How To Defend Yourself On A Simple Traffic Ticket In New Jersey’s Municipal Courts
John Menzel, J.D., has defended people charged with criminal, traffic, drunk driving, and related offenses in New Jersey since 1987. When charged with a simple traffic offense, you may be able to effectively defend yourself without the expense of a legal fee to an attorney.
DUIs And Traffic Tickets In New Jersey
When a person is pulled over on suspicion of DUI, it is common for an officer to ticket that person for offenses in addition to their DUI arrest. While it’s easy to forget about a ticket for speeding, delaying traffic, or failure to maintain lane in New Jersey when you’re battling a DUI case, it is very important to address your tickets as well as your DUI case. Ignoring a speeding ticket can result in quite stiff penalties in and of itself. So your Asbury Park DUI defense attorney should fight your speeding ticket in court, even when you have to deal with bigger issues.
How To Avoid Points On A Speeding Ticket In New Jersey
Too many points on your license can end up triggering additional court fines and fees, suspension, surcharges, and a sharp rise in your insurance premiums. The only way to avoid the effect of these points is to avoid them. You have the right to defend yourself against a speeding ticket, even if related to a DUI arrest. If this is the case for you, immediately speak to your DWI Defense Attorney in Asbury Park. It is possible that your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and court to have your speeding offense dismissed or reduced to a ticket that carries less points or no points. Your New Jersey traffic ticket court appearance can, in most cases, be taken care of solely by your Asbury Park DUI defense attorney. If separated from the DUI charge, your presence may not be needed to resolve the traffic ticket.
Making a mistake doesn’t mean you deserve to live with severe restrictions on your ability to drive legally or to pay sky-high insurance premiums for years. Don’t give up hope and don’t attempt to negotiate your DUI charge or your traffic offenses with the prosecution on your own. Invest in a well-regarded DUI defense attorney to represent you and look out for your interests and your future.
At the Law Offices of John Menzel, you can expect personalized attention from the very first phone call. This means same day or same week appointments, prompt communication, compassion, and respect, plus expert legal advice intended to give you the best possible outcome for your criminal charges, your DUI case, and your traffic tickets.
Most traffic offenses are fairly simple to defend by way of plea bargaining in the municipal court. Indeed, the fines and costs you may suffer are usually less that the legal fee associated with hiring a lawyer to defend you. Therefore, it is often more cost-effective to do it yourself. To learn how, click on these topics:
- What Is a Simple Traffic Ticket?
- What Is NOT a Simple Traffic Ticket?
- Call the Court
- Write the Court
- Plea Bargaining with the Prosecutor
- Protect Yourself from Civil Suits
- If No Deals, Hire a Lawyer
What Is a Simple Traffic Ticket?
Consider defending yourself in the municipal court if you are charged with a simple traffic offense. These are statutes often considered “simple traffic tickets”:
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-82 Failure to keep right
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-85 Improper passing
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-86 Passing in a no-passing zone
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-88 Failure to maintain lane
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-89 Following too closely
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-91 Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-97 Careless driving
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-98 Speeding (14 miles or less above the speed limit)
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-125 Improper U-turn
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-126 Failure to signal turn
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-127 Improper backing
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-128.1 Passing a school bus
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-144 Failure to stop or yield
What Is NOT a Simple Traffic Ticket?
The following traffic offenses are very serious, often leading to large fines, revocation of driving privileges, and jail. Don’t even think of representing yourself! Always get a lawyer for these offenses:
- N.J. Statutes 39:3-40 Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-50 Drunk driving
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-50.2 Breath test refusal/li>
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-50.4a Breath test refusal
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-96 Reckless driving
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-97.3 Driving while communicating on a cell phone
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-98 Speeding (15 miles or more above the speed limit)
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-129 Leaving the scene of an accident
- N.J. Statutes 39:6B-2 Driving an uninsured vehicle
Call the Court. If you have a simple traffic ticket, call the municipal court before the court date at bottom of ticket. Tell the person taking your call, usually a “Court Administrator,” that you are pleading NOT GUILTY and ask when the next court date will be. Get the name of the person you speak to.
Write the Court. Confirm you’re not guilty plea and court date information in a short letter to the “Court Administrator” sent to the attention of the person you spoke to, referencing your ticket by the number, which appears in the upper left corner of the ticket. In the letter, tell the Court Administration that you are pleading not guilty and requesting discovery.
Write the Prosecutor. Send a separate letter to the “Municipal Prosecutor” at the same address as the municipal court. Your letters to the Court Administrator and Municipal Prosecutor should be identical, except for the name and/or title of the person you are writing to–i.e., the Court Administrator or the Municipal Prosecutor.
Plea Bargain with the Prosecutor. Appear in court on court date and ask prosecutor for one of these plea bargains. They are listed here in order of preference. Expect to pay up to a $200 fine and $30 court costs.
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-56 Delaying traffic (0 points)
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-67 Obstructing or interfering with traffic (0 points)
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-97.2 Unsafe driving points (0 points for two convictions within 5 years)
(NOTE: If you receive a third conviction for unsafe driving within five years a second unsafe driving offense, the third conviction will carry 4 motor vehicle commission points.)
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-97 Careless driving (2 points)>
- N.J. Statutes 39:4-98 Speeding 1-14 m.p.h. over limit (2 points)
(NOTE: If you are seeking to reduce points for a speeding ticket greater than 2 points, ask that but the speed be amended to 9 miles per hour or less above the speed limit to avoid fine enhancements for 65-mile-per-hour speed zones and designated safe-corridors. You will receive 2 points on your driving record, but no points for insurance purposes)
Protect Yourself from Civil Suits. If there was an accident, ask the judge to mark the plea so that it cannot be used in a later civil case.
If No Deals, Hire a Lawyer. If the prosecutor will not deal, ask to have your case rescheduled, saying something like, “This is more complicated than I thought; I’d like time to get a lawyer.” Then get one without delay.
Even if you have been convicted multiple times for DWI in the past, you still have rights. The Law Offices of John Menzel will make sure those rights are protected. Contact dedicated Asbury Park DWI defense attorney, John Menzel at The Law Offices of John Menzel for a free consultation today to find out how we can help you defend your legal rights and save your future professional and personal reputation. If you have a pending DUI case or traffic tickets in Asbury Park or anywhere else in New Jersey, don’t wait until it is too late. Contact The Law Offices of John Menzel to get started today.
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