When you are issued a traffic ticket in New Jersey, the ticket itself typically does not give you the information you need, other than the your court date and violation code. What it does not tell you is that the fines you are subject to may be doubled in a variety of circumstances. The ticket does not tell you how many points you will be assessed, i.e. improper passing in violation of NJSA 39:4-86 is 4 points.

Speeding ticket fines will be doubled of the offense occurred in a 65 mph zone (if you are convicted). Speeding violation fines also double if you are convicted of driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit.

Also, if the traffic offense occurred in a construction zone or “safe corridor” and it is a traffic offense enumerated in NJSA 39:4-203.5, the fines will also be doubled.

In many instances, penalties for a number of traffic and document violations also include surcharges, i.e. driving while suspended, driving without a license under certain sections, driving while intoxicated, just to name a few.

Under extreme facts, an egregious traffic violation could result in jail time. A very high speed speeding ticket, DWI, or a charge of reckless driving could fall into this catagory.

Whenever you receive a traffic violation, there are many possible penalties that you may not be aware of. For this reason, you should contact a lawyer who deals with traffic tickets and provides free consultation. The information you receive will be worth its weight in gold.

Over and over again, police in every jurisdiction issue careless driving tickets to people involved in motor vehicle accidents, even though there was no one to witness it. In most cases, the accident involves two cars. In the majority of those situations, neither motorist believes they were at fault. In some instances, if not many, neither person is even aware how the accident occurred. Sometimes a careless driving summons is issued even when there were no other cars involved in the accident and there were no witnesses, i.e. driver runs into guardrail.

Nonetheless, police are quick to make their own findings, and issue a ticket to who they believe to be at fault.

Just because an accident occurred, does not mean that you drove carelessly. in fact, New Jersey case law says just the opposite. In order for the state to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, there must prove that the defendant lacked due caution and circumspection, and it resulted in danger or likelihood of danger to person or property. Both elements must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt

There needs to be some evidence of the defendant’s manner of driving. Simple being in an accident does not demonstrate anything. Yet, most prosecutors would rather make the self represented defendant prove his case in the court room and hold you to the rules of court then dismiss. They are confident you will say something to incriminate yourself. Alternatively, they may offer you an amendment to a zero point unsafe operation of a motor vehicle offense which is a $400 ticket and you only get to use if twice in five years.

In most of the careless driving cases I handle, the only evidence of carelessness is the accident. In many others, the only witness to the careless driving is the other driver who has a real stake in not being the one who was at fault. For that reason, the testimony of that person is motivated, which brings its credibility into question.

If you have been in an accident and issued a ticket for careless driving, or if you have been issued a ticket for careless driving under for some other reason, it really would be smart to consult with a lawyer who deals with violations of NJSA 4:97 on a daily basis.

Pay attention to the fine print on your Newark NJ criminal complaint or traffic ticket. Ordinarily, there is going to be a court date listed near the bottom of the document. In many instances, the defendant facing a criminal or traffic offense wants to plead not guilty. So you follow the instructions on the ticket regarding entering not guilty pleas, right? Chances are, if you have done this, you have encountered some difficulty reaching court personnel and you are not sure if you need to be there or not.

One of the nice benefits that you receive when you hire a lawyer to represent you in Newark is you do not need to worry about the “administrative” end of things. This portion of the case for many “pro se” defendants is frequently the most frustrating. It can result in the issuance of warrants for your arrest and other unpleasant consequences.

I am often contacted by clients who have attempted to schedule a court date, thought they had completed the task, and received notification shortly thereafter that there was a warrant for their arrest for failure to appear. This can be a nerve racking experience.

In most instances, I am able to get the warrant recalled (without bail) and get the matter listed on the court docket for adjudication. Then, I handle the case properly, requesting discovery, filing motions if necessary, subpoenaing witnesses if necessary, and make the state prove the case. Remember, beyond a reasonable doubt is not something just for movies. As an aside, think for a moment about that concept, beyond a reasonable doubt, focusing on the word reasonable and beyond.

Money may be tight in this economy, but there is nothing that costs more than a job done poorly. We all know that doing something twice costs more than doing it once. So, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer familiar with the Newark Court. The cost is typically cheaper than you think and will almost always save you time and money in the long run

I just completed another driving while suspended matter in the Newark Municipal Court, where the underlying suspension was as a result of failure to appear and unpaid traffic violations in other New Jersey Courts.

