Traffic FAQ

When can my driver's license be suspended or revoked?
Driving a car is considered a privilege-- and the State of New Jersey will not hesitate to take it away, if a driver behaves irresponsibly on the road. A State may temporarily suspend your driving privileges for a number of reasons, including:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • refusing to take a blood-alcohol test
  • driving without liability insurance
  • speeding
  • reckless driving
  • leaving the scene of an injury accident
  • failing to pay a driving-related fine
  • failing to answer a traffic summons
  • failing to file an accident report

In addition, New Jersey uses a "point" system to keep track of a driver's moving violations: each moving violation is assigned a certain number of points. If a driver accumulates too many points within a given period of time, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will suspend his or her license.

Why doesn't New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) return a driver's license after the period of suspension?
For security purposes, New Jersey MVC no longer maintains paper files. When a driver's license is surrendered due to suspension, a notation is made on the driver history record and the actual document is destroyed. Text appears on the driver's restoration notice to enable him or her to obtain a free replacement license at any Motor Vehicle Commission agency when the driving privilege is restored.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty to a traffic violation in a court of law?
To answer this question, you will have to factor in potential fines, penalties, surcharges, court costs, motor vehicle points, insurance eligibility points and effects on your driving privileges that will follow a guilty plea to the charged offenses.
If you plead not guilty, you have an opportunity to go to court and have a trial, at which the State, represented by the municipal prosecutor, will have to prove your guilt to the judge beyond a reasonable doubt. You can also plead not guilty and see if you or your lawyer can plea bargain with the municipal prosecutor for a factually similar, but legally different result. The municipal court judge, prosecutor and police officer all have access to your driving abstract, and this is a major factor in the State's decision on the terms of a plea bargain.

Are there viable excuses or questions that might prevent an officer from issuing a traffic ticket?
As a general rule, if you are speeding to the hospital, or run a red light due to an emergency, a ticket will not likely be issued and you might get a police escort to accompany you. But in the end, the violator's attitude really does make a difference whether or not a ticket is issued. The officer generally has the last word on traffic stops, and motorists can gain an advantage by being cooperative and patient with questions. Also, it doesn't hurt to ask the officer for a warning.
If you or someone you know in the New Jersey or New York Metropolis needs the assistance of an experienced traffic defense lawyer, contact Attorney E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi of the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi, Counsellor-at-Law, L.L.C., at (866) 784-2285 or via his convenient contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey traffic defense lawyer.

MOTOR VEHICLEPOINT REDUCTION IN NEW JERSEY

Three ways points can be reduced and/or deducted:

  1. For every year of safe driving (no violations or suspensions), up to three points may be subtracted from your point total. This reduction of points occurs one year after:
    1. your last point violation
    2. your license was restored
    3. or the last time annual safe driving points were subtracted from your record (whichever is later).
  2. After completion of a Motor Vehicle Services (MVS) offered driver improvement program, up to three points may be subtracted from your point total. These programs are only offered to problem drivers selected by MVS. Credit is given for one program maximum every two years.
  3. After completion of a MVS approved defensive driving course up to two points may be subtracted from your point total. Credit is given for one program maximum every five years.
  4. Please visit the "Improv-School" for more information on on-line driver improvement program.

*These above courses are separate from the NJDMV course for violators who have accumulated 12 or more points.

NOTE: Your point total will never be reduced below zero.