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NJ Drug Charges & Driver’s License Suspension

drugs car keys

Did you know that in the state of NJ, many drug charges carry with them the possibility of a mandatory driver's license suspension? If you are convicted of a drug charge, you could lose your driver's license for six months or even longer. What kind of havoc would that bring to your life? If you are facing this possible consequence of a drug related charge, contact Villani & DeLuca today!

Why Does a Drug Charge Result in License Suspension?

The reason New Jersey has decided to put this law into effect is very logical. If you are a drug user and you also hold a driver's license, the state of NJ feels there is a good chance you may, at some point, drive while under the influence of one or a combination of several illegal narcotic substances. Driving under the influence of drugs increases your risk for driving accidents, injury to other drivers, passengers or pedestrians, and even vehicular manslaughter. Therefore, in NJ, if you have been convicted of drug charges, the state feels it is protecting all of its citizens by seizing your driver's license for a set amount of time.

New Jersey Law: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-16 Mandatory License Suspension

In NJ, conviction of a drug offense carries with it a mandatory driver's license suspension. This is in conjunction with N.J.S.A. 2C:35-16, which states “a person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this title shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period to be fixed by the court at not less than six months or more than two years”.
This means, if you are caught with drugs in Long Branch, not only will you face the penalties relating to the drug charge, but you will also lose your driver's license. This is a mandatory rule and is rarely not put into effect.
Some people attempt to go to court themselves and argue that they are in dire need of their driver's license. Dire need does not constitute driving to Asbury Park or Brick to tan on the beach each day during the summer. This is not a charge one should try to argue on his own.

Extreme Hardship May Prevent License Suspension

There are ways to circumvent this suspension, if your lawyer can prove that loss of the license will cause extreme hardship to you and your family. Extreme hardship would include a situation in which you are unable to get to work any other way or could not receive needed medical treatment, and a family member could not do these things if you lost your license.
The proving of “extreme hardship” is very difficult to argue and it is not normally granted in drug-related charges. You or your lawyer must show that you have no alternative ways to transport yourself or your family-which can be a challenge to prove. Rely on experience in order to argue your case. If you live in the Ocean County or Monmouth County area, call Villani & DeLuca to assist you with your drug charges.

License Suspension: Important Facts

  • You could lose your license for six months to two years. That's a long time to be unable to drive from Long Branch to Toms River.
  • This law of suspension also applies to minors. If the minor child already has a license, it will be suspended. If the minor does not yet have a license, it will be suspended as soon as he reaches the age where he can drive. Do you want to have to drive your child from Red Bank to Brick to see friends? Do you want to drive your child to his or her part time job in Point Pleasant?
  • If you have an out-of-state driver's license and are charged with a drug related crime in NJ, NJ will notify your home state about your suspended driving privileges.
  • If you lose your license for a drug-related offense, you must apply to obtain it again. Failure to comply with all other penalties handed down by the sentence may result in the denial of your application to reinstate your license.
  • These charges are serious and can have great effects on your life. Don't try to argue them yourself.

You don't have to face drug charges yourself. Contact Villani & DeLuca today!

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Villani & DeLuca, P.C. is committed to answering your questions about Divorce & Family Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and DWI & Traffic Law issues in New Jersey. We offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.