Having a car provides a means of convenient transportation from one place to another, such as commuting to and from school or work, going on various errands and transporting items from one place to another. Once you know the privileges driving brings, you may sympathize with a friend or family member who loses their driving privileges following suspension in various circumstances.
So sympathetic, it might be that you feel moved to allow them to use of your vehicle, particularly if the stakes are high. For example, if they are facing job loss or in the case of an emergency. In the state of New Jersey, it is a serious offense to allow someone to drive your car knowing that their license has been suspended.
There are a range of penalties you may be facing depending on the facts of your case. By far the most serious of them is getting yourself convicted under the Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge. This occurs where the person to whom you gave your car was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of violation.
While DWI is not considered a criminal offense in the state of New Jersey, the state maintains a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who either is caught or facilitates an episode of driving under the influence. The NJ State law extends DWI penalties to persons who permit other persons to operate motor vehicles owned by them (the former) while the latter is under the influence of intoxicating substances.
New Jersey penalties include hefty fines, compulsory participation within the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, possible jail time and installation of an interlocking ignition device in your motor vehicle.
If you have a prior DWI conviction for allowing a person under the influence to drive your car and are convicted of a current offense, you will likely face increased penalties given that each subsequent conviction comes with enhanced penalties. You can lose your license for as long as 10 years.
If you allow your loved one to drive your car on a suspended license and they are involved in an accident, your insurer will probably reject any accident claims if the accident involved a driver not listed on your car insurance policy. You may face possible bankruptcy as the court will order you to pay from your own assets for damage to other parties.
Should the accident cause personal injury to another party, you may be liable for graver consequences. The driver may get a conviction of assault by auto depending on the degree of injury or vehicular manslaughter if death results. While the charge will be on the actual driver, injured parties can still sue you in civil courts according to NJ personal injury law.
If you’re facing these charges, it’s crucial to enlist the services of an experienced legal representative immediately. Contact Zapicchi & Liller offices to be placed in the care of our traffic violation defense attorneys, extensively trained and experienced in all areas of traffic violation defense, to determine the most effective course of action.