Joseph A. Lombardo
No one wants to hear police sirens and see red flashing lights in their rearview mirror, but this is a reality for many drivers. If you are facing a police officer after being pulled over, do you know what to expect? When the police officer takes your license back to their car, do you know what they are doing?
When the police run your driver’s license in New Jersey, they compare your information to the databases they have access to. At a minimum, the police will be able to see your driving record, and they will likely have access to your criminal history as well. If you have any outstanding warrants, this will alert the police officer to arrest you.
If a police officer has pulled you over and now face criminal charges, call the Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, to build a strong defense. Call us at (609) 445-4300 for a free case review today.
How Much Information Can an Officer See When They Run My License in New Jersey?
A police officer may have access to more information about you than expected just by using your license. As stated, the police will be able to see your driving history, including any moving violations that you received in the past. They will also be able to confirm the information on your physical license, including your name, license number, address, expiration date, and the physical descriptors on your license. If any of the registered information does not match the license they were handed, the officer will be able to see this.
Importantly, the officer will also have access to your criminal history, including any outstanding criminal warrants that may be issued in your name. If the police find an outstanding warrant for your arrest, they will likely perform the arrest and bring you to the police station for processing. Should this ever happen, it is important to call our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible and to wait to speak until your lawyer is present. Our attorneys can assist regardless of the type of warrant you were arrested for.
What If the Police Find Out Something Bad When They Run My License in New Jersey?
When you are pulled over by a police officer, the traffic stop may become a more serious issue if something problematic is found when they run your license. Officers may discover an outstanding warrant for your arrest or they may see that your license is suspended. Such issues will likely result in more than a simple traffic citation and you should reach out to our Mays Landing criminal defense lawyers as soon as you are able to.
When a police officer runs your license, the will be able to see if you have any outstanding warrants for your arrest. Commonly, they will see a bench warrants, which are warrants issued by a judge. A bench warrant authorizes a police officer to take a person into custody. Such warrants can be issued for many reasons, including failure to appear for an arraignment or hearing, violation of probation or parole, failure to pay fines agreed to in court, and delinquent child support payments.
If the police officer informs you that they have run your license and found an outstanding warrant, they will proceed to take you into custody. If you are pulled over and are aware of an existing warrant, it may be tempting to try to run, but this is not advised at all. It is important to comply with the police and avoid further charges, such as resisting arrest. At this point, listen to the officer and be compliant. Once you have arrived at the police station, state that you would like to call your attorney and otherwise remain silent; call our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the first opportunity so we can represent you, protect your rights, and build a defense against any charges.
Another potential issue that could emerge during a traffic stop is the discovery that your license is suspended or revoked. N.J.S.A. § 39:3-40 lists the penalties for driving while your license is suspended. There is a tiered system depending on whether this is your first offense or not. For a first offense, you will receive a fine of $500 and a revocation of your car registration privilege. For a second offense, the fine will increase to $750, you will be held in country jail for 1-5 days, and your car registration privilege will be revoked if this offense is within 5 years of the first offense. For a third or subsequent offense, the fine increases to $1000, and you will be jailed for 10 days with the same car registration privilege revocation as the second offense.
If you are pulled over and your license is suspended, call our Atlantic County criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible.
What is a Police Officer Allowed to Do During a Traffic Stop in New Jersey?
Once a police officer has approached your car, they will likely request your credentials first –driver’s license, car registration, and proof of car insurance. Sometimes the officer may ask some questions, which you are not required to answer. If you do respond to the officer’s questions, keep it brief and polite. When you hand your credentials over, the officer will take them and return to their car, or they may have a mobile device that allows them to run your license while standing next to your car.
The process generally known as “running” a driver’s license means that the officer will scan your driver’s license (or manually input the data on your license), and a computer will compare that information to any databases the police department has access to. If nothing is found, you may receive a ticket for the reason the officer pulled you over, or they may let you off with a warning. However, if anything appears in that search, the police officer may take further action, such as arresting you or bringing you to the police station. In such a case, contacting our Linwood, NJ criminal defense attorneys will be crucial to help ensure your rights are protected.
Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Today for a Free Case Review
The New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at Lombardo Law Group can help you build an aggressive defense against any accusations that arise following a license check by a police officer. Call us today to discuss your situation at (609) 445-4300.
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