What Penalties are You Facing for Your Traffic Ticket?
You might not think it’s such a big deal. After all, your friend went to court without a lawyer and got his traffic ticket dismissed. However, you should know that every situation is different. Moreover, you should understand the penalties you could be facing for your traffic citation.
Traffic violations come with a number of consequences. In some cases, you could find yourself without a license. And, that’s not all. Some motor vehicle offenses mean jail sentences. And, almost all convictions involve an outlay of sums of money.
There’s also the issue of motor vehicle points. These are assessed for moving violations only. More than likely, you already know what happens when you get too many of them. Just in case, we will give you a breakdown of some common traffic citations and how points work against you.
Traffic Point Schedule
First, the basics. If you are found guilty of a moving violation, points will be placed on your record in accordance with a statutory traffic point schedule. Take a look at the back of your ticket and match it up with the violations listed here.
Why are the points relevant? For starters, an accumulation of 12 or more points calls for your license suspension. Points are only deducted if you go an entire year without getting another traffic conviction. And, you can also count on a surcharge for just six points in a three-year period.
No doubt you can guess that you want to avoid a buildup of points. In many cases, points will also mean an increase in your automobile insurance premiums.
How quickly can motor vehicle points accrue? For some, it might take just one traffic stop. Let’s say you were decided to speed through downtown Jersey City. Additionally, you run a red light. Here’s a breakdown of the motor vehicle points you could be looking at if the court finds you guilty of the following offenses:
- Reckless driving (NJSA 39:4-96) – 5 points
- Exceeding the maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit (NJSA 39:4-98) – 5 points
- Failure to stop for a traffic light (NJSA 39:4-105) – 2 points
Insurance points can also amass as a result of traffic tickets. For example, a reckless driving conviction alone carries five insurance points.
Without question, a license suspension is a tremendous inconvenience. For some, it may even represent employment issues. The advantage of going to court with an experienced traffic law attorney is an advocate to speak with the prosecutor on your behalf.
More Traffic Ticket Penalties
The penalties for traffic citations don’t just stop at an assessment of points or surcharges. There are court fees associated with any matter heard in municipal court. Additionally, defendants will be expected to pay fines.
The example we provided could well hit your pocket into the thousands of dollars. According to this schedule furnished by the courts, the speeding violation alone would be assessed at $260.
In New Jersey, driving while under the influence is considered a traffic violation. Unless there is property damage or personal injury associated with the charge, the case is heard in municipal court.
Do not make the mistake of thinking your ticket is just a traffic citation. In some cases, you could be facing incarceration as a prospective penalty.