Driving on a suspended license in New Jersey is a serious matter. It can result in substantial fines and even incarceration in some instances.
Reasons for License Suspension
- Receiving 12 or more points on your driving record.
- Failure to appear in court for a court proceeding.
- Failure to pay fines or complete community service.
- Driving without insurance.
- Alcohol or drug use while driving.
- Reckless driving.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Fault in a fatal car accident.
- Failure to pay child support.
Driving on a suspended license may result in a $500 fine. A second offense increases the fine up to $750 and can lead to incarceration for up to 5 days. Subsequent offenses can carry a fine of $1,000 and 10 days in jail.
Your sentence may be made more severe if you also failed to carry insurance when cited. Lack of insurance documentation can lead to an additional $500 fine, an increased license suspension up to 2 years, and/or up to 90 days in jail. Injuring someone in an accident while driving with a suspended license, also adds 45 to 180 days to your jail sentence.
Be sure to pay the DMV surcharges involved with a license suspension in a timely manner, as driving with a suspended license without having paid the required surcharges can add to your fine.
In all of these cases, your license can be suspended for up to 6 months after your current suspension expires. You may be required to surrender the license plates and registration for all vehicles you own, or for the vehicle you were driving. If someone else owned that vehicle, they can obtain temporary plates and registration.
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, you may be subject to any or all of the penalties listed above. To ensure that you receive a fair trial and minimal sentencing, or even a case dismissal, retain the services of a qualified criminal defense lawyer who has experience in helping drivers with suspended licenses.
After your period of suspension has concluded, there are steps to follow in order to have your license restored:
- Any outstanding fine has to be paid in person at the Violations Bureau.
- Appear at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission with the receipt and pay a restoration fee.
You may be entitled to a more lenient sentence, a reduced length of suspension, or even a dismissal of your case. You may not have received proper notice of the suspension in some cases. Your case may also involve complicated court procedures to follow, along with outstanding fines and surcharges. Retaining a criminal defense attorney to handle these complex legal issues is vital if your driver’s license has been suspended.
Such attorneys also possess the knowledge and skills to most effectively defend you in court and may be able to have your license restored in a more timely fashion:
- They know which agencies to contact and how to negotiate a reasonable payment schedule for your fines.
- Many licenses are suspended because a warrant has been issued for failure to appear in court or to pay a fine. Retaining an attorney can result in vacating or recalling the warrant and having your license restored after paying the fine or resolving your case.
- Mitigating circumstances that only a trained criminal defense attorney knows how to present to the court can result in a modified or reduced suspension.
- Often, failure to pay child support results in a license suspension. Qualified lawyers can petition the court to have the case reheard, or re-listed. They can also assist their client in demonstrating to the court a “good faith” effort to pay the support, leading to the restoration of their driver's license.
A license suspension can affect your employment or chances of getting employment. A criminal defense attorney can provide you with the best defense for your case and help you obtain the best legal outcome.
If you have been cited for driving with a suspended license, we want to hear from you. Our experienced attorneys are well versed in the law and can provide you with the representation that you deserve.