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Attorney
Joseph A. Lombardo

What are the differences are between a traffic violation and a criminal charge stemming from a traffic matter? In short, one leaves you facing a criminal record and jail-time where the other can only result in points, fines, and a revocation of your driving privileges. New Jersey has passed many laws in recent years allowing drivers who commit certain types (and certain second offenses) of traffic matters which were previously only traffic violations in Vineland, NJ to now be charged criminally.

If you are facing a criminal traffic charge in Vineland, New Jersey, there are several things to take into account.  First, stay calm – depending on the type of charge, your history, and with the help of an attorney experienced in criminal traffic matters, your charge can often be lessened or dismissed altogether.  It is important to retain an attorney as early in the process of your defense as possible – immediately after you are pulled over and before you have given any statements to the police, if possible.  If not, don’t worry, but you should call an experienced Vineland traffic violations attorney as soon as possible following being pulled over or your arrest.

What Happens When You Are Charged with a Traffic Offense in Vineland

With traffic violations, you are issued a summons. When charged with a traffic-related crime in Vineland, New Jersey, you are often arrested and then arraigned or issued an arraignment.  The penalties can include tickets, fines, and jail time.  The fact that you are being charged with a traffic-related disorderly persons offense or indictable offense will allow you additional rights as a defendant.  As I mentioned earlier, if you have not already retained an attorney, the time of your arraignment is a good time to request to do so.  A court-appointed attorney can be issued, but it is highly advisable to retain a Vineland traffic violations attorney who is experienced in handling traffic-related criminal matters.  It is usually inadvisable to plead to any charge or try to work out a plea bargain on your own.

Lesser disorderly persons criminal charges are handled at the Municipal Court level within the township, city, or borough where the alleged crime occurred.  You will not be afforded a trial by jury for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense.

The more serious indictable charges are handled at the Superior Court level within the County in which the alleged crime occurred.  In this instance you can request to have a trial by jury, but it must go to a grand jury first which will decide whether the issue warrants a trial by jury.  Again, it is highly advisable to have an attorney representing you through the process of defending yourself against an indictable charge.  Even if you cannot afford an attorney, it is beneficial to consult with an attorney and pay a consultation fee for the one meeting prior to appearing or speaking with the prosecutor.

Understanding Your Vineland, NJ Traffic Charges

The types of traffic-related charges in which a driver can be charged criminally include reckless driving, assault with a vehicle, possession of a drug or firearm, hit & run/ leaving the scene of an accident, a second offense DWI, driving with a suspended license, and a second offense of driving with a suspended or revoked license, and now, causing bodily harm as a result of negligent distracted driving.  If you have been charged with any of these crimes, contact us today so that we can step in on your behalf to protect your rights and fight to dismiss or reduce the charges and penalties you are facing.

Traffic Surcharges for Traffic Violations in NJ

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission assesses fines, named surcharges, on an annual basis for individuals who have been found guilty in certain types of traffic and criminal-related traffic matters.  Typical issues that can incur surcharges from the state include DUI, driving with a suspended license, a second(or more)-offense DWI, and accruing points on their license in excess of the threshold.  These state fines are above and outside of any court penalties or fines handed out at the time of a conviction of plea deal.  New Jersey drivers who have been slapped with these fines are charged annually.

An individual’s driving record is reviewed every time events like a DUI, speeding ticket, or moving violation are added to your driving record.  If points are assessed by the Municipal Court Judge, these points can add up and make you vulnerable to having to pay the fees.  When you accrue six or more points on your license within three years from your last traffic violation, you will receive the penalty.  The payments are determined by the scale of a $150 charge for any points over the six-point threshold and then a $25 fee for each additional point.

There are also flat rated additional penalties that can be tacked on in addition to the point system. For instance, you will incur a $100 penalty for driving without a license; a $250 fee for driving with a suspended or operating an uninsured vehicle; $1,000 annually for a DUI for three years; and the same $1000 every year for three years for refusing to take a breathalyzer.

If you don’t pay, the Motor Vehicle Commission will suspend your driver’s license and can file a lien against you and garnish your wages.  If you cannot pay the fees, you should try and work out a payment plan with the MVC.   If you have charges that resulted from your not paying a ticket or other legal issues such as a non-appearance in a summons, you should contact the court that handled the original matter.  You may be required to post bail and then be granted a court hearing date in order to resolve the original, outstanding traffic tickets or criminal-related traffic matters.

Contact Our Vineland Traffic Violations Attorney for a Free Consultation

Lombardo Law Group, LLC has been successfully representing individuals charged in traffic related criminal matters since 1993. Joseph Lombardo is a former Municipal Court Prosecutor and has handled the defense of hundreds of criminal matters at both the Municipal and Superior Court level in every county and township in South Jersey.  Vineland, NJ traffic violations attorney Lombardo offers free initial consultations and in the case of an emergency, is on call 24 hours a day to make jail or detention center visits. Call (609) 418-4537 for a free consultation.

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