Driving on a Suspended License

New Jersey Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney

Edison traffic ticket lawyer Leon Matchin helps motorists prevent and restore their driving privileges by fighting charges that lead to suspension. As a 10-year veteran of criminal defense and administrative law proceedings, Mr. Matchin makes a critical difference in helping his clients avoid the harsh penalties associated with offenses such as driving on a suspended license. He provides dedicated representation to drivers facing charges in the Municipal and Superior Courts of Monmouth, Middlesex, and Mercer Counties, as well as other nearby areas.

New Jersey License Suspension

New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) 39:3-40 prohibits any operation of a motor vehicle by drivers whose license has been “refused, suspended, or revoked.” Although some motorists know that their license has been suspended, as well as the reason for suspension, many New Jersey drivers only find out after being pulled over for an unrelated traffic violation. In New Jersey, a court does not have to take the physical license before ordering suspension. Rather, motorists may have allowed their license to lapse and never received written notice or a summons to appear in court through the mail. The Motor Vehicle Commission can likewise suspend driving privileges for various reasons, including:

  • Failure to appear in court
  • Speeding, reckless driving
  • Points for moving violations
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Finding of fault in fatal accident
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving without proof of insurance
  • Failure to pay fines, fees, or surcharge
  • Mental impairment or physical condition
  • Leaving motor vehicle on public highway

New Jersey drivers are subject to a point schedule designed to keep tabs on every infraction or moving violation. N.J.S.A.39:4-98, for example, adds 5 points to the driver’s record for exceeding 30 mph over the speed limit; N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 assigns 8 points for leaving the scene of an accident. After accruing 6 points in 3 years, drivers must pay a surcharge and may be dropped by their insurance companies. Under N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2, driving uninsured is a strict liability offense.

Even unpaid parking tickets carry additional fees. Increasing insurance premiums and surcharges are assessed in addition to other imposed fines. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-139.10(b), failure to pay these fees or to appear on the scheduled date to challenge a ticket in court can lead to suspension. Suspension is automatic for DUI-related offenses under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

Suspension Period

Some states allow motorists temporary permits to drive to work or mandatory group meetings for substance abuse. New Jersey is not one of them. In New Jersey, motorists receive no conditional-use permits and are strictly prohibited from driving until their license is restored. Upon receiving written notice of restoration, drivers must pay a $100 fee to reinstate their license.

Penalties for Driving on Suspended License

Because license suspensions are handled differently depending on their cause, drivers may have multiple suspensions imposed by various state, federal, and administrative law courts. Unpaid parking tickets and moving violations, for example, are handled administratively, while DUI and drug-related crimes proceed in the courts. Drivers who receive 3 suspensions within 3 years can have their license revoked for up to 3 years. Driving on a suspended license could also mean 5 years in jail. If motorists commit subsequent violations within 6 months of having their license restored, it will be suspended again for 90 days. Further offenses carry enhanced penalties.

Preventing and Fighting License Suspension

If you are in danger of losing your driving privileges or have a suspended license, contact Freehold traffic offense attorney Leon Matchin for help. As an experienced criminal defense and traffic ticket lawyer, Mr. Matchin has helped numerous motorists avoid suspension by challenging due process violations, chemical tests, and lack of notice related to administrative and parking suspensions. Because suspensions can seriously affect your insurance, employment, and criminal record, do not wait to obtain legal representation. Call (732) 662-7658  today for a free consultation or contact us online.