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Serious traffic violations in New Jersey


In most states such as neighboring states New York, Massachusetts, etc., many serious traffic violations such as driving under suspension, reckless driving, and driving under the influence are automobile crimes. However, this is not so in New Jersey. Nonetheless, being charged with such violations is still a serious matter and carries heavy fines, insurance increases, license suspensions and the real possibility of jail time. This is why it is important to fight all serious driving charges in New Jersey which have been brought against you.

39:3-40 Driving While Suspended in New Jersey


The violation of Driving While Suspended is set forth at NJSA 39:3-40. Under the statute, no person may operate a vehicle if a license has been refused, suspended, or revoked, or who has been prohibited from obtaining a drivers license. Furthermore, the law also prohibits operation of a motor vehicle whose registration has been suspended or revoked.

Conviction of NJ driving while suspended carries the following penalties:

  • First conviction: Up front fine of $500.00, plus a total of $750.00 in NJ MVC surcharges
  • Second conviction: Fine of $750.00 and imprisonment of not more than 5 days
  • Third conviction: Fine of $1000.00 and imprisonment in the county jail for 10 days, and an additional suspension of up to 6 months

In addition to the above, if the suspension occurred while under suspension due to a DWI, 39:4-50, the fine shall be increased by $500.00, surcharge increased by $750.00, an extension of the suspension for at least 1 year, and up to 90 days in jail.

If you are given a violation summons for operating under suspension, our NJ suspended license defense lawyers can help you through this difficult time. There are defenses to the charge of driving while suspended, and our New Jersey suspended license attorneys know how to assert them to protect your rights.

There are numerous reasons why New Jersey driving privileges may be suspended under 39:3-40. Often times it is just an administrative suspension forgetting to answer a ticket or pay a fine. Other times it is punitive, such as a suspension for conviction of drinking and driving. Often the key to getting the case dismissed is to just clear up the cause of the underlying suspension. Other times it’s more difficult, but either way our New Jersey suspended license traffic court lawyers can represent and assist you.

If we have to prepare a case we are ready to defend the accusation against you of operating under suspension in NJ. When the suspension was done directly by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the first thing the state must prove is that you as the motorist had adequate notice of suspension. This requires that the state prove fair and adequate notice to the licensed driver of the proposed suspension of their license, and articulation of the specific reasons as to why the license was being suspended. See, Parsekian v. Cresse, 75 N.J. Super. 405 (App Div. 1962). In addition, the notice sent must be notice was reasonably calculated to reach the intended party. See, State v. Wenof, 102 N.J. Super. (Law Div. 1968). When a notice of scheduled suspension and order of suspension is mailed to defendant, but was returned undelivered, this is a valid defense for lack of notice, See, State v. Hammond, 116 N.J. Super. 244 (Cty. Ct. 1971); however moving and failure to provide a forwarding address or not changing your address of record with the NJ MVC is not a defense. See, Wenof

When the suspension was issued by a New Jersey court for things like a traffic ticket conviction, driving without insurance, or driving while intoxicated, the burden for the State of NJ to prove the suspension is much lower. All the state has to produce into evidence is a certified abstract showing the suspension date. However, our NJ traffic court suspended license lawyers still attack the validity of the document and ensure that the entry of the record into evidence complies with the business record’s exception to the hearsay rule. Our suspended license lawyers will also challenge the underlying court suspension as improper. Examples include defendant not notified to be in court and the suspension taking place without the defendant present, or for other reasons that the prior suspension may be illegal and/or unconstitutional.

A New Jersey driver’s license remains suspended until they pay a $50.00 restoration fee. Many people are suspended because this restoration fee was never paid. Often when a court suspends a license the court tells the defendant of the suspension period but not of the restoration fee. This gives rise to a lack of notice claim. In addition to that defense, our NJ license suspension defense lawyers raise the case of State v. Somma, 215 N.J. Super. 142 (Law Div 1986), where the court held that the failure to pay the $50.00 fee for restoration of the suspended drivers license does not extend the period of suspension. These defenses often lead to a dismissal of the suspended operation charge, 39:3-40. 


