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Red light cameras are up and running in certain sections of Newark. Many motorist are beginning to receive tickets in the mail for alleged violations of NJSA 39:4-81, running a red light. Under normal circumstances, a conviction for this offense would result in a fine of up to $200 and 2 motor vehicle points. However, this particular variety of red light ticket does not carry points, and the fine in the Newark traffic court is typically $85. BUT HOLD ON.

This is still a moving violation, as I am sure some will find out. This means that if you are on probationary status with the division of motor vehicles, meaning you are prohibited from receiving any moving violations, point or no point, and you plead guilty to this offense, your license will be SUSPENDED by motor vehicles for violating the probation. Therefore, it will be necessary to either amend this ticket to a non-point, non-moving violation, or go to trial. Your next question is how do I do that. It will probably require the assistance of an attorney. I have had tremendous success defending traffic offenses in the Newark Municipal Court and can be contacted for a free consultation.

The moral of the story, think before you act. Talk to an attorney, check with motor vehicles, but make sure that you understand the possible consequences of a guilty plea.

A common companion offense to drug possession charges is possession of CDS in a motor vehicle in violation of NJSA 39:4-49.1. During my initial consultations with prospective clients facing drug related charges in the Newark Municipal Court, one of my first questions will be were you operating a vehicle, and were you issued any traffic citations. Many drug related arrest are effectuated following a traffic stop and subsequent search. Plain view and plain smell cases ( i.e. marijuana smoke, cocaine residue, heroine baggies) are common. The legitimacy of the stop is important for suppression purposes. But the auto component of the alleged offense also provides police the chance to issue a traffic summons for possession of cds in an automobile.

Most people do not realize that this ticket, if convicted, carries with it a mandatory 2 year loss of license. If the defendant is simply charged with a marijuana, cocaine, heroine, etc, possession charge, he/she will face a license suspension if convicted, but there are provision in the sentencing statutes that allow for a hardship application by the defendant’s attorney. This means that even if the court were to find the defendant guilty after trial, the defendant still has a chance to keep his/her driving privileges. However, if the defendant is  charged with both possession of CDS and possession in a motor vehicle, and is found guilty at trial, he/she will likely be found guilty of both offenses. And although the defendant may be able to avoid the NJSA 2C:35-10 suspension, there is no corresponding relief available for the traffic offense of possession of CDS in the motor vehicle in violation of NJSA 39:4-49.1.

For many clients I represent in Newark facing this situation, the potential  two year loss of driving privileges is a far more serious penalty than those which are typically imposed for a straight simple possession charge.

The New Jersey traffic offense of failure to maintain lane is a 2 point moving violation. This traffic offense is often charged in conjunction with other traffic tickets. The following section is the text of NJSA 39:4-88.  If you have been issued a ticket for this common motor vehicle offense, and would like a free consultation with an attorney to discuss the available defenses, please call our Firm today.

NJSA 39:4-88

When a roadway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic, drivers of vehicles shall obey the following regulations:

Over 4000 fugitives turned themselves in over the course of a four day safe surrender program in Newark NJ. Safe Surrender is a nation wide program which provide an opportunity for those with outstanding warrants to turn themselves in without the usual penalties.

Typically speaking, those with arrest warrants can face fines, jail, contempt charges, license suspensions, etc. Over the course of the four day period, lines formed outside the designated locations. In many cases the warrants were dismissed. The majority of the warrants were for traffic offenses and disorderly person charges that were never properly addressed.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office participated and applauded those who took this opportunity to make good. In consideration of the warrant surrender, many will receive favorable consideration during court proceedings.

Get ready for winter and make sure your ice scrapers are ready. The governor of New Jersey recently signed into law yet another new traffic offense. N.J.S.A. 39-77.1 was amended to include a series of new provisions, including making it a motor vehicle offense to operate a car with accumulates ice on the the vehicle. This includes the entire vehicle, trunk, windshield, hood, etc.
The police are authorized to stop motor vehicles that they feel are posing a threat to person or property as a result of the accumulated snow and ice. The new offense is a non-point violation and for a first offense a fine of up to $75. But take a look at the statute that follows, the penalties could be much more severe in some circumstances.

