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In New Jersey, traffic tickets can lead to serious consequences. Not only can the ticket itself lead to points and other penalties; but, if you are required to appear in court and fail to do so, you could lose your driving privileges, and the judge could even issue a warrant for your arrest. Regardless of why you got pulled over, regardless of the type of ticket you received, and regardless of whether you need to (or already failed to) appear in court, it is important that you speak with a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer about your situation.
There are ways to fight New Jersey traffic tickets and protect yourself following a failure to appear – but you need an experienced lawyer on your side. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our New Jersey traffic violation attorneys have been handling traffic ticket and “failure to appear” cases for decades, and we can use our knowledge and experience to protect you to the fullest extent possible.
Most people assume that they can simply pay the ticket and move on when they receive a traffic ticket in New Jersey. While this is an option in some cases (although it is not an option we recommend), with certain traffic tickets, you are required to appear in court.
Every traffic ticket issued in New Jersey contains a box on its left-hand side. Next to this box, written in red, the ticket says, “Court Appearance Required.” If this box is checked, then you are legally required to appear in court to respond to your ticket.
Your ticket will also state your court date and the location of the court at which you are required to appear. You must show up at the correct court, and you must be there on time. While you have the option to appear pro se (without an attorney), we strongly recommend that you hire a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer to represent you.
If you have a mandatory appearance as a result of your New Jersey traffic ticket and you fail to appear, the consequences can be substantial. It doesn’t matter why you were unable to appear – whether you didn’t realize you had to go to court or you got stuck in traffic on the way – you can face the same consequences. Following a failure to appear, the judge has three options:
If the judge issues a notice and you do not comply with the instructions for correcting your failure to appear, then the judge can subsequently issue a warrant for your arrest.
While you can face severe consequences due to failing to appear in response to your New Jersey traffic ticket, you have options to correct your failure to appear as well. When you contact Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., one of our New Jersey traffic violation attorneys will promptly review the facts of your case and determine what options you have available. If it is not too late, our attorneys can reopen your case and fight your traffic ticket while also seeking to keep you out of jail due to your failure to appear.
While failing to appear in court is often the biggest mistake drivers make after receiving a traffic ticket, here are some other tips to keep in mind:
First and foremost, you cannot afford to simply ignore your traffic ticket even if it didn't require a court appearance. If you do, not only will you end up incurring fines, points, and potentially other penalties, but you could also potentially face consequences as a result of your failure to appear in court (more on this below). In New Jersey, a traffic ticket is not “just” a traffic ticket. Many traffic violations carry steep penalties, and some require you to go before a municipal court judge.
Just as you should not ignore your traffic ticket, you also should not simply pay the fine and move on. Why? Because the fine is not the only consequence you will face. Depending on the specific traffic violation with which you have been charged, paying the fine (which is effectively a guilty plea) can also lead to:
In many traffic ticket cases, prosecutors will offer a plea deal. While accepting a plea deal might be your best option, it also might not. If you have a complete defense (i.e., you did not actually violate the law or the prosecutor’s office doesn’t have enough evidence to convict you), then accepting a plea will mean facing unnecessary consequences. Before accepting a plea, you need to discuss your case with a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer.
Given the legal risks that come with getting a traffic ticket in New Jersey, you do not want to go to municipal or traffic court to fight your ticket without a lawyer on your side. An experienced New Jersey traffic violation lawyer will be able to evaluate all potential defenses to your alleged traffic violation, negotiate with the prosecutor’s office on
If you received a traffic ticket in New Jersey and live in another state, you will need to deal with your ticket proactively to avoid unnecessary points, fines, and other penalties. Like in-state drivers, you may have an obligation to appear in court, and you will need to review your ticket to see whether the “Court Appearance Required” box is checked. Regardless, you will need to hire a New Jersey traffic lawyer to represent you, as you will need a lawyer who is licensed to practice in the New Jersey courts.
At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., we represent out-of-state drivers who have received traffic tickets throughout New Jersey. We have multiple office locations throughout the state, and our attorneys regularly appear on behalf of clients in traffic courts statewide. When you contact us, one of our attorneys will work with you over the phone to examine your situation and determine what defenses you have available. Your attorney will walk you through all of the steps you need to take in response to your ticket.
For many out-of-state drivers, the biggest question they have about receiving a New Jersey traffic ticket is: Will my ticket affect my driving record in my state? In the vast majority of cases, the answer is yes. All but five states are members of the Interstate Driver License Compact, and this agreement ensures that drivers who receive out-of-state tickets will still receive points on their driving records. As New Jersey traffic ticket attorneys, we regularly represent residents of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and other states, and we can handle your traffic ticket case regardless of where you live.
It depends. Under New Jersey’s point system, it takes 12 points to trigger a driver’s license suspension, and the maximum number of points that can be imposed for a single traffic violation is five. So, in order to determine whether your driving privileges are at risk, you need to know (i) how many points you have currently, and (ii) how many points you could incur as a result of your most-recent ticket.
But, certain offenses can result in a driver’s license suspension regardless of the number of points on your record. Driving under the influence, driving without a license, and driving without insurance are all traffic violations that can result in the immediate suspension of your driving privileges.
Potentially, yes. Auto insurance companies increase drivers’ rates based on their accumulated points and the specific traffic violations for which they get convicted. So, if your New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer negotiate a plea deal for a reduced charge or obtain a not-guilty verdict in court, you could potentially save yourself several hundred dollars per year.
Have you received a traffic ticket in New Jersey? Are you facing consequences as the result of a failure to appear? To discuss your situation with a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or request a free consultation online now.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.