Risks for Driver's License Suspension or Revocation
Driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license in New Jersey may seem to be a low-level traffic violation, but the penalties can be surprisingly severe and have a long-lasting effect on one's life. Punishment for breaking the law in this manner can range from fines, additional suspensions of one's driving privileges and even jail time if it is a repeated offense.
In many situations, the driver may not have been aware that his or her driver's license was suspended, but that doesn't mitigate the punishments being issued for breaking the law.
Reasons for a Driver's License Suspension
There are many reasons for which a New Jersey driver might receive the punishment of a suspended license. The most prominent ways one gets their driver's license revoked are:
- Accumulating 12 or more points on one's driving record. Points can be placed on one's license for a multitude of violations. For example, if you are cited for reckless driving, you will receive at least five points on your license. In the event of reckless driving, there might also be alcohol involved or other moving violations that will raise the point total even further. Points on a license can be removed by enrolling in defensive driving courses, but as long as there are points and the possibility of suspension, you are facing higher insurance rates.
- The suspension is ordered by a municipal court. The municipal court can suspend a license for unpaid tickets, failure to appear in court when ordered to do so or as part of the penalties for a criminal conviction.
- Failure to pay child support or motor vehicle surcharges. The court can also issue a driver's license suspension against those who have failed to pay fines or child support.
What Happens if I'm Caught Driving Without a License?
New Jersey doesn't allow people with suspended or revoked licenses the ability to drive in limited circumstances, such as to get back and forth to work or to pick up a child at school. A person with a license that has been suspended or revoked is not allowed to legally drive, period.
To obtain a conviction for driving with a suspended license in New Jersey, the State must prove that the defendant was driving a car with a suspended license while being aware that his or her license was suspended. The penalties for driving with a revoked driver's license will vary based on whether it's the first, second or third offense and the reasoning behind the license suspension in the first place.
Punishments can range in severity. A first offender may have the suspension lengthened and receive a fine of $500. For the second offense, the fine of $750 will be issued and the license might be suspended for another six months. The judge has a wide discretion, however, and can even sentence the offender to jail. For the third offense, the fine will be $1,000 with at least a six month license suspension. In addition, a third time offender can face 10 days in jail.
Contact a NJ Motor Vehicle Lawyer About License Suspension
If you are caught driving while your driver's license is suspended or revoked in New Jersey, it can be an expensive and continuous series of problems for what may have been a simple misunderstanding. Even if you were aware that your license was suspended for any reason—such as a DWI—it is still wise to have legal help when facing the charges. The law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey is here to assist you.
Not being able to drive can cause inconvenience, but driving with a revoked or suspended license is not worth the risk of hefty fines and maybe jail time. Villani & DeLuca NJ Motor Vehicle Lawyers have experience with all aspects of New Jersey traffic law. If you have had your driving privileges suspended or revoked in Monmouth County or Ocean County, call to set up an appointment to discuss your case today.