People who encounter a legal problem often wonder whether they should hire an attorney, especially when their brush with the law doesn’t appear to be too serious and is more of an annoyance than a crisis. Take suspension of a driver’s license, for example. Unless it resulted from something major like a DWI/DUI, it just doesn’t seem like a major issue, does it? Surely you can handle it and, if necessary, just talk to any attorney in case you run into a snag, right? Not necessarily. The question to ask yourself isn’t so much whether you should hire an attorney. The better question to ask yourself is “should I hire a driver’s license suspension lawyer in NJ?”
For what reasons can the State suspend my license?
It surprises many to discover that driving a car is not a right but, rather, a privilege, granted by the state. Because it is granted by the state, it should come as no surprise that it can also be easily taken away. Are you capable of protecting your legal ability to drive without the services of a driver’s license suspension lawyer in NJ?
The grounds upon which New Jersey can suspend your driver’s license include:
- Unpaid traffic tickets.
- Failure to appear in court. This is never a good idea, no matter what the legal problem is.
- Failure to reply to a Motor Vehicle Commission Notice.
- The accumulation of more than 12 points against your driving record.
- Points have a habit of sneaking up on people. If you have any concerns about your current status, you may wish to consider requesting a driver’s abstract from the Motor Vehicle Commission.
- Driving a motor vehicle not properly registered by a state.
- Driving without car insurance/failure to provide proof of car insurance. Not only will this probably result in a suspension of your license, it will likely cause you problems obtaining affordable insurance going forward.
- A finding that you are, for either physical or psychological reasons, unfit to drive.
- Reckless driving.
- Failure to pay child support.
- Abandonment of a motor vehicle on a public roadway.
- Being found responsible for a traffic fatality.
Are there other penalties that I could suffer from?
Hiring a driver’s license suspension lawyer in NJ may not only help you avoid the suspension itself but also protect you from other potential penalties as well, penalties that range from moderate to severe. To better understand the risk you may be taking by not hiring an attorney, you should review the punishment New Jersey can impose, which could include losing your license for up to three years or jail time.
Also keep in mind that:
- Your license will be suspended if you are pulled over for suspicion of a DWI or DUI and you refuse a breathalyzer test.
- If it’s determined that you operated a motor vehicle in New Jersey with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08%, New Jersey law permits the state to impose one, some or all of the following:
- Imprisonment (length of term depends on numerous factors).
- Driver’s license suspension.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device that is designed to deter drinking and driving.
- The vehicle will not start until the driver undergoes what is in essence a breathalyzer exam by the device. If the driver fails the exam, the car won’t start.
- Fines, court costs and applicable surcharges.
- A specific type and duration of community service.
The downside of a DUI or DWI conviction isn’t limited to court imposed punishment, however. If you are prevented from driving because your license is revoked you could be facing, among other things, loss of employment, the inability to engage in volunteer activities or modification of child custody or visitation rights because you are no longer able to meet the obligations set out in the custody/visitation order.
How else can a driver’s license suspension lawyer in NJ help me?
A driver’s license suspension lawyer in NJ can also help you deal with other issues as well such as further suspension for additional accumulation of points against your record for traffic violations.
- For example, if you accumulate points within 6 months, your license will again be suspended for 90 days.
- If you accumulate points within 7-9 months, your suspension will last 60 days.
- A suspension of 45 days will occur for points against your driving record within 12 months.
The above apply only for the 1st offense after a suspension. A suspension will again be imposed for a 2nd offense according to the following:
- 180 days for points within 6 months.
- 120 days for points within 7-9 months.
- 90 days for points within 12 months after the first offense.
If you are facing suspension or revocation of your driving privileges, do not make the mistake of underestimating the severity of the situation, no matter what others may tell you. Unless you’re very confident that you have a clear understanding of the facts, circumstances and law that apply to your case, you do yourself a great disservice if you don’t at least consider hiring a driver’s license suspension lawyer in NJ. You may save some money in the short run, but that won’t matter much if you lose the ability to operate a motor vehicle and impact your ability to work, take care of family and other personal matters.