Experienced Attorney fighting Careless Driving Tickets throughout Bergen, Hudson and Passaic County, New Jersey
If you received a ticket for careless driving in NJ, you may first want to speak with a lawyer before simply paying the ticket.
The careless driving law reads:
- A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of careless driving. N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.
As you can see, New Jersey’s careless driving statute covers a wide range of driving conduct. An officer must merely find that you were driving differently than a reasonable driver would have driven under the same circumstances. This provides great latitude for an officer to write a ticket. Typically, if you are found guilty of careless driving in New Jersey, you can be assessed the following penalties:
- Two points on your New Jersey license.
- A fine between $50.00 to $200.00;
- Court costs; and
- A surcharge.
To some, the consequences of two points on your driver’s license is concerning. To others, it is not. However, whether or not you consider the fine and points serious for you, a careless driving ticket becomes a significant issue when it is issued as a result of an accident. In such instances, the officer has concluded, often based on the officer’s own investigation or witness accounts, that you did not act in a reasonable and prudent manner and you put people or property in danger. It is when a ticket is issued in these situations that hiring a New Jersey lawyer to represent you becomes most important.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer For a Careless Driving Ticket?
If you receive a careless driving ticket as a result of an accident, there are at least four reasons that you should consult an attorney:
- New Jersey law recognizes that the mere occurrence of a motor vehicle accident, without more, is not sufficient proof to prove a careless driving charge. The State must demonstrate that there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you were driving carelessly.
- If you plead guilty to the charge of careless driving, or if you are found guilty of the charge, your insurance company can conclude that the accident was your fault. If you are found at fault of an accident by your insurance company and the insurance company pays out $500.00 or more in claims, additional points can be added to your insurance eligibility.
- A guilty plea can affect a later civil suit if you are sued by the other person or persons involved in the accident. An attorney can help protect a guilty plea from being used in a later lawsuit.
- If you plead guilty or are found guilty of careless driving in “safe corridor” areas, construction areas or in 60 mile per hour speed zones, the fines will be doubled.
For these reasons, it is increasingly important that you speak to an attorney knowledgeable of New Jersey traffic law who can represent your interests. To discuss a careless driving ticket in New Jersey, please feel free to contact The Cintron Firm, with offices in New Brunswick, Montclair, and Hackensack at (201) 791-1333 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.