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Defending Against Driving Without Insurance Charges in New Jersey

If you are an uninsured driver in Hamilton, NJ, you will need to pay a ticket to their Municipal Court. Those found guilty will face up to $300 to $1,000 worth of fines, a designated amount of community service hours, and a year-long license suspension. Any subsequent charges following the first offense will increase these punishments considerably, with the addition of jail time. Most states enact this law to ensure that any potential victims have financial relief if a vehicle accident occurs. These are some of the ways New Jersey drivers can defend themselves from driving without insurance charges.

Know the Law

Understanding the parameters of the law and how to follow it will help protect individuals from facing arrest, to begin with. Under N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2, owners of registered motor vehicles must carry their proof of insurance with them. If they do not have it, then they violate N.J.S.A. 39:6B-1, which prohibits individuals from driving on New Jersey public roads or highways without insurance. The specific insurance that drivers must own in New Jersey is $5,000 for any property damage, $15,000 for the death or bodily injury of a person, and $30,000 for the death or injury of multiple people. Contact your insurance company for more details on how to acquire them so you can avoid becoming an uninsured driver.

Provide Proof of Insurance

If you are charged with driving without insurance, the New Jersey Municipal Court will ask you to provide an insurance policy or card that was active during the same time as the arrest: failure to present it will result in jail time. Keeping your insurance coverage on hand will ensure you have it ready to submit in a timely manner, in addition to your license and registration.

You Did Not Receive Notice of Cancellation

There are several past cases where uninsured drivers were not charged with driving without insurance due to various forces outside their control. In State v. Hochman, 188 N.J. 382, a conviction was overturned when it was proven the defendant’s insurance company mailed the letter of the cancellation notice to the wrong address. In another case, Matland v. United States Automobile Association, 174 N.J. Super. 499, an offender was let go because their husband canceled the insurance without their knowledge. In both instances, the defendants were let go because they were not informed of the cancellation of their auto insurance. If you find yourself in a similar circumstance, be sure to notify your attorney.

You Were Driving Someone Else’s Vehicle

Even if you are not an uninsured driver, it is still possible to face charges for driving uninsured if the vehicle you were operating belonged to someone else who did not have insurance. However, so long as you can prove that you did not own the uninsured vehicle you were driving at the time of arrest, you can defend against charges. Instead, the person who owned the car you drove will face charges. If you ever need to lend a friend or family member your vehicle, ensure you have insurance for it; you will be the one being fined, not them.

There Was a Lapse of Coverage

On some occasions, the state will charge an individual for driving without insurance when their coverage lapsed: this means that the driver failed to pay for the insurance in time, and it expired. However, it’s possible that the owner did not know of the lapse during their arrest. If they are able to pay their insurance once they are notified, they can avoid fines. Additionally, a lapse may occur if they transition to a new insurance company. To prevent either scenario from happening, always make sure to pay for your insurance on time.

If you ever need a DWI Lawyer in Hamilton, NJ, contact The Law Office of Zapicchi & Zeller LLC for assistance.

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What to Know if You’re Charged With a Crime in New Jersey as a First-Time Offender

Have you found yourself accused of a crime you didn’t commit or in a situation where you ended up in jail but don’t quite understand why? Unfortunately, through misunderstandings or non-thorough investigations, bystanders and completely innocent individuals can end up wrongfully accused of a crime. Believe it or not, it happens more often than you might think, and the best way to be aware is to be prepared. As a result, we’ll review what you can expect and what you should know if charged with a crime in Burlington County, NJ, or the surrounding areas. 

After Being Charged, What Can I Expect? 

Once you have been charged, the next steps vary depending on the type of criminal complaint received. Whether you get a warrant or summons complaints is important, for each will have a different effect on the following circumstances. 

Typically, in cases of no criminal history or minimal criminal background, the police officer may file the summons’ complaint. Fortunately, this can mean you are free to go and are simply expected to report to the court on your noted date. At this time, you can anticipate more information from the judge, including your next court date, what your rights are, and what the charges are against you. 

On the other hand, if you find yourself in a situation where the complaint is filed as a warrant, you will not be immediately released. Rather, prepare to go to the county jail and be brought before the judge within the following one to two days, on average. At this time, bail will be determined. 

What Happens When You First Get Arrested? 

Before even being arrested by the police, know that it must be under probable cause. “Probable cause” is defined as reasonable conditions where you are being suspected of illegal activity. As a result, there may be “probable cause” to detain or arrest you. 

Once arrested, the booking process starts. Here’s what it should include: 

These steps are most fundamental to the process, but there are more that you may encounter. Most are paperwork-related, such as recording your name and the alleged crime from the start. Also, the arresting officer may check for any other warrants on your record. In essence, this helps determine what the next steps look like depending on whether it comes back clear or not. 

