There are many common myths and rumors about New Jersey traffic laws. Make sure you know facts from fiction to keep yourself safe and on the right side of the law.
Myth 1- Speeding isn’t a big deal until I’m 15 miles per hour over the limit
Truth- New Jersey does have different penalties for speeding. And yes, the higher your speed over the posted limit, the bigger the penalty. However, New Jersey traffic laws state there are still penalties no matter how severe the violation. Speeding even one mile per hour over the posted limit can net you an $85 fine and two points on your driver’s license. If you drive 15 miles per hour over or more, it jumps up to four points on your license. Going 30 miles per hour or more is five points.
The fines also increase with your speed. They grow the higher over the speed limit you go, up to $269. Every additional five miles per hour you are over the speed limit increases fines. Minor differences in speed can mean significantly different penalties.
Myth 2- My points on my license don’t matter unless I’m in danger of suspension
Truth- According to New Jersey traffic law, 12 points on your driver’s license mean your license will be suspended. Before that happens, though, you can and will still face punishment for carrying points. If you have six points on your driver’s license, you will face a surcharge. The surcharge is a $150 fine on top of whatever fines you have for your existing traffic tickets. Every point over six carries additional fines—$25 for each additional point.
Many violations carry multiple points, so this can add up rather quickly. Therefore, it’s best to keep your points as low as possible. Without an attorney, you will only lose points if you go a year without picking up more points. When you lose points in this way, it is only at a rate of three per year. This slow rate can leave you with a high number of points for multiple years. Even if you drop below six, one speeding ticket could put you back up over six and land you with a surcharge again.
Myth 3- Violations outside of New Jersey don’t count toward my points
Truth- New Jersey has entered multiple agreements with other states and the District of Columbia. The National Driver’s License Compact is one agreement. It states that any traffic violation outside your home state will become a part of your driving record in New Jersey. New Jersey law states that out-of-state violations will be two points on your New Jersey license. This is true for each out-of-state violation.
As stated before, points can add up quickly, so it’s best to have all of your in-state violations taken care of just in case. Carrying a few points in New Jersey and then getting into an accident can land you with a surcharge if you are not careful.
Similarly, suppose you are not from New Jersey, but you get a ticket while visiting. In that case, it will likely be reported back to your home state and reflected on your driving record there. It’s in your best interests to keep your record as clean as possible to take care of any violations, even out-of-state.
Myth 4- If my license is suspended, it can’t get worse
Truth- New Jersey takes driving with a suspended license very seriously. Your license can be suspended for many reasons. One we have already discussed is having twelve points on your license. However, this is not the only way you can receive a suspension. Abandoning a vehicle on the highway, failing to pay a fine, failing to pay your surcharge for having over six points, driving while intoxicated, and failing to provide proof of insurance are all reasons for suspending your license. Having a suspended license can impact your life in several ways, so it is essential to avoid.
If you drive on a suspended license, the penalties are severe and should not be taken lightly. Each subsequent violation only increases the penalties. The first violation nets a fine of $500 and an additional six months of suspension. The second violation has a fine of $750, six months added to your suspension, and a mandatory one to five days in jail. If you receive a third violation for driving without a license, you will face a $1000 fine, six months added to your suspension, and a mandatory ten days in jail.
Myth 5- I don’t need a lawyer to handle my issues with New Jersey traffic laws
Truth- Having a lawyer on your side when facing a New Jersey traffic law violation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Lawyers can negotiate with prosecutors and judges to reduce the penalties you face. Carrying several points on your license can result in high fines and enormous consequences. As a result, it is best to have your attorney handle your latest violation as soon as possible. Keeping your record clean and your points low can make a massive difference in the long term regarding your finances and your freedom. Acting quickly when facing legal consequences is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Call an experienced New Jersey traffic law attorney now to discuss your case. As cases can vary widely depending on the circumstances, you should discuss your specific case with your attorney to receive the best, most specific advice possible. Call Leon Matchin at 732-887-2479 or email him at [email protected] to discuss your case today before you are stuck with permanent consequences.