Joseph A. Lombardo
A traffic ticket can seem like a minor inconvenience at first, but if neglected or dealt with improperly, it can have lasting consequences that extend far into the future. Traffic violations can impact your life by incurring fines or jail time, adding points to your permanent driving record, and raising your auto insurance rates.
Do what you can to prevent major consequences as a result of your traffic ticket in New Jersey. Seek legal help as soon as possible. Hammonton, New Jersey, traffic attorney Joseph Lombardo can guide recipients of traffic tickets throughout all stages of the legal process. Call (609) 318-6196 today.
Types of Traffic Tickets in Hammonton, NJ
There are many behaviors that can result in a traffic ticket. An experienced Hammonton traffic ticket lawyer can provide assistance with any of the following traffic tickets:
- Speeding – Driving at a speed that is above the speed limit may result in a speeding traffic ticket. The number of points that will be added to your license depends on the number of MPH above the speed limit that you were traveling. A speeding fine can be between $85 and $260.
- Failure to observe a traffic signal and red light violations – Ignoring a traffic signal is dangerous for all drivers on the road. This type of charge typically results in a fine, which is higher if the traffic signal you failed to observe was in a construction zone, a safety corridor, or an area in which the speed limit is 65 MPH. Fines for these charges can be between $50 and $200.
- Distracted driving – It can be tempting to chat, text, or check social media while driving, but doing so can result in a traffic ticket that carries huge consequences. Fines for distracted driving can be as low as $200 or as high as $400.
- Reckless driving – Engaging in dangerous behavior while driving can put other drivers’ safety at risk and can lead to the issuance of a reckless driving ticket. A fine for this type of traffic ticket is between $50 and $500.
- Driving with a suspended license – If you continue to drive after your license has been suspended for any reason, a driving with a suspended license ticket can be issued to you. Driving with a suspended license can incur a fine of $500.
- Driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI) – As the most severe type of traffic ticket you can receive, a DUI/DWI ticket can result in jail time, suspension of your license, large fines, and other consequences decided by a judge. Driving while intoxicated can result in a fine of up to $1,000.
Other reasons for receiving a traffic ticket in Hammonton include improper passing of a school bus, improper turns, leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run), tailgating, unsafe lane changes, racing on a highway, and careless driving.
How a Hammonton, NJ Traffic Ticket Can Affect You
Receiving a traffic ticket in Hammonton can affect your life in a variety of ways. One way that a traffic ticket can impact your life is by adding points to your license. The number of points added to your license for each offense varies based on the severity of the offense. If you acquire 12 points within a two-year period, then your license is at risk of being suspended. It is possible, however, to get points removed if complete a Driver Improvement Program or participate in a defensive driving course. For every year that passes without any new moving violations, three points are deducted.
Traffic tickets can also result in fines. The amount that must be paid as a result of a traffic violation varies based on the offense and how many prior times that offense has been committed, if at all. There are other financial consequences for traffic tickets on top of fines. Court costs need to be paid if you decide to fight the ticket in court — this can be up to $33.
And certain violations require paying yearly surcharges. Driving without a license carries a yearly surcharge of $100, driving with a suspended license carries a yearly surcharge of $250, and driving without liability insurance carries a yearly surcharge of $250. For some traffic violations, such as DUI/DWI and driving with a suspended license, you may face imprisonment.
The most important thing is to fully understand what you are being charged with. The traffic ticket or summons will indicate what traffic offense is related to your charge. Research the statute or ordinance on the internet. You may be able to find information about what fines drivers with the same ticket have been charged and what can happen to insurance premiums and what fines other drivers have been charged. You may also be able to find an attorney who deals in defending traffic tickets and offers free consultations to potential clients.
Second, you should understand whether you are being charged with a motor vehicle infraction or criminal charge. Being convicted of a motor vehicle infraction will not result in a criminal record but may result in points on a license, loss of driving privileges, and fines – all of which you may want to avoid. Typically, these charges consist of traffic tickets such as speeding under 30 miles above the speed limit, failure to yield, stop, use a turn signal, an illegal change of lane, or the most serious traffic offense – DWI. A traffic-related criminal offense in Hammonton, NJ can be much more serious and carry very serious penalties. These charges can consist of disorderly persons (known in other states as a misdemeanor) all the way through an indictable crime (known in other states as a felony), depending on your charge. Typical criminal related traffic offenses include leaving the scene of an accident, second offenses, including a second DWI, and causing injury as a result of an accident in which you are found at fault and negligent. As of 2011, many charges previously considered motor vehicle infractions are now classified as fourth-degree crimes, punishable by time in jail. These newly criminally classified offenses include second-offense DWIs and being stopped for driving with a suspended license or insurance two or more times.
How a Lawyer Can Help You with Your Hammonton Traffic Ticket
Some traffic tickets require your appearance in court, while others don’t. Failing to appear in court at the date and time scheduled can result in a warrant for your arrest and an automatic suspension of your license. Appearing in court can give you the opportunity to defend yourself against the charges, especially if you have the help of a Hammonton traffic ticket lawyer.
A lawyer can help you deal with your traffic ticket by challenging the prosecution’s evidence against you, which means that you may not be convicted for the charges connected to your ticket. A lawyer can also you deal with your traffic ticket by seeking to obtain a dismissal or reduction of your charge. They can work with the prosecution to have certain charges dropped if you enter into a plea deal and may also be able to have certain violations dismissed if you agree to complete a driver improvement program.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Traffic Tickets and Offenses?
Under most circumstances, if you are able to, it is beneficial to consult an attorney regarding your traffic charge. If you have been charged with a criminal traffic offense or a traffic infraction that could result in loss of driving privileges (such as a DWI), it is definitely in your best interest to hire an attorney to help reduce or dismiss those charges. If you are planning on fighting your ticket or criminal traffic offense, an attorney can find out whether you, in fact, violated the law and whether the charges against you are valid. Occasionally, there are circumstances involved in the police officer’s observations or an arrest that allow you to have your charge dismissed. Often, it is also possible to plea down to a non-criminal offense, but you may need an attorney to do so.
In summation, under most circumstances, if this is your first minor traffic ticket or your driving privileges are not at risk of being taken away, you may not need an attorney to protect your interests. If this is a criminal matter, your second offense of a certain type, or your third or fourth traffic infraction, you may want to consult an attorney to help reduce your fines, jail time or preserve your driving privileges.
What if You Are Issued a Traffic Ticket While Out of State or as a Non-Resident?
Often, when you live in another state or far away from the jurisdiction where you were issued a traffic ticket, it makes economic and legal sense to hire a local attorney to represent you. If the charge is not serious, you may not have to appear in person and it might be cheaper for you to hire an attorney to appear on your behalf. Generally speaking, most jurisdictions and townships will allow an attorney to represent you in a traffic infraction matter.
Lawyer for Moving Violations in Hammonton, NJ
Don’t let a traffic ticket impede future opportunities. Take the ticket seriously from the start and seek the help of an attorney who is well-versed in traffic ticket legal proceedings. Hammonton, New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer Joseph Lombardo is available to meet people who have received traffic tickets during a free and confidential consultation at his law office. Call (609) 318-6196 to set one up today.
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“Joe is a top-notch attorney who zealously represents his clients with intelligence, compassion and integrity. A great resource and team player, I wholeheartedly recommend Joe Lombardo.”