New Jersey Traffic Offenses
New Jersey statutes dictate the laws of the road, and penalties for a violation vary based on the degree of offense. The New Jersey point system designates a specific number of points to each offense, with increasing penalties as total points increase. Points are only given for moving violations, as opposed to, for example, illegally parking.
Some examples of violations and their corresponding points include:
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian: 2 points
- Failure to obey the direction of an officer: 2 points
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way: 2 points
- Improper passing: 4 points
- Reckless driving: 5 points
- Racing on a highway: 5 points
Penalties for Traffic Offenses
If you reach 12 points, the state will suspend your license, but for every year you drive without receiving a ticket or suspension, you can reduce three points from your record. Another way to reduce points is through a New Jersey driving course, which can reduce your point total by two every five years. If you are near the 12-point limit, you may want to register for the course to help prevent the possibility of a suspension.
Points are not the only penalty for traffic offenses. Most also result in fines that can be as low as $50 or as much as several thousand dollars depending on the degree of the offense and your driving history. Furthermore, insurance rates increase with traffic offenses because insurance companies see penalized drivers as a higher risk.
What are Surcharges?
With a severe traffic offense — or a high number of minor offenses — the state may impose a surcharge, which can be a one-time fee or an annual payment. If you are penalized with six or more points within three years, you will face a $150 surcharge plus an additional $25 for each point after six. This can result in an annual payment of the given amount for three years. Other circumstances that result in a three-year surcharge include:
- Driving without a license or an expired license: $100 per year
- Driving with a suspended license or operating an uninsured vehicle: $250 per year
- First or second DWI: $1,000 per year
- Third DWI within three years of last offense: $1,500 per year
- Refusing to take test that measure blood alcohol levels: $1,000 per year
Failure to pay the surcharge results in a license suspension. A year of safe driving that reduces three points from your record and taking the safe driving class to reduce two points does not reduce the surcharge point total.
Speeding Tickets in New Jersey
One of the most common traffic offenses is a speeding ticket, and it is the type of offense where a strong legal defense can be most helpful in eliminating or reducing penalties. The state assigns point values to the violation based on how far over the speed limit the person was driving:
- 1-14 mph over limit: 2 points
- 15-29 mph over limit: 4 points
- More than 30 mph over limit: 5 points
Speeding tickets can quickly cause a driver to reach the level of surcharge and be forced to pay additional fines, and depending on the degree of violation, it leaves the driver open to the potential of a license suspension. Furthermore, penalties are often increased if the violation occurred in a construction zone, school zone, or crosswalk.
Hire a New Jersey Traffic Offense Lawyer
Some traffic offenses may seem like a minor incident, where you think you should just pay the imposed fine and accept the points on your record. But advocating for a reduced or eliminated penalty with a strong legal defense can go a long way in preventing points and fines from adding up.
At Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates, we have experience standing by our clients in fighting traffic offenses. Contact DMR through our website or by phone at (609) 216-7400 for a free consultation. We’ll learn about your case and share ways we can provide a legal defense for your traffic offense.