unsafe Manner
New Jersey law makes it illegal to drive “in an unsafe manner likely to endanger a person or property.” Driving in an unsafe manner carries fines and points that increase for second and subsequent offenses. However, it may be possible for first-time and second-time offenders to avoid points by entering into a plea bargain with the municipal prosecutor. If you are not able to avoid conviction entirely, this is definitely an option you will want to discuss with an Essex County traffic violation lawyer.
Reckless driving is defined in New Jersey as “driv[ing] a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.” For first-time offenders, reckless driving can carry up to a 60-day jail sentence. For repeat offenders, a conviction for reckless driving can carry up to three months of imprisonment. This is in addition to the fees, surcharges, five motor vehicle points and other penalties that apply.
Driving Without a License (or With a Suspended License)
Driving without a license is illegal in New Jersey. So is driving while your license is suspended. Both of these offenses carry financial penalties, points and possible jail time. Violating restrictions on a conditional license and allowing an unlicensed driver to use your car are prosecutable as traffic offenses under New Jersey law as well.
Driving Without Insurance
New Jersey law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance. If you are pulled over for driving without insurance in Essex County, you can face penalties similar to those for the other traffic offenses discussed above. If you didn’t know that your insurance had been canceled, this could provide a defense, but it will be up to you to prove that you didn’t receive a notice of cancellation from your insurer.
Why You Need an Essex County Traffic Defense Lawyer
As we mentioned above, simply paying your traffic ticket and moving on is a mistake. Here are five reasons why you need an Essex County traffic defense lawyer:
- The Costs of a Traffic Ticket Can Be Substantial – Fines, assessments, surcharges and increased insurance premiums can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. However, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you avoid these costs.
- You Cannot Afford to Accumulate Points on Your Driving Record – Accumulating points on your record can eventually lead to a driver’s license suspension. Even if you violated the law, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to end up with points on your record.
- You Could Be Facing Jail Time – Several New Jersey traffic offenses carry the potential for jail time. If you are at risk of going to jail, you need an experienced Essex County traffic defense lawyer on your side.
- It Is Possible to Negotiate a Plea Bargain in Many Cases – Prosecutors will negotiate plea bargains in many traffic cases. To seek a plea bargain (and make an informed decision about whether to accept a plea bargain), you will need the advice and representation of an experienced attorney.
- You Might Not Be Guilty – Just because you received a traffic ticket does not necessarily mean that you are guilty. In fact, even if you were violating the law, you could still have complete defenses to liability. An experienced Essex County traffic violation lawyer will be able to examine the circumstances surrounding your traffic stop and determine if you are entitled to have your charges dismissed.
Avoiding Points and Other Penalties for Traffic Offenses
If you received a ticket or you were arrested after being pulled over, how can a criminal defense attorney help with your case? Even if you were clearly in violation of the law – like if you were speeding excessively – you may still have a variety of defenses available. These include defenses that may prevent the State from using critical evidence against you in court. With his extensive experience, traffic lawyer Scott Gorman can identify your defenses, and he will fight aggressively to protect you from severe consequences.
Contact The Gorman Law Firm for a Free Consultation with a Top Essex County Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Charged with a traffic offense? Don’t let one mistake change your life. To discuss your case with New Jersey traffic defense attorney Scott Gorman, call or contact us online for a free initial consultation at our Essex County or Morristown office.