You’ve spent a lovely day at Laurel Acres Park in Mount Laurel, and you are headed home to Philadelphia or your house right in the township. It may be late, making it hard to see the road, especially in more poorly lit residential areas. You may not have even seen the stop sign that you drove through without stopping. But a police officer did, and you are suddenly the recipient of a Mount Laurel traffic ticket.
If you are worried that simply paying the fine and forgetting about the ticket is not enough, you are right. The way that New Jersey traffic laws are set up means that there are other penalties you could receive even aside from your fine, and paying the fine does not cancel out those other penalties. Furthermore, those penalties do not go away for a long time, so any kind of traffic ticket can have lasting consequences on your daily life and on your finances. However, you have the option to plead not guilty and take your ticket to court to have it heard by a judge, and once you choose to take this route, you need a Mount Laurel traffic attorney to help build your defense and make sure that you have your penalties reduced or eliminated altogether.
If this is not your first traffic ticket, you may not know what kind of penalty you will face for the traffic ticket you received. Aside from fines and any other fees, there is a point system that New Jersey uses as a penalty for traffic tickets. The points that are added to your license range in amount based on what your traffic ticket was for. Running a stop sign, for example, gets two points added, whereas an improper turn gets three points added and racing on a highway gets five points added. The number of points generally correspond to how serious the offense is. These points accumulate on your license if you are charged with more than one traffic violation, and once you reach six points total, you are required by law to pay certain surcharges on top of whatever fines or fees you owe, starting at $150 worth of surcharges and increasing by the number of points over six on your license. Your car insurance premiums can also legally go up when the insurance company finds out about the points. Even worse, after twelve points on your license, it can be suspended and you won’t be able to drive freely for a while. The biggest difference in penalties is with DUIs, where you do not get points added to your license but instead face fines in the $200 to $300 range and jail time for your first offense, and more if it is not your first offense. All of these are steep penalties and can seriously affect your wallet and your lifestyle, even if you just made one small error when driving.
By choosing to plead not guilty to your traffic ticket, you are agreeing to have your case heard in the Mount Laurel municipal court before a judge, and your side of the story will be heard as well as the perspective of the officer who actually wrote your ticket (http://mountlaurel.com/departments/court/). You should know that without a lawyer on your side, it is much harder to win your case. People who defend themselves in traffic court often do not win because judges tend to side with the police officers and with law enforcement on traffic cases, especially if you have gotten a traffic ticket before. But with an experienced Mount Laurel traffic ticket lawyer on your side, you have an excellent chance of winning your case with the help of skilled and knowledgeable legal representation.
There are many circumstances where a traffic ticket can be proven to be inaccurate or legally needs to be reduced or thrown out. For example, radar or speed guns can give false readings, or the police officers can be operating them without training. In addition, sometimes signs are obscured and cannot be seen, which is a valid reason for not regarding a traffic sign or light. Your lawyer can help prove these circumstances in court in order to have those penalties reduced or have your ticket dismissed. Don’t hesitate to fight those unfair penalties — call our offices today.