Additionally, a health screening may occur with other inmates and employees’ safety and health in mind. This can incorporate testing such as bloodwork or X-rays. Likewise, a DNA sample may be collected, but this is entirely situational. However, as of a 2013 Supreme Court decision, police officers are allowed to ask for a sample during this booking process. 

What Are My Rights?  

As a citizen or documented immigrant of the United States, you always have the right to an attorney. During your arrest, you should be Mirandized, where your rights are explained to you. This also includes the right not to speak without your lawyer present. 

In most circumstances, it is advisable to hire a criminal lawyer or DWI lawyer, depending on the crime in which you were accused. Ultimately, the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP will represent you and your interests best in court while working towards the optimal outcome for your case. After all, our practice has over 20 years of combined experience, so we can be trusted to fight for you in a criminal law case based in Monmouth County, NJ. Contact us today for more information!

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The Difference Between Assault and Battery in New Jersey

Many people who have watched Law & Order or any other crime drama have heard of “assault and battery” charges but probably don’t understand what they mean. Just because you hear it on the television doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a comprehensive understanding of the criminal law itself. 

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Criminal Law

How Will A DWI Affect My Employment in New Jersey?

As a professional charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) in New Jersey, you may be worried that the charge will affect your ability to get or keep a job, especially if you are ultimately found guilty. Fortunately, a DWI in New Jersey is not a criminal offense, so it does not show up during criminal background screenings and is not reported to criminal databases like the National Crime Information Center or NCIC. However, that doesn’t mean that a conviction is not without its fair share of penalties for the accused.

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Criminal Law

A Brief Rundown of the Penalties for a Gun Charge in NJ

New Jersey is known for its strict gun laws. If you are accused of illegally possessing a gun or another weapon, it’s important to proceed carefully. Some of the penalties can be severe, so it’s a good idea to work with an attorney knowledgeable about criminal law in Monmouth County, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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What to do if You’re Accused of Shoplifting in New Jersey

Being detained for shoplifting in New Jersey is a stressful situation, and many people feel the need to take action immediately. However, if you’re accused of shoplifting in Monmouth County or the surrounding areas, it’s important to be careful about how you handle the situation.

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Criminal Law

Can You Text at a Red Light in New Jersey? Maybe Not for Much Longer.

New Jersey drivers have been prohibited by state law from texting while driving since 2008. However, a new bill, Measure S1602, aims to reduce distracted driving by making it against the law to text while at a stoplight, too. In fact, New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a measure that makes simply holding a cell phone, as a driver, a disorderly person offense. If you’ve received a traffic citation for distracted driving, or texting and driving, you may need help from The Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP.

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Criminal Law

What You Should Be Looking for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal charge is a serious offense, and not all lawyers have the experience and skills to get you out of jail. Choosing the best defense lawyer is critical to your acquittal or exoneration, but where do you start looking? Right here!

Area of Specialty

The right attorney should specialize in criminal law. Check the law firm’s website to determine the kind of services the lawyer you intend to hire offers. An attorney who is regularly involved in criminal law understands the legal system and has vast experience handling similar cases.

Choose Someone Experienced in Local Courts

In addition to the specialty area, you should also hire an attorney who has vast experience working with the local courts. Such an attorney has built reliable local connections and relationships that can help you fight a criminal charge. Having insights into how the court operates can help you create a bulletproof defense strategy.

Check Customer Reviews

You can gain important insights about an attorney by checking client reviews available on the internet. Ensure you are using only reputable sources such as the websites of state bar associations. Also, check whether the lawyer is licensed and if they have any formal discipline issues on their record. Websites like Facebook don’t allow lawyers to remove bad reviews, which can be an ideal starting point.

Need Help with a Criminal Case?

If you are looking for experienced criminal lawyers in Hamilton Township, NJ, contact the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP. We strongly believe that the legal system should work for the people, and our criminal law legal teams are committed to standing up for your rights no matter what charges you’re facing. We’ll fight for you — and win!

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Criminal Law

FAQs About Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey

Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts or offenses committed by a young person under the age of 18 years. At the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP, we understand that adolescence is a delicate time that can sometimes lead to costly mistakes. However, we don’t believe one mistake made at such a young age should define the rest of someone’s life. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs regarding juvenile crimes in New Jersey, and we’re always available for a consultation should you need additional legal assistance. 

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Criminal Law

Burglary Vs. Robbery in NJ

Typically, burglary does not involve violence, but robbery does. According to New Jersey law, if you use threat or force to steal from someone else, it’s considered robbery. Burglary is theft without violence. If you face burglary or robbery charges, we have the best team of criminal lawyers in Hamilton Township, NJ.