Got Pulled Over in New Jersey and Not From Around Here? Here’s What You Need to Know
You’re traveling to Newark, NJ, to catch a flight out of the Newark Airport. The traffic is moving smoothly as you make your way to the airport. Your GPS advises you to “Keep Left Ahead”, and so you do so. Then the dreaded sound hits your ears and the blue and red lights start flashing right behind you. You pull over to the side of the road and as you collect the necessary documents, you start to wonder why the officer picked you. You weren’t speeding or driving recklessly. If this has ever happened to you, then you know how nerve-wracking it can feel.
In the state of New Jersey, it’s common for travelers from neighboring states to pass through on their way to New York. But how can you know what your rights are if you’re pulled over in another state? This is where the knowledge of an experienced New Jersey attorney like Anthony Carbone can help.
Failing to Stay to the Right
It may seem unfair because you were keeping up with traffic, following the rules of the road, and you know you weren’t speeding. You were accused of being in the left lane for longer than was necessary.
Didn’t realize that was a crime? Well, in New Jersey, it is. If convicted, a failure to observe traffic lanes offense can result in up to a $300 fine, two points on your license, and an increase in your vehicle insurance premiums.
So as an out of state driver, how can you claim innocence or guilt?
Receiving a Summons in New Jersey: What You Should Know
When you get pulled over in Jersey City, Newark, or anywhere else in New Jersey, you will receive a summons from the officer that pulled you over. If you were given a summons, it will display the information you will need to pay your fine:
- The court ID number, prefix, and ticket number
- Address and phone number of the city’s Municipal Court
- Your driver’s license information
- Your vehicle description
- The offense you were charged with
- The date, time, and location of the offense
- Information for the officer issuing the summons
- The cost of the fine for your offense
Guilty or not guilty, how do you plead?
You have two options: you can plead guilty or not guilty to the offense. If you plead guilty, you can go online to pay for your offense and accept the repercussions of your actions. However, if you pay the fine, you waive your right to an attorney if further action is required.
If you decide to plead not guilty, you need to call the court within seven days of your summons listed “pay by date”. This call is necessary to advise them of your decision and schedule a date to appear in court. During your court date, you will discuss your case with a prosecutor who will work with you on a plea bargain. For example, the prosecutor may work out a deal where you’ll pay higher fine but there will be less or no points against your license. If a plea deal is agreed upon, you’ll be seen by the judge that same day for a final verdict.
If you and the prosecutor cannot come to an agreement, the officer that was involved may be asked to come to court to plead his side of the case. If this happens, the process may continue to a trial which could take place on another day.
Court appearances for out of state offenders
When it comes to out of state offenders, your court appearance can take time away from your day, add mileage to your vehicle, disrupt your work, and accumulate costs of travel expenses. It’s important to find an attorney with the experience and the knowledge of how to help an out of state offender because the law can be different from that of your own state.
Attorney Anthony Carbone has over 30 years of experience with New Jersey laws. Before you plead guilty or not guilty to a failure to observe traffic lanes offense, contact Anthony Carbone. To better understand your rights and to see if your violations are valid, can be lessened, or dismissed entirely, contact our criminal defense lawyer. Whether you’re a New Jersey state resident or not, you have the right to have your voice heard and had an aggressive legal representative by your side.