Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New York And New Jersey Traffic Violations Blog

Yes, your traffic violation can be fought in court

Traffic violations can get you into trouble with the law. Depending on the violation, you could face fines, the loss of your license or even time in jail or prison.

There are a number of common traffic violations that you could commit. These include violations such as driving without a license or driving without enough insurance. Driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident, driving recklessly or running a stop sign can all get you into trouble.

Know your rights if you've committed a traffic crime

Traffic crimes are different than violations. Why? They're usually more serious. Someone with a traffic violation might have parked in the wrong place or accidentally went over the speed limit. People with traffic crimes on their records did something a little worse, like driving recklessly or with a suspended license.

While not all traffic crimes result in crashes or result from crashes, some do. Those that cause injury to others are taken extremely seriously and can result in penalties that range from heavy fines to prison sentences.

How harsh are penalties for DWIs in New York?

A DWI has the potential to be a felony or a misdemeanor, but the one you'll face depends on a number of factors. For example, if someone was hurt or killed, it's much more likely that you'll face a felony, while a first-time offense might be categorized as a misdemeanor.

The penalties and charges you face will always depend on how many times you've been convicted of drinking and driving and how high your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at the time of your traffic stop. Some typical charges include:

  • Aggravated DWI charges for BACs over .18%
  • Driving while ability impaired charges for a BAC of .05 or higher but below .07%
  • Driving while intoxicated charges, which are used for BACs of .08% in most cases

Traffic violations: Follow the traffic laws or face penalties

Most people have violated traffic laws at one point or another. Whether it's accidentally running a stop light or stop sign or speeding on the highway in New Jersey, there are few who can say that they've never broken the law.

Despite the fact that these people have not gotten caught, they've still broken the law, so it doesn't make it right for others to make the same mistakes. Even if the vehicle next to you is speeding 15 or 20 mph over the limit, you could end up getting stopped by the police if you're trying to keep up.

Fleeing or evading police can result in misdemeanors, felonies

There's no question that it can be stressful to get pulled over by the police, but there's never a reason to flee. Fleeing or evading the police can lead to serious consequences that you wouldn't otherwise face.

It is usually in your best interests to follow an officer's commands when they ask you to do something, whether you're in your vehicle or outside your vehicle due to a traffic stop. If you choose not to stop when the police pull you over, you could face charges for fleeing or evasion. This charge is placed at the state level and may be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the situation.

You have a better chance of a DWI dismissal than ever before

DUIs and DWIs are both harmful to your life and future. A DUI or DWI has the potential to change your job prospects, lower your chances of having a good income, decrease your chances of obtaining financial aid for school and other factors in your life.

The good news is that a 2018 report discussed that DWI arrests are more likely to get dismissed today than a decade ago, which is a positive sign for people struggling with this mistake.

Driving with a suspended license? Don't take the risk

Driving with a suspended license is a bad idea, because if you get caught, you could be in serious trouble with the law. You'll face fines, and you could have your license suspension extended.

In New Jersey, the fine for a first-time offense is $500. You can also face an extension on your license suspension of up to six months. With a conviction, you could be asked to pay $250 a year for three years following the conviction.

Going to traffic court can save you from paying penalties

Imagine seeing a police officer's red and blue lights flashing behind you. You know you were speeding, and you pull over. You receive a ticket and go about your day.

Most people, like yourself, don't think that a traffic violation is a big deal. However, these seemingly simple violations do add up. They might start off as minor inconveniences, but in the long-term, they can impact many aspects of your life.

Violations add up: Get defensive

One of the most frustrating things to deal with on the roads is a driver who is making unsafe lane changes. You're trying to go from point A to B without getting into an accident, but someone who cuts you off, merges suddenly and doesn't signal makes it difficult to avoid a crash.

Unsafe lane changes can result in a traffic violation if the police see you do it. There are a few other unsafe actions that could result in penalties, too. For example, making an illegal U-turn, which could constitute an unsafe lane change, too, can lead to a ticket.

How will a second DWI affect me?

The first time you got a DWI, it was when you were just getting into college. You were fortunate in that it was for a minor percentage above the limit, and the penalties were relatively low. You didn't need to drive to get to school or work, and you didn't have federal aid for it to affect, so you went relatively unaffected yourself.

This time is different. You're a young professional, and you can't risk your second DWI threatening your job or your license. You know that a defense can help you, but if it fails, you're worried about the penalties you could face.

Pulled Over? Arrested? Tell Us What Happened.

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