What Happens if I’m Pulled Over While on a Suspended License in New Jersey

  • DWI

Among the more serious motor vehicle offenses in New Jersey is driving with a suspended license. It is a fourth-degree crime that comes with harsh consequences. And if your job description requires your ability to drive, your ability to earn an income might be further affected.

Your charges and penalties depend on whether you are a first-time offender or not. But the outcome of the charges depends on your attorney’s expertise in defending you. So, as soon as you are pulled over, consider contacting a New Jersey DWI lawyer that can come up with the most strategic defense and solutions.

What Could Have Caused My License to be Suspended?

A good number of first-time offenders – and even second, third, and subsequent ones – were unaware of their license suspension before law enforcement officers pulled them over. Drivers can be suspended if they:

  • Were at fault in a fatal accident
  • Abandoned a vehicle on a public highway
  • Drove recklessly
  • Were convicted for using drugs or alcohol while driving
  • Were mentally or physically disqualified from driving
  • Failed to provide proof of insurance
  • Failed to pay surcharges
  • Failed to pay fines
  • Failed to show up in court
  • Received 12 points or more on their driving records

Failure to keep the contact information with the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) up-to-date is the reason why one can be suspended without their knowledge. This hinders them from notifying you about a suspension on time.

If the worst has already happened, and you have been stopped for driving with a suspended license, it is advisable to speak to a DWI license suspension lawyer in New Jersey immediately. A lawyer can plead on your behalf and ensure that your charges are reduced if not dropped.

What are the Penalties for the Offense in New Jersey?

The law takes road offenses seriously, and violating an existing sanction may not be taken lightly in court. If your defense team fails to negotiate for better terms for your case, the usual penalties can hurt your pocket, your job, and your day-to-day life in general.

First-Time Offenders

If it is your first time driving with a suspended license, your current suspension period could be enhanced by up to six months. Additionally, you may have to part with up to $5000 in fines and a $250 surcharge. You might also get insurance points that can make you pay more in premiums.

Second-Time Offenders

The second offense is considered more serious than the first offense, and the penalties are equally more severe. Offenders risk:

  • Mandatory imprisonment for 1-5 days
  • Further license suspension for an additional 6 months
  • $750 in fines
  • $250 surcharge
  • Insurance points

Third and Subsequent Offenders

Driving on a suspended license the third, fourth, fifth, or more times attracts higher fines, longer jail terms, and additional suspension. Offenders can expect to:

  • Stay in jail for a mandatory period of 10 days
  • $1000 in fines
  • $250 surcharge
  • License suspension for an additional 6 months
  • 9 insurance points

Notably, aggravating factors can elevate the standard sentencing in New Jersey. Things can worsen if a driver with an already suspended license is found driving while intoxicated (DWI), without insurance, or if they hit someone. The jail term can increase to between 45 days and 180 days, depending on the exact aggravating factor.

What Happens to Out-of-State Drivers?

Through the Drivers’ License Compact (DLC), the police can see whether or not a license issued in another state is still valid. While the New Jersey MVC cannot suspend a driver licensed in another state, it can suspend their right to drive within New Jersey.

If a driver’s license was suspended in the state of issuance, you could not freely drive in New Jersey. The offender might face the standard penalties per the laws in New Jersey. Consequently, the suspension could be communicated to the driver’s home state, who might reciprocate the suspension.

What Defenses Can I Use if I’m Charged?

The best defense usually depends on the unique facts of the case. And there is a plethora of ways to approach defense once the DWI license suspension lawyer in Toms River, NJ, fully understands how your license was suspended. That is why it is good to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer to discuss these issues as soon as possible. Besides, most initial consultations are generally free.

Missing Notification

The MVC has the role of notifying offenders of their suspended licenses. So, if they fail to do so, you can use it as a defense despite you providing accurate contact information.

Providing Proof of Payment

The MVC can miss your surcharge payment details, and suspend your license. In such cases, you simply have to prove that you already paid. You can provide the receipt issued by MVC, or the credit card or bank statement showing the deduction.

Providing Proof of Insurance

If you find out that the reason for the suspension was that you had no vehicle insurance at the time, you can prove otherwise. It is as simple as producing documentation that shows that you were covered during the alleged period.

There is still defense for other offenders, which can earn them a reduction in charges. For example, instead of being charged for driving with a suspended license, a New Jersey DWI license suspension lawyer can negotiate for you to be charged for unlicensed driving. The penalties for the reduced charges could be less severe and more lenient for the offender.

A Dedicated NJ Attorney Fighting for Your Freedom

Being pulled over for driving with a revoked or suspended license can be scary, and might feel like the end for you. But that is not always the case because there is a way out if you work with the right legal professional with the skill and experience to handle this type of case.

The criminal defense attorneys at The Hernandez Law Firm do not want you to give up without a fight. They are always ready to help, and you can begin with a free consultation today—call 732-286-2700 to discuss your case with us.

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