The problems that a defendant faces with these suspensions issue are numerous. First, driving privileges can not restore until the underlying court cases are resolved. This could be one issue or many. There may be warrants that require the posting of bail. The matters will need be put back on the docket. Frequently, my clients have serious time constraints because they can not restore their license and they have to work. Before hiring me, they typically have made some attempt to try to resolve it themselves, but quickly realize the bureaucratic quagmire they are in. They can’t get straight answers from the courts and do not have a solid grasp on which courts still have a hold on their license.

I in no way want to dissuade an individual from trying to figure out how to fix the mess, but they should be aware. Unrepresented individuals in this type of situation typically leave many loose ends, and although they may think that the problem is resolved, they quickly find out that it requires more and more and more.

I have handled so many of these types of cases that I know how to gather all the issues under one umbrella. Depending on the number of courts involved, it could be resolved quickly or it may take some time. For example, I just finished a case for a client who had received a suspended license ticket in Newark for unresolved tickets in East Orange and Irvington. He tried to do it himself. After months of trying, it did not work and his license remained suspended. He hired me and I was able to get him back on the docket in all three courts within a week and the cases resolved in two weeks. His license was restored the day after we were finished.

Additionally, I saved him from an additional 180 days of suspension. Here is how. When he was issued the ticket in Irvington, his license was suspended because of another failure to appear in East Orange. However, he was not issued a ticket in Irvington for suspended license, only a moving violation. I knew his license was suspended at that time because I requested a certified driver abstract and reviewed it. He was planning on going to court and pleading guilty to the offense just to get it “over with”. If he had done that, the motor vehicle commission would have independently suspended his license for 6 months because he was operating during a period of suspension and would have admitted to doing so by pleading guilty to the careless driving ticket. I was able to negotiate a non-moving violation plea, and avoid this.

And, although he had several other driving while suspended tickets on his record, I was able to convince the prosecutor that the priors could not be used to enhance his sentence with the present offense. In fact, the driving while suspended ticket in Newark was amended to a document violation, thus avoiding surcharges, suspensions, and possible jail time.

Listen, it makes no sense to mess around with this stuff when so much is at stake. For most who live in NJ, WE NEED OUR LICENSE…can’t live without it. So do yourself a favor and talk to someone who knows before you go to court.

You have been arrested for marijuana possession again. The police charge you with possession of less than 50 grams. OK, it is a misdemeanor. However, if you are convicted, it will go on your record, you will be on probation, you will lose your license for 6 months, and you just found out the prosecutor is recommending 30 days in the county jail.

Additionally, you do not have a conditional discharge available because of your prior PTI (pre-trial intervention). What are your options? Well, every case is different. But in my opinion, when faced with a situation such as this, there is very little down side to taking the case to trial.

The first step is to consult with an experienced NJ marijuana defense lawyer and determine what (if any) you defenses are. Sometimes, a defendant charged with NJSA 2C:35-10a(4) may not have any defenses. But more often than not, there is at least a probable cause or suppression issue to be explored. These may include automobile search exception requirements, consent searches, pat down searches, plain view and plain smell claims, etc.

Secondly, the state may have lab report and chain of custody problems. This discovery provided to your defense attorney may present a break in the chain of custody on its face. The lab report may be missing or not provided in a timely fashion, which could lead to a dismissal.

Occasionally, the state may proceed under the theory of constructive possession, when the accused was not in actual possession of the marijuana. These cases are typically harder to prove.

This is the bottom line. In situations such as these, when the plea offer is essentially the same as if you had been found guilty at trial, and you have a defense (even minor) to the charge, why not take a shot. An good criminal defense lawyer may be able to get you a not guilty verdict. Alternatively, even if you are found guilty following trial, your attorney may be able to lesson the penalties you face during sentencing by making a compelling argument.

I can be reached for more information via the phone number listed above.

I represented a client charged with several serious traffic violations. This included a driving without insurance charge. As you may know, this offense carries with it some of the most severe penalties imposed in a traffic matter. If convicted, the court is required to suspend your license for a period of not less than 1 year. Under certain circumstances, you can even go to jail.

In this particular instance, my client was an out of state resident. There was no doubt that he was not insured at the time of the incident, and it was also clear that all the statutory requirements for cancellation had been adhered to.