C.39:4-77.1) is amended to

Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a serious motor vehicle offense that can result in criminal charges depending upon the circumstances. Most individuals facing a leaving the scene of an accident charge in NJ will not be facing criminal charges, however the penalties upon conviction for leaving the scene of an accident in New Jersey are severe and life altering nonetheless. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Newark NJ attorney or Essex County municipal court lawyer who is familiar with the specific court that your leaving the scene of an accident matter will be heard. The  right attorney could mean the difference between losing you license for a year and walking away with a minor fine or a not guilty verdict. Please take the time to read the following sections which explain the offense, the penalties, and defenses. This information regarding NJ leaving the scene of the accident law will be helpful and our consultations are always free

Leaving the Scene of an Accident N.J.S.A. 39:4-129

As previously mentioned, most leaving the scene of the accident charges are under the jurisdiction of the municipal court. The traffic offense of leaving the scene of an accident is penalized under the authority of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129. Please take a moment to review the statue that follows. The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident follow this section.

Second Offense DWI Within 10 Years of Previous Violation Including Out Of State Offenses:

Just to be clear, the ten year step down has its limitations. The 10 years step down only provides for “one step” down. Therefore, if it has been 10 years since your last DWI Offense and your last Conviction was for a third offense, the current charge will be treated as a second DWI offense.  If you are charged with a second offense DWI in NJ and it had been ten years since your last conviction in this state or any other, you will be treated as a first offender.

Secondly, If you are charged with a DWI offense in NJ within 10 years of receiving a step down in connection with the prior offense, the instant offense will be treated as if you never received the step down. For example, if you were convicted of a first offense in 1997 and were arrested in 2008 for a second time, the court would apply the rule and treat the defendant as a first offender. However, if in 2009 you were arrested and charged once again with DWI in NJ, you would be subject to third offense DWI penalties. Even though you were treated as a first offender on the last offense, the court will not treat the most recent offense as a second.

I recently defended a client charged with domestic violence simple assault in Newark NJ. The alleged offense occurred in the defendant’s home during an argument between husband and wife. Neither the defendant nor his wife had contacted the police to come to the home, however a neighbor took it upon themselves to call 911. When the police arrived, my client’s wife told the police that she did not want to file a complaint. Nonetheless she made several statements implicating my client and did have some redness on her extremities. She complained of some pain. The facts present here are fairly common with NJ domestic violence simple assault charges and are sufficient for the police to charge.

No restraining order was filed in this particular case, and when I met with my client for the initial interview, his wife was present. I have lots of experience handling domestic violence issues and understand that it is important to protect my client first. However, on many occasions, it may be necessary to counsel both parties about the cycle of abuse that may or may not be churning, because frequently couples would like to work things out.

Often, I have my clients and their families seek counseling prior to the hearing date. This is effective both in obtaining good results for my client and for finding out if there is a more serious underlying problem that needs addressing.

I recently posted an article regarding New Jersey Motor Vehicle traffic offenses, points and surcharges. This is a follow up to that discussion and clarification. There are two particular categories to be addressed and the distinction is important. The two categories are NJ motor vehicle surcharges and NJ Insurance eligibility points. Frequently the two are confused. I will address each in turn. Remember, a NJ traffic defense lawyer and municipal court attorney will work with you to formulate solid defenses. The law is intricate and confusing, but experienced lawyers can navigate the gauntlet. Remember, the best way to avoid the myriad of penalties outlined below is to hire experienced counsel.

Motor vehicle surcharges are a civil penalty and imposed under the authority granted to the Chief Administrator of the the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). These surcharges are imposed when a licensee compiles too many motor vehicle points or is convicted of certain Title 39 motor vehicle offenses. Once surcharges have been levied against you, you must make timely payments or be subject to possible indefinite license suspension or judgment and judgment for the surcharge amount. Surcharges are predictable, meaning the amount assessed is fixed for just about all eligible Nj traffic violations and point accumulations. The best Nj traffic ticket lawyers will uderstand how to best structure a case to avoid as many surcharges as possible.

Surcharges are imposed for the following offenses:

If you have been charged with driving without insurance in Newark NJ, contact a Newark traffic violation lawyer immediately to determine the defenses you may have to this serious motor vehicle offense.

The penalties for driving without insurance are as follows:

  1. For a first offense, one years loss of license, fine between $300 and $1000, community service.
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