Fighting a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey: What You Need to Know
Those faced with a traffic ticket in New Jersey have two options to consider. They can plead guilty and pay all fines associated with the ticket while adding points to their driver’s license, or plead not guilty and fight the penalty in court. As the leading traffic lawyers in Bordertown, NJ, we can advise our clients on the appropriate action to take in the wake of a traffic ticket.
By pleading ‘guilty,’ you are under a legal obligation to pay all the fines associated with your traffic violation ticket. These fines could be small amounts if you have received a parking ticket through to massive costs that come with DUI offenses.
Pleading guilty could also mean receiving points on your driver’s license. In the state of New Jersey, if you acquire 12 or more points, you will have your driver’s license suspended. The accumulation of six or more points across three years will require payment of mandatory surcharges to the state. Therefore, if there is any reason to doubt the factors leading to your traffic ticket, it may be worth fighting them in court.
Pleading ‘Not Guilty’
If you decide to fight against a traffic ticket, make sure that you read through all the information around setting court dates that are written on the ticket. There should be directions regarding when you can submit a ‘not guilty’ plea by, or pay the ticket.
If in any doubt regarding the processes you must follow to fight the ticket, call a lawyer to ask for advice. Inaction could result in further penalties against you. Not guilty pleas will usually result in a court date issued by the court clerk. Depending on how far away from the court you live, your case may be able to be resolved without you having to attend the hearing. This is usually processed via a ‘plea by mail,’ in which a sworn statement will have to be forwarded to the court instead of attending in person.
Dealing with the Prosecution
Prosecutors will usually offer a plea deal in exchange for a guilty plea and less severe penalties. Sometimes paying a fine will save you from gaining additional points on your license, so it’s worth seeing what can be done concerning risk management and damage limitation during this process.
Appearing in Front of the Judge
If the defendant and prosecutor reach a plea deal, a judge must approve the agreement in court and set any fines in motion. If the court accepts the plea deal, the penalties are generally required to be paid immediately. However, if you cannot pay on the day of the court hearing, you may be eligible to request a payment plan from the court.
If you are going to fight a violation such as a speeding ticket in Mercer County, NJ, we recommend working with the professionals here at The Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller, LLP, call us today at 609-318-3990 or click here for more information.