Middlesex County Traffic Violations Lawyer
If you are in need of an experienced New Jersey traffic violations attorney, contact the law office of Jeffrey R. Brown, Esq. I have represented clients on a multitude of traffic violations in Municipal Courts throughout Middlesex County and the surrounding vicinity.
While each Court is governed by the same body of law, each town’s Court also has its own unique personnel, nuances, and local customs, and there are occasionally some differences between how the same motor vehicle offense or violation may be treated between towns. It is therefore very important to retain an attorney familiar with the Municipal Court you are to appear in for your traffic violation.
Common traffic violations include speeding, careless driving, reckless driving, improper passing, improper U-turns, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, and failure to signal or stop. In addition to these violations, it is no unusual for motorists to also be cited for credential violations, such as failure to produce a valid license, registration, or insurance card. These “minor” credential violations can sometimes add up to costly fines, particularly when combined with moving violation summonses.
The most widely used strategy to avoid motor vehicle points assessed by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission usually entails negotiating a plea agreement with the municipal prosecutor, wherein a client will plead guilty to a less serious charge but avoid a trial. Generally, an attorney will be able to negotiate a more favorable plea bargain that a self-represented person since the attorney has greater knowledge of the law and the defenses available on a particular violation. Given the large volume of cases heard in Municipal Courts throughout Middlesex County, plea bargaining is essential to the smooth operation of the courts, which generally operate on a part-time schedule with a part-time staff and part-time Judges and prosecutors.
One of the more common plea deals in Municipal Court involves downgrading an offense which carries motor vehicle points to the offense of unsafe driving under N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2, which does not carry points for the first and second offenses, but will carry points if a third offense takes places within five years of the prior offense. It is very important to make sure that a prospective client is eligible to utilize unsafe driving as a no-point alternative before entering into such a plea agreement.
Another no-point alternative which is sometimes utilized is the offense of delaying traffic, N.J.S.A. 39:4-56. However, since the fine for this violation is lower than that for unsafe driving, in practice, most municipal prosecutors are very reluctant to offer this alternative. Furthermore, most municipal court judges will require a “factual basis” for such a plea agreement. In other words, a defendant, or the defendant’s attorney, would need to explain how the defendant delayed traffic. In the case of a client who receives a Summons for speeding, it can be very difficult to argue that the client delayed traffic through his speeding.
In short, as the laws governing traffic violations in the Municipal Courts can be confusing to those not familiar with them, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in this field.