Under New Jersey law, a license is suspended by either a judge or the motor vehicle administration. A license may be suspended for exceeding motor vehicle points within a specific period or for nonpayment of fines or surcharges. Each time a driver violates a traffic law, points are added against his driver’s record. Once these points exceed a certain number within a three year period, a driver’s license will be suspended.
The state has tough laws regarding driving with a suspended license. If your driver privileges are suspended in another state, but you hold a New Jersey driver’s license, you still may be charged with driving with a suspended license. If you or a loved one is accused of driving on a suspended license, Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith is committed to helping you.
Reasons Why a Driver’s License is Suspended
You may have an outstanding driving record, but you are charged with driving on a suspended license. Although many drivers may have their licenses suspended because of traffic violations, there are other reasons as well. In fact, there are many reasons why New Jersey Motor Vehicle Services suspends a driver’s license, such as:
- Driving without insurance
- Not making a scheduled court payment
- Not appearing at a scheduled court date
- Unpaid surcharges or fines
- Overdue or unpaid child support
Proving Suspended License
To secure a conviction for driving while suspended, the state must prove there is:
- You were operating the vehicle
- Your driver privileges were suspended
- The suspension was imposed by a judge or the Motor Vehicle Commission
- An order of suspension was entered
- Notice of proposed suspension was sent to you
- You failed to restore your driving privilege
Possible Penalties for Driving While Suspended
New Jersey separates suspended license penalties according to the number of offenses. Each time you are charged with driving on a suspended license you face a different penalty.
- Fine of $500
- Additional license suspension
- Fine of $750
- Up to five days in jail
- Additional license suspension for approximately six months
Third and Subsequent Offenses
- Fine of $1,000
- 10 days in jail (mandatory)
- Additional license suspension
- Pay $250 a year for three years for a rating plan increase surcharge (separate from the fine)
If you are accused of driving on a suspended license and involved an accident with injuries, you face possible jail time. The court must give you a minimum of 45 days in jail. The maximum is 180 days in jail. The sentence is imposed even if you didn’t cause the accident.
Possible Defenses for Driving While Suspended in NJ
A question of whether you were properly notified about your license suspension is a viable defense. This could be:
- Incorrect address
- Whether you were actually notified of the suspension
- Someone at your residence opened your mail
- Problems receiving your mail
There are additional defenses that may get your driving while suspended charge dismissed. The fact remains, driving on a suspended license is a serious charge. It is important to defend yourself and retain your driving privileges. Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith has experience with driving while suspended cases to help you.