However, I was able to make a rather unique argument which involved the defendant’s residency and questioned if he was actually subject to the insurance laws of this state in this particular instance.

After a heated motion hearing, it was decided that the officer who issued the ticket had no authority to do so. The case law that I presented and argued was persuasive and the State could not proceed on the charge.

Therefore, the judge dismissed the ticket.

I have had great success in New Jersey beating no insurance tickets. This is an area of the law that I have spent a great deal of time researching and have experience making difficult/winning arguments. The stakes are too high for someone charged with this offense. The accused deserves representation that truly understands how to defend no insurance tickets.

I represented a defendant charged with assault and disorderly conduct by the New Jersey Transit Police following a fight on a New Jersey Transit train between my client and another individual. The facts were somewhat troubling from the Newark Municipal Court prosecutor’s point of view, because it was alleged that my client had bitten the other individual during the course of the altercation, and scared him as a result.

Biting is always treated a little differently because of the possible consequences, i.e. disease, infection, permanent scaring, etc. However, in this particular situation, it was unclear (as far as I was concerned) whether there was any purposeful action by my client to inflict this type of injury given the facts of the situation as the began to reveal themselves.

Following multiple conferences with the prosecutor and the defense attorney for the other involved person, it was agreed that the disorderly conduct charge would be dismissed, and the assault complaint would be amended to a municipal ordinance violation and a $125.00 fine.

As a result of this plea, my client walked away with no criminal record.

In State v Green, the Appellate Division held that the the Stalker Lidar speed measurement device has not yet shown to be scientifically reliable. Consequently, the speed reading, or the clocked speed, captured by this device may not be used as proof of speed. Stalker Lidar is a lasar speed measurement device as opposed to a radar based technology. It is becoming increasingly popular amongst police departments, including some notable Essex and Hudson County departments that issue a large volume of speeding tickets. Port Authority Police are also know to frequently use Stalker Lidar.

Usually, speed measurement devices used to clock the speed of a driver will be accepted by the trial court as scientifically reliable, i.e. K-55 Radar. However, scientific reliability is only one aspect of admissibility. In addition, there must be proof that the machine was properly calibrated and sufficiently tested both prior to and and the conclusion of the officer’s tour. Moreover, the State must show that the operator of the device had sufficient training and operated the radar properly.

This door has opened for speeding ticket defense lawyers on this one. However, the overwhelming likelihood is that it will close quickly. If you have been issued a speeding ticket, you should at least consult with a speeding ticket lawyer to discuss not only the availability of this defense, but others as well.

If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you may be eligible to have that record sealed through a legal process called an expungement. An expungement is a petition that is filed with the court on behalf of the individual seeking to clean his record. The petition must be in the proper form and comply with the rules as promulgated by the expungement statute. The process is paperwork intensive and requires a fairly substantial attention to detail.

Additionally, not everyone with a conviction on his record is eligible for an expungement. N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 sets forth the requirements. The statute is confusing and the various subsections of the expungement statute mingle to produce some unusual and illogical results.

On many occasions I have spoken to potential clients who have attempted to file expungement petitions on their own. They have contacted me after having the petition denied for a procedural defect. This, of course, was after hours and hours toiling to complete the complicated paperwork and prepare all the mailing to the various agencies to be notified. This happens frequently.

That is why it is my opinion that a potential expungement petitioner looking to clear his or her record should minimally contact a New Jersey expungement attorney prior to making any decisions and with questions regarding eligibility.

I am available 24/7 for a free consultation.

A recently represented a defendant charged with a serious third degree criminal offense called terroristic threats in violation of NJSA 2C:12-3. This is an indictable criminal offense (felony). The case started out at the Essex County Superior Court. After discussions with the AP, the case was remanded to the Newark Municipal Court and initially downgraded to a petty disorderly persons offense called harassment.

After a few months of discovery issues, a police report was finally produced. One of the big problems that the State had was that one of the main witnesses was an identified person that the state conceded could not be located. However, the conduct in question was mainly directed a the police officers involved, so there was certainly questions on both sides as to the outcome at trial.

After negotiations, the State agreed to recommend that my client plead guilty to a municipal ordinance violation. This is not a criminal offense and does not appear on a criminal record. It is typically assessed as a fine only. Given where the defendant started, he was very happy with the outcome.