You’re sightseeing in Edison for the day, enjoying the Edison State Park and learning about the famous inventor. You’ve been in your car all day driving around, and it’s time to go home. Maybe you’re tired, which makes you a little more distracted than usual, or maybe you’re not familiar with the area. Either way, you commit a simple traffic violation: you miss a stop sign, or you accidentally go a few miles over the speed limit. And as luck would have it, you get caught by an Edison police officer and get slapped with a traffic ticket.
This may not be your first traffic ticket, so you may think you know the drill — admit you messed up, pay your fine, and move on. Unfortunately, it is not that easy under New Jersey law. The traffic law system in New Jersey actually has other penalties besides a fine that come attached to committing a traffic violation, penalties that do not go away or disappear when the fine is paid. This means that a traffic ticket in New Jersey can actually have effects that last for years after you accidentally ran that stop sign.
One well known penalty under New Jersey traffic law is having points added to your license, a system that many other states share. The basic idea is that for each traffic violation recognized under state law, there is a certain number of points that accompany each violation. If you commit a traffic violation, you will have that number of points added to your driver’s license, and they stay on your record at the DMV. Once those points add up to six or more, you can expect to pay surcharges based on how many points above and including six you have on your license. Your car insurance premiums can also go up under state law. And once those points add up to twelve, you will likely have your driver’s license suspended, meaning that you lose the freedom to drive yourself around whenever you wish. It is easier than you think to accumulate six points on your license — all it usually takes is two or three traffic violations. If you are caught speeding between 15 and 29 miles above the speed limit, that’s four points on your license already. Add onto that two points for running a stop sign or a red light, and you’re already looking at surcharges and increased car insurance premiums. DUIs are a little different — instead of having points added to your license, they will result in expensive fines and jail time, even if it is your first offense. Those fines and the time in jail will only increase if it is not your first offense. It is for these reasons that many people look to an Edison traffic ticket lawyer for assistance — they are not willing to pay huge amounts of money for years simply because they made a few simple mistakes while driving.
Luckily, you have the option of taking your case to the Edison municipal court to be heard before a judge . There, with the help of your lawyer, you can plead not guilty to your traffic ticket and have the evidence considered in court. However, you should not attempt to represent yourself in municipal court. Defending yourself is not only extremely difficult, but judges do not look very kindly upon people who have committed traffic violations and who try to defend themselves. Having the representation of a skilled and experienced traffic ticket attorney is invaluable in this situation, because they have the ability to present solid and concrete evidence that will convince the judge of your innocence. With a solid argument like demonstrating that the speed limit sign was obstructed from view, or that you were technically in the intersection when the light turned red, the judge is much more likely to consider your side of the story rather than only listening to the arguments of the police officer and will be more likely to reduce your penalties or even to throw out your ticket altogether. Furthermore, working with a lawyer will ultimately cost you much less than it would to pay all those surcharges, fines, and increased insurance premiums over the years.