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You got a ticket. Maybe you agree with the charge, and maybe you don’t. But, going to court seems like a hassle and you don’t want to take time off from work, so you are thinking about paying the fine and moving on with your life. Is this the right choice? Or, do you need to hire a New Jersey traffic court lawyer to represent you?
In New Jersey, a single traffic ticket can increase your insurance costs by as much as 73 percent per year, and if you accumulate 12 points (or get convicted of certain offenses, like a DUI or driving without insurance), your driver’s license will be suspended. Accumulating six points (which could happen after just two tickets) can lead to state-imposed surcharges as well.
In other words, getting a ticket can cost you much more than the fine you need to pay to “make it go away.” In reality, paying the fine does not make your ticket go away at all. Instead, it amounts to a guilty plea, and this sets you up for various additional consequences that can cost you far more than you would pay a New Jersey traffic court lawyer to protect you.
Is the box next to “Court Appearance Required” on your ticket checked? If so, you need to appear in court on the date specified. When you appear in court, you need to know what to do, as mistakes can often have irreversible consequences. Additionally, if you fail to appear, this can have legal consequences as well—including a warrant being issued for your arrest.
If you are not required to appear in court, then you have a deadline to enter a not-guilty plea. Once you enter a not-guilty plea, you will have a court date scheduled. You must appear for this court date, and, when you do, you must be prepared to fight your traffic ticket effectively.
If you are found guilty of violating one of New Jersey’s traffic laws, you can face steep penalties. These penalties include fines, surcharges and points on your driver’s license—which may result in a driver’s license suspension. You can even be sentenced to jail.
While you could be facing steep penalties, you could also have several defenses available. An experienced New Jersey traffic lawyer will know what defenses you can assert, and he or she will be able to claim these defenses effectively on your behalf.
In some cases, the best option for resolving a traffic ticket will be to negotiate a plea deal. If this is your best option, you will need a lawyer who can negotiate with the prosecutor for you. You will also need a lawyer to advise you regarding what penalties you should be willing to accept in light of the circumstances of your case.
Finally, being found guilty can lead to more than just the penalties discussed above. Having a record or losing your license (or both) can impact your life in many ways. Even if you don’t lose your license this time, adding points to your record could mean losing your license the next time you get pulled over. If you need to drive to get to work (or if you drive for work), this might not be a consequence you can afford.
As we mentioned above, one of the consequences of pleading guilty to a traffic violation is the imposition of state surcharges. As explained by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC), these are costs that are imposed “in addition to any court-imposed fines and penalties or any premiums that may be assessed by insurance companies.” These surcharges can be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars per year, and they are imposed annually for three years from the date that you accumulate the sixth point on your driving record.
With these costs in mind, is it worth it to hire a New Jersey traffic court lawyer who can negotiate with the prosecutor’s office and argue your case? We’ll let you decide. If you would like to speak with a traffic court lawyer about your case in confidence, contact Helmer, Conley & Kasselman today.
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in traffic court cases throughout New Jersey. Whether you received a speeding ticket, you have been charged with DUI, or you are facing the consequences of any other alleged traffic violation, our New Jersey traffic court lawyer can protect you. To learn more in a confidential initial consultation, please call 877-435-6371 or inquire online today.
As top defense lawyers, our traffic court attorneys have offices throughout the state including: Salem, Trenton, Fort Lee, Clark, Freehold, Vineland, Millville and more.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.