What Are the Sentencing Guidelines or the Penalties If Someone Is Convicted of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in New Jersey?
For a first offense of driving while your license is suspended or revoked, a person faces a fine of $500, plus court costs, and a driving privilege revocation of up to six months. For a second offense of driving while revoked, a person would face a fine of $750 to $1,000, plus court costs, a revocation of driving privileges up to six months, and a mandatory jail term of one to five days. For a third or subsequent offense, a person would face a fine of $1,000, plus court costs, a revocation of driving privileges up to six months, and a mandatory jail term of ten days. In addition to what the courts would impose, the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission would impose a surcharge of $750, payable in three annual instalments of $250 each. I f your license is revoked for three separate offenses within three years, those surcharges increase by 1.5 times. In other words, your surcharge would be $1,125, payable in three annual instalments of $375 each.
What Are Some Potential Defenses that Can Be Used Against a Charge of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License? Is Not Knowing That Your Driver’s License Was Still Revoked or Suspended a Defense?
There is some argument about whether ignorance of your suspension is a defense. Most courts and prosecutors will recognize a lack of notice as a defense to driving while revoked, but there is case law to suggest that is more of an administrative matter and not a cognizable defense in court. Practically speaking, lack of notice will result in a prosecutor offering a plea agreement. These charges are freely plea bargainable, and very often. If a person who has been revoked can manage to get their driving privilege restored by the time the case is scheduled for court, plea bargains are very common. For unlicensed drivers, prosecutors will frequently offer plea bargains, as well, though the fines for unlicensed driver are similar to those for driving while revoked (between $200 and $500, plus court costs). There is no mandatory revocation associated with an unlicensed driver charge, and the administrative surcharges are only $300, payable at the rate of $100 per year for each of the next three years. Another common plea bargain is failure to have a valid driving credential in possession, which results in a one-time fee of $157, plus $33 court costs.
If My Driver’s License Has Been Revoked or Suspended, Could I Qualify for a Work Permit or Anything to That Effect so That I’m Able to Drive?
We do not have a work permit in New Jersey. If your privilege is revoked, it means you cannot drive at all or else you face charges if you get caught doing so. The only conditional license the state offers comes after a DWI conviction, wherein you receive an indefinite revocation. During that indefinite revocation, you have to get an interlock installed in whatever vehicle you primarily operate and receive a physical driver’s license from the Motor Vehicle Commission with the interlock restriction legend stamped on the license. Your conditional license means your ability to operate a car is restricted only to those cars equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock.
New Jersey offers a provisional license to new drivers receiving driving privileges for the first time. The provisional license period is usually one year. During that one-year period, the hours in which you can drive and the number of people you can have in your vehicle are restricted. Other than that, there are no conditions or special use licenses permitted in New Jersey.
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