New Jersey Reckless & Careless Driving Defense Lawyer

New Jersey reckless driving, § 39:4-96, is a serious violation. A person convicted of reckless driving in New Jersey is facing a huge insurance increase, 5 points on their license, a license suspension, and possibly jail time.

Under NJ § 39:4-96, reckless driving is defined as:

“A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property…”

Under NJ § 39:4-97, careless driving is defined as:

“A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of careless driving.”

Although serious, careless driving § 39:4-97is a “lesser and included” of reckless driving § 39:4-96, as it carries only 2 points (less than that of most speeding charges) and no jail time. Often times when charged with reckless driving the prudent thing to do is to have your NJ reckless driving defense lawyer plea bargain the conviction down to careless driving.

However, our New Jersey reckless and careless driving defense lawyers are prepared to go the distance for you. Both reckless and careless driving involves serious and complex legal issues and defense strategies that our reckless driving defense lawyers are ready to deploy for you. Our defenses include:

  • That no person was at risk
  • Suppression of statements made in violation of Miranda warnings
  • Flawed breath testing procedures when reckless driving accompanies DWI
  • Sloppy and conclusory police investigation
  • Producing your own witnesses, video, and audio.

New Jersey Driving Without Insurance Attorney


The penalties for operating without insurance in New Jersey are extreme. Under NJ Statute § 39:6B-2, you will:

  • Automatically lose your license for one year;
  • Pay more than $1000 in fines, court costs, and surcharges; and
    • Be sentenced to community service.

Failure to operate a motor vehicle with insurance is one of the few strict liability statutes in New Jersey, as the statute makes it perfectly clear that:

"Every owner or registered owner of a motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this state shall maintain motor vehicle coverage…" N.J.S.A. 39:6B-1.

Failure to produce in court an insurance card, policy, or coverage letter covering the date of the offense creates a presumption that the person was uninsured when ticketed. While lack of knowledge is not a defense, see, State v. Kopp, 171 NJ Super 528 (Law Div. 1980), however the state must still carry its burden of proving that an automobile liability insurance was lawfully canceled, even if the cancelation was for non-payment of premiums. See, State v. Hochman, 188 NJ Super 382 (App. Div. 1982).  

Defending your operating without insurance charges

Our NJ uninsured defense attorneys work hard at defending your § 39:6B-2 and § 39:6B-1 charges of operating without insurance.  Defenses include:

  • That a broker or agent failed to forward or record a payment
  • That you were driving a vehicle owned by a 3rd person not living in the state
  • That you were not notified of a policy cancelation
  • That you were not operating the vehicle
  • That you had insurance at the time of the stop

Often, the best defense is remediation and plea bargain to a lesser charge, such as failure to produce documentation. Remediation can include repairing your insurance lapse or removing the vehicle from the road by showing the court proof of sale or surrender of plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In any direction you want to go, our NJ operating without insurance lawyers can represent and help you through the process.

New Jersey Hit and Run Defense Lawyers


Fleeing the scene of an accident, whether there were personal injuries or just property damage, is taken very seriously in NJ. Under § 39:4-129(a), failing to stop at a personal injury accident results in a fine between $2,500 and $5,000, jail for up to 180 days, or both. Further, the driver’s license must be revoked for at least one year from the date of conviction. This is also an 8 point conviction, the highest in New Jersey.

Under § 39:4-129(b), failing to stop at a properly damage accident results in a fine between $200 and $400, jail of up to 30 days, or both. In addition, the driver’s license must be revoked for at least 6 months from the date of conviction. This is also a 2 point conviction.

Hit and run is very serious in NJ. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, contact our New Jersey leaving the scene of an accident defense lawyers. Our hit and run lawyers and attorney will prepare your case and tell your side of the story. Often times the accused did not even know he was involved in an accident. This is a viable defense to the claim. Further, in any NJ defense to leaving the scene of an accident, it is critical that you remediate the damage, pay restitution, and exchange insurance information. Our failure to report and accident defense attorneys will assist you in your leaving the scene of an accident defense to make sure all of the necessary reporting gets accomplished.

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