How to Plead Not Guilty to Traffic Violation in New Jersey?

A traffic charge in New Jersey is contestable in court. If you are not happy with the charge and feel it was unfair, you can go before a judge and make your case. I did some research on how to plead not guilty to a traffic violation in New Jersey. Here’s what I found out.

First, you need to know when to defend yourself.

When Should You Defend Yourself Against a Traffic Violation in NJ?

The question is whether it is worth it to fight the traffic ticket in court. One way is to decide whether you got a simple traffic ticket or not. Let’s start with examples of simple traffic charges.

  1. Using a no-passing zone
  2. Not keeping right
  3. Careless driving
  4. Not paving the way for an emergency vehicle.
  5. Improper passing
  6. Speeding
  7. An improper U-Turn
  8. Following very closely
  9. Not maintaining a lane.
  10. Wrong backing
  11. Refusing to stop
  12. Passing a school bus
  13. Not signaling a turn.
  14. Improper backing

All these violations are in the New Jersey Statute(39:4-82 and onwards). They are simple offenses because you can state your case and be pardoned even without a lawyer. However, you could accumulate some crazy points from the, leading to a harsh suspension and fine.

For example, improper passing is subject to a 4 points penalty. If you had two points before, this makes it six, subject to a fine of $150 every year for three years. You don’t want that to happen.

In addition, you need to know offenses that are not simple so that you get yourself a good attorney.

Tough offenses tie you down with fines, revocation of license, and even worse, a jail term.

Note: You cannot make the mistake of defending yourself in this one without a lawyer.

Okay? So, what are these offenses?

  1. Driving while drunk
  2. Driving while suspended
  3. Breath test refusal
  4. Breath test refusal/li>
  5. Driving while on the phone
  6. Reckless driving
  7. Speeding(15 miles+)
  8. Driving a vehicle not insured
  9. Escaping the scene of an accident

Now you know where your traffic violation ticket lies. What follows is to defend yourself. There is a process to take. Let’s look at it in the next section.

How to Plead Not Guilty for Traffic Tickets?

  1. By pleading not guilty, you gain the right before an NJ judge. You could show up to court on the date exhibited on the traffic ticket and tell the judge you wish to plead guilty.
  2. A recommended approach: Notify the courts within three days of that one printed on your ticket or call the NJ municipal court dealing with your citation and inform them.
  3. A clerk will tell you to show up in court on the date indicated on the traffic ticket or schedule a hearing date on doing the above.
  4. Before pleading not guilty, ask yourself several questions apart from the fact that it could be or not a simple ticket. So, what are these questions:
  5. Do you have any proof(legal proof) and the means to present your evidence appropriately?
  6. What are the chances your conviction could add points to your license? If so, will the addition of points lead to a license suspension?
  7. Are you available for the multiple court appearances, if any?
  8. Could this conviction result in jail time? This depends on your traffic offense.

If you are comfortable with the worst scenarios in any of these, then game on. It is time to fight your charges in court. So, how do you go about it?

Note: Before agreeing to a plea, that accepting you are guilty significantly affects your case.

Note, the courts could assign you a public defender just in case the traffic ticket result could lead to jail time. Or, in a case where you can’t afford a traffic ticket lawyer.

The result of your case could be good or bad. Nevertheless, what are the consequences of the verdict?

Well, you’re about to find out in this next segment.

Consequences of Municipal Court Verdict for Traffic Violation in New Jersey

It is important to anticipate any ruling from a judge in New Jersey about a traffic case. Therefore, it is important to know what a good or a bad verdict will do for you. Let’s start with a good verdict.

Effects of A Positive Verdict

If found not guilty, several things will happen, as follows:

But what if you lose the case?

Implications of a Negative Verdict

This implies being found guilty of your traffic violation. The result is:

Beware: If you possess a commerce DL, you need to inform your employer of your violations within the 30 conviction days.

After this ruling, you may want to appeal the guilty verdict. Well, here’s what to do and expect:

Note that it will cost you $100 filing for the appeal and an additional amount for transcription. So, how should you go about the appeal process?

Appealing A Traffic Ticket Verdict in New Jersey

The steps are simple, as follows:

Form A-New Jersey Notice of Municipal Court Appeal
Form B-NJ Transcript Request Municipal Court

Note: If this 20-day deadline expires before your submission, the appeal hearing will not happen.

Form C- Certification of Timely Filing

You pay the $100 for filing your Notice of Appeal by money order payable or checking to the New Jersey treasurer at the Criminal Division Manager’s office.

If you cannot afford the $100, you could request court staff at Superior or Municipal Courts to help you with how to apply for a waiver on your filing fee.

Bonus recommendation: Have a checklist of each of the above steps to help with the appealing process so that you get it right.

Finally, you need to decide whether you need a lawyer or whether you wish to represent yourself. If you need a lawyer, then you could:

All that remains is not heading to court and having your last hearing. All the best in your appeal! I hope you will win this time.

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