Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations in New Jersey. Getting a NJ speeding ticket can be a frustrating experience. However, getting a speeding ticket doesn’t always have to spell disaster. With the help of a New Jersey traffic attorney, you can better understand your ticket and find ways to fight it. In order to defend yourself against a speeding ticket, you’ll need to know the exact charge and find evidence to support your specific situation.
In order to fight a NJ speeding ticket, you may first have to plead not guilty to the charge. Each municipal court operates slightly differently, so make sure you examine your ticket carefully to figure out what to do. Most tickets will have a date printed on them. In some cases, this date is your hearing date when you must show up in court to make your plea. In others, this date is simply the deadline for making your plea. If you plead guilty, you have to pay the associated fine and suffer the consequences, which include points on your driver’s license and often an increase in your insurance premium. By pleading not guilty, you have the chance to appear before a judge and make your case, possibly dismissing the ticket or reducing your charges.
Defenses for NJ Speeding Tickets
There are two major types of defenses for NJ speeding tickets, and a qualified traffic attorney can help with either situation. If there is undeniable proof that a driver was speeding, they may be able to make a plea bargain that helps reduce the charges on their ticket. If there is no proof, or the driver wasn’t actually speeding when they received the ticket, a plea of not guilty allows them to take their case before a judge and prove their innocence.
Getting a speeding ticket doesn’t have to mean suffering all of the associated penalties. In most cases, a judge will work with a driver and their attorney to come to an agreement called a plea bargain. With a plea bargain, the driver agrees to admit a plea of guilty in exchange for lesser penalties, depending on the specific case. Pleading guilty helps save the courts time and money, so certain drivers can reduce their charges by agreeing to this plea bargain.
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A variety of factors can influence whether or not a plea bargain is accepted and how much your penalties are reduced. Common defenses for a plea bargain include:
Emergency Situations – If you were speeding due to an emergency (such as trying to get someone to a hospital), you might have your charges reduced.
Driving Record – If this is your first traffic violation, you may be able to get your charges reduced with the promise of continued safe driving.
Safe Driving Class Commitment – For most traffic violations, preventing harm to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians is the main goal. Drivers who agree to partake in a safe driving class may be able to get their charges reduced.
Pleading Not Guilty
Not all speeding tickets are able to hold up in court. In order to make a successful speeding conviction, the police must provide proof of speeding. This isn’t always possible, and there are many ways to defend against common speeding evidence.
Radar Evidence – Radar guns are the most common way a police officer can issue a speeding ticket. However, just because a radar gun picks up a speeding vehicle doesn’t mean the vehicle was speeding. Radar guns require proper calibration as well as adequate training for operation. If a radar gun wasn’t properly calibrated or the officer using it was not properly trained, then a speeding ticket could be dismissed.
Police Observation – A police officer may also issue a speeding ticket based on their observation. Proper training can help a police officer determine whether or not a vehicle is speeding. This method, however, is not nearly as accurate as a radar gun and can’t always hold up in court. An examination of the officer’s history and training, along with witness testimony and any dash or body cam footage, can help defend against a speeding ticket charge.
NJ Speeding Ticket Penalties
A speeding ticket in New Jersey has mostly financial penalties. However, speeding also applies points to your driver’s license that could lead to license suspension.
Typical speeding ticket fines start at:
- $85 for 1-10 mph over the limit
- $200 for 20-24 mph over the limit
- $260 for 35-39 mph over the limit
Additional fines may be applied for certain situations. For example, special fine rules apply in construction areas and school zones, which will often double the fine of a speeding ticket.
Drivers will also get points on their driver’s license. The number of points will depend on the speed you were driving at the time and include the following:
- Two points for 1-14 mph over the limit
- Four points for 15-29 mph over the limit
- Five points for 30+ mph over the limit
Accumulating too many points on your license can lead to suspension. Fighting a speeding ticket or taking a plea bargain can help you reduce the points on your license to avoid this risk.
Fighting NJ Speeding Tickets
Speeding tickets can lead to financial troubles and possible license suspension. If you have NJ speeding tickets you need to fight, let Attorney Leon Matchin fight for you. He’ll work with you to defend an unjust ticket in court or help you understand how you can reduce your charges with a plea bargain. For help with a speeding ticket charge in NJ, call Attorney Leon Matchin today at 732-887-2479, or email him at [email protected].