NJ Drug Possession Lawyers – How to Avoid Driver’s License Suspension

Can I Avoid a Driver’s License Suspension after a Drug Conviction?Drugs

One of the most damaging consequences of a drug conviction is the mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for at least 6 months.  For example, if you are found to be in possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, you could be facing a fine of up to $1,000, up to 6 months in jail, and a suspension of your driving privileges for 6 months to one year.

Even if you can afford the fine and manage to avoid jail time with the help of your drug defense lawyer, not being able to drive for 6 or more months will be incredibly disruptive to both your work and personal life.  There is also the cost and inconvenience of having to apply for your New Jersey driver’s license again.  If you lose your driving privileges due to a drug conviction, you must reapply for your license after the period of suspension is over.

Driver’s License Suspension Also Applies to Those Under 17

Keep in mind that New Jersey courts enforce license suspensions on minors, as well as adults.  If a minor is convicted of a drug offense, but has yet to receive his or her driver’s license, the suspension will begin from the age at which they are eligible to drive, 17 in New Jersey.  This can be very stressful for busy parents who will have to assume the responsibility of driving their child to school, work and other activities for longer than they anticipated.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in New Jersey

You may wonder why a license suspension is mandatory for most drug offenses.  The rationale behind this penalty is that anyone in possession of a CDS (controlled dangerous substance) and a driver’s license is likely to drive while under the influence of drugs.  In fact, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that 10.3 million Americans aged 12 years or older drove under the influence of drugs at some point during 2011.  Similar to drunk driving, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs greatly increases your chances for causing an auto accident.

The drug most commonly found in blood tests of impaired drivers is marijuana.  Although it is largely considered a “harmless” recreational drug, marijuana was found to be the leading cause of serious motor vehicle accidents, second only to alcohol.  These statistics have led the New Jersey Legislature to conclude that driving privileges of drug offenders must be suspended as a matter of public safety.

The State’s zero tolerance policy on drug impaired driving also extends to drivers with out-of-state licenses; if an individual is charged with a drug violation in New Jersey, his or her home state will be notified of the license suspension, and further repercussions may result.

There may be an Exception to Your License Suspension

New Jersey municipal court judges have the ability to make exceptions for certain defendants who can prove that a license suspension would cause extreme hardship for themselves and their families.  An example of extreme hardship would be if you are the sole driver for a family member who needs to be driven for mandatory medical treatments.  However, it is highly advised that you retain an experienced NJ Drug Possession Lawyer if you want to successfully argue a case for extreme hardship in a New Jersey court.

Avoid a Drug Conviction on Your Criminal Record.  Call Today!

If you have been arrested for a drug offense in Ocean or Monmouth County, call the NJ Drug Possession Lawyers of Villani & DeLuca before your arraignment date.  In addition to a loss of your driving privileges, a drug conviction is punishable by expensive fines, jail time and a criminal record.  Since most employers and rental offices require a background check, having a criminal record can make it extremely difficult to find employment or a place to live.  Don’t make the mistake of fighting your drug charges on your own. Call (732) 965-3350 today to schedule a free consultation!