Having your license suspended can leave you feeling stranded and make it difficult to get back and forth to work, to the grocery store or even pick your kids up from school. It can be tempting to go ahead and drive anyway, but keep in mind – driving with a suspended license in NJ has serious consequences including fines, surcharges, points on your driving record, additional suspension time and even jail time.
Reasons for a Suspended License in NJ
There are numerous reasons for your driver’s license to be suspended. Some of them, such as an excess accumulation of points on your driving record, could accidentally be overlooked and result in you driving with a suspended license and not even realizing it until it’s too late. It’s important to keep your address information up to date with the NJ Department of Motor Vehicle Commission, as they are required to send a notice of suspension. Here are some of the most common reasons for a New Jersey Drivers License to be suspended:
- 12 or more points on your current driver record
- Drug or alcohol use while driving
- Reckless driving
- Found at fault in a fatal accident
- Vehicle abandonment on a public highway
- Failure to appear in court or to pay fines
- Failure to pay surcharges
- Failure to provide proof of insurance
- Physical or mental disqualification
Fines and Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in NJ
The fines and penalties for driving with a suspended license can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the suspension. Each offense also carries a potential additional license suspension of up to 180 days and a $250/year surcharge for three years. The basic fines and penalties are as follows:
- First Offense: $500 fine
- Second Offense: $750 fine plus up to 5 days in jail
- Third or Subsequent Offense: $1,000 fine plus 10 days in jail
If your license was originally suspended for a DUI, the penalties may be increased. The potential additional penalties are a jail sentence of up to 90 days and an additional license suspension of 1-2 years. If your original suspension was the result of an insurance violation you could receive up to 90 days in jail and, if it was the result of an accident where someone was injured, that jail sentences could be up to 180 days. For multiple offenses of driving with a suspended license in NJ, the fines and penalties get even more serious and can even result in a stay in state prison rather than county jail.
While the legal penalties of driving with a suspended license are serious enough, they can be the catalyst for various personal consequences. You could lose your job as the result of a jail sentence or even the inability to get yourself back and forth to work. This, in turn, will result in lost wages which you will need not only for living expenses but to pay your fines. It could even lead to bankruptcy if you are unable to become re-employed.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
The best thing to do if your license has been suspended is not to get behind the wheel. If you should drive with a suspended license in NJ and get caught, you need to hire an attorney. It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney immediately as they may be able to have the charges reduce and mitigate the effects the charge can have on other aspects of your life, not just your driving record.
Andy Weinstein will thoroughly evaluate all the circumstances surrounding your charge. He will work hard to provide you with the best possible outcome. Andy started his own law practice because he saw a need for diligent defense attorneys who both know the system and will thoughtfully and forcefully protect their clients to the end. Specializing in criminal defense, he accurately assesses your circumstances to provide you with top-notch representation and the best possible outcome. Schedule a consultation with Andy and experience for yourself what makes Andy Weinstein Law unique.