I got a Traffic Ticket. What do I do?

Traffic tickets in New Jersey can carry both fines and points. Sometimes an appearance in Municipal Court can also be required. They are also the most common reason for a New Jersey resident or visitor to interact with the legal system. Oftentimes people can be confused about what exactly to do when they get a ticket.

Jonathan Herron
March 15, 2018

This post is meant to provide some basic information about traffic tickets, possible consequences, and how to get help with your ticket.

If you want answers to questions about a ticket you have received please contact us for a free case evaluation.

 

 

What are the Consequences of a Ticket?

Traffic tickets carry consequences ranging from fines, points on your license, license suspension, insurance surcharges, and combinations of these possibilities.

They also appear on your New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC)Driver's Abstract.  This is your record as a driver and having certain offense on your abstract can limit your ability to get a job, get a commercial driver's license, your insurance premiums, and possibly even the ability to get insurance.

For a list of how many points an infraction can be, click here

Click here to see a copy of a New Jersey traffic ticket.

 

Why are Points Bad?

Points are used by the MVC as a measure of how safe a driver you are.    If you get to many points the MVC has the authority to suspend your driver's license.

Insurance companies also use points when determining auto insurance premiums.  Those with points on their license are seen as more risky to insure and thus get higher premiums.

 

What Happens if I just Pay the Ticket Without Going to Court?

Paying the ticket without appearing in court is available for most offenses.  Doing this is the same as pleading guilty.  This means that any fine(s) and/or point(s) are issued when the ticket is paid.  It also means that a record of your guilty plea is added to your driver's abstract from the MVC.

 

What Happens if I Go to Court?

If you go to court then you get a trial.  In that trial the prosecutor will have to prove that you did the offense listed on your ticket.  You will get the chance to cross-examine any witnesses.

After the Prosecutor presents his case you will have the opportunity to present a defense.

If the Judge decides that the prosecution did not prove their case then you will prevail (win) and the ticket will not go on your record.  If the Judge decides the Prosecutor did prove their case then you will be found guilty.  You will be levied some combination of fine(s), court costs, points, and/or a license suspension.

Before trial the Prosecutor may offer you a plea deal.  This means you will plead guilty to a lesser charge.  This could be a way to get no points, or less points than if you go to trial.  An offer of a plea bargain is not necessarily the Prosecutor thinking they have a weak case.  They will likely still be willing to go to trial, and they can still win.

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you.

 

 

Do I Need an Attorney?

There is no law that requires you to have an attorney. However, Municipal Court is still court and there are rules and procedures you likely will not be familiar with.  An attorney knows these rules, and knows how to provide a defense.

If you hire an attorney they will provide many services including:

  1. Communications with the Court and Prosecutor regarding scheduling your court date.
  2. Obtaining discovery of the Prosecutor's evidence.
  3. Evaluation the discovery and planning a strategy for defense of the charge(s).
  4. Explaining the law and your options to you.
  5. Ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process.
  6. Negotiating with the Prosecutor in an attempt to get a plea bargain which achieves your goals.
  7. Representing you at trial.

An attorney has the training, knowledge, and experience to help you navigate through the court process.  They won't be able to guarantee a particular result but they can guarantee you have a passionate advocate on your side.

If you have received a traffic ticket in New Jersey and want a Free case evaluation from Jonathan Herron of the Herron Law Firm contact me today.

The Herron Law Firm is proud to represent clients in Municipal Courts located in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, Cumberland, and Salem Counties.  We accept credit cards and offer payment plans for client's convenience.

In addition to representing client's who have received traffic tickets we offer representation in all Municipal Court Matters in clouding DUI/DWI, Underage Drinking, Drug Possession, Public Drinking, Shoplifting, and all Disorderly Persons Offenses (Misdemeanors).

Contact the Herron Law Firm on Attornify today for the help you need.

About The Author
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I became an attorney to help people. I focus my practice in criminal law, traffic ticket defense, and personal bankruptcy to make a positive difference in my client's lives. I also help clients prepare wills, administer estates, and buy or sell real estate. I understand that most people have no ...

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