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Consequences of driving on a suspended license in New Jersey

By James

Your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for a number of reasons. Suspensions and revocations are taken very seriously in the state of New Jersey, and may result in additional fines and penalties if you continue to drive after losing your driving privileges. A word of advice for you regarding driving with a suspended license in NJ: Do NOT, under any circumstances, drive with a suspended license in New Jersey ever!

Why would your driver’s license be suspended or revoked?

A number of reasons could lead to the suspension or revocation of your license, such as accumulation of traffic offenses, certain criminal convictions, driving under the influence, reckless driving, abandonment of a motor vehicle on a public highway, driving without insurance, failing to provide proof of insurance when asked, causing a fatal car accident and so on. In most instances, the reason of suspension is cumulative, rather than due to a one-time traffic violation or incident. Other times, your license may be suspended for reasons that have nothing to do with driving a car.

Some of these other reasons include failure to reply to a Notice from the MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission), failure to pay your traffic tickets and fines, failure to appear in court for a traffic related matter, failure to make timely payments on any surcharges imposed by the MVC, and even failure to make mandatory child support payments.

Point system in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey operates a point system for driver’s licenses. Points are assigned to different traffic offenses which results in the suspension of your license if you accumulate a certain number of points. In New Jersey, our license will be suspended if you:

  • get 12 points within 2 years
  • get 15 points in a period more than 2 years
  • get between 12 to 15 points in a period greater than 2 years, unless you complete a driver improvement course

Certain criminal convictions may also result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, such as a drug conviction. Similarly, if the driver was involved in a crash which caused serious injury or death, or if the driver was driving recklessly, or was speeding greater than 20 mph over the given limit, they may lose their driving privileges. Alcohol-related offenses also lead to a suspension of the driver’s license.

How can you get your license reinstated?

The length of time a license is suspended or revoked for varies depending on the crime which led to the revocation or suspension. In order to have your license reinstated, you may have to pay a restoration fee of $100 along with other fees. The driver may also have to complete other requirements for their license to be valid again.

Consequences of driving on a suspended or revoked license

Being charged for driving on a suspended or revoked license could result in fines and even jail sentence.

  • A first offense charge for driving with your license suspended or revoked may carry a fine of $500.
  • A second offense charge for driving with a suspended or revoked license may carry a fine of $750. The offender may also be sentenced to one to five days in jail.
  • A third offense charge for driving with a suspended or revoked license may carry a fine of $1000 and a jail sentence of 10 days.

How long will you be sentenced to for driving on a suspended license in New Jersey?

In all these cases, sentencing depends on the reason for suspension or revocation of your license in the first place. For example, if the driver was involved in an accident causing injury to someone else, they may have to face between 45 to 180 days in jail. Similarly, if the license was suspended or revoked due to driving while intoxicated, the offender may be sentenced to anywhere between 10 to 90 days in jail. If the license suspension or revocation was caused as a result of an insurance violation, the offender may be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail.

Penalties for driving on a suspended license

Driving on a suspended license in NJ is illegal and must be avoided at all costs. It can lead to facing prison term, along with heavy fines. If you are charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, the penalties may be severe if other factors are involved, such as driving while intoxicated or if it is a repeat offense. In such cases, you may be charged with a fourth-degree crime and you may even be incarcerated for a minimum of 180 days.

A first time driving on a suspended license offense will carry a fine of $500, along with an extended suspension of your license for another 6 months. For a second offense, the penalties increase. A second offense driving with a suspended license charge in the state of New Jersey carries a fine of $750, along with a possible license suspension of up to 6 months. A second offense also carries a mandatory jail term of 1 to 5 days. A third offense driving with a suspended license in NJ carries a fine of $1,000 along with a jail sentence of 10 days. The court may order the offender to complete a community service program.

In many cases, such as when the driver is involved in a car accident, causing personal injury to someone, their license may even be suspended or revoked for a longer period of time. Similarly, if alcohol or drugs were involved, their license will be suspended for another 1 to 2 years, and the offender will have to serve a jail sentence of up to 90 days.

Getting legal help

If you have been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license in New Jersey, you should consider hiring legal counsel. Based on the circumstances of your arrest, you may even have to face heavier fines, jail time, and license revocation or suspension for an additional period of time. The circumstances of your arrest will also affect your ability to obtain or retain insurance. It will also make it difficult for you to stay employed, or continue schooling. Your sentencing will depend on the judge and prosecutor, and will affect other areas of your life as well. Only a qualified and experienced attorney, who is familiar with these charges, will be able to provide you the support you need.

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