July 19, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 19, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It’s important to note that driving is a privilege, not a right. We drivers in the New York/New Jer­sey area need to be re­minded of this fact eve­ry so often. We have all encountered drivers throughout the spectrum of absurdity—from drivers who view the speed limit as merely a suggestion, to drivers who refuse to drive above 10 mph. There are those who eat seven-course meals while they maneuver through rush-hour traffic and those who refuse to uti­lize a Bluetooth device while holding their cell phone in one hand, their Blackberry in the other, and steer with their knees.

Not all errors in judgment deserve a sum­mons, but there are some driving infractions that are deemed so dangerous to the public that a suspension of one’s driving privileges is warranted. These violations include driving while intoxicated, refusing to take a Breath­alyzer test, leaving the scene of an accident, excessive speed in a school zone, and accu­mulating 12 or more points on your driver’s license, among other violations. Additionally, your driving privileges can be suspended for failing to pay parking tickets.

Some suspensions are mandatory and others are at the discretion of the judge. If you are facing a suspension, it is important to hire an attorney to represent you in court. Suspen­sions are a serious matter. Unlike New York State, which allows for conditional or restrict­ed-use licenses that can allow one to drive to and from their job, once your driving privileg­es are suspended in New Jersey, there is no le­gal way to get behind the wheel of any vehi­cle until the suspension term is completed. The New Jersey legislature was considering al­lowing for conditional or restricted use licens­es, like New York, for those who are suspend­ed, but as of now that is not the law. Should a driver get caught driving while suspended in New Jersey, the penalties are an additional six-month suspension, fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 per occurrence, a jail term for repeat offenders, and the guaranteed assessment of New Jersey Insurance Surcharge fees, above and beyond your own car insurance premi­um increases. What most people don’t know is that even after your suspension term is over, you are still not permitted to drive within the State of New Jersey without first paying a mandatory $100.00 restoration fee to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC).

I have many clients who are actually driv­ing while suspended because they are com­pletely unaware of their driving status. It’s im­portant for drivers in New Jersey to be aware of the eligibility of their driving privileges. If you fail to timely pay a parking ticket or fail to appear in court for a summons and disre­gard your mail, you could be driving while sus­pended and facing penalties without even re­alizing your predicament. Should this happen to you, I recommend you contact an attorney to represent you in court in an effort to reduce the charges and alleviate any further suspen­sion of your driving privileges.

The recidivism rate among those caught driving while suspended is high in New Jersey. People feel that they simply “must” drive and would rather risk getting caught. The prob­lem with that logic is that we, the privileged licensed drivers, ultimately pay the price for the unlicensed few by paying higher insur­ance premiums. New Jersey is consistently in the top ten most expensive states in the un­ion in which to buy auto insur­ance. In 2011 it was number one.

In order to easily determine your driver’s li­cense status, you can order a driv­er’s abstract through NJMVC online for $15.00. That way, should you get stopped by an officer, it won’t be for driving while suspended.

Jordan B. Comet is an attorney with offices in Teaneck, NJ. His firm, Comet Law Offices, specializes in munici­pal, criminal, and civil litigation. He can be reached at 201-385-1900 or [email protected].

By Jordan B. Comet

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles