I often get this question when people from surrounding states like Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, or Maryland get a ticket while driving through New Jersey. The answer is, in most instances, depending on the court and the charges, no.

Traffic court judges in Southern New Jersey understand that many people get tickets while passing through their towns from other states and often cannot appear in their courts. Doing so would involve a great expense of time and money. As a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer, I can help you understand your options if you get ticketed and are from out of the state.

Ways to Resolve a NJ Traffic Ticket Without Appearing in Court

For most traffic matters, you can "plea by affidavit." What does that mean? It means that your lawyer can appear in court on your behalf and negotiate a plea with the prosecutor. For example, they could knock a speeding ticket down to an Unsafe Operation or "no point" charge.

You would then have to sign a sworn statement before a notary setting forth the necessary facts for the plea. This then gets sent to the court clerk with payment of the fees and court costs. In effect, you never have to appear.

Can This Be Done with All Traffic Tickets?

This is not to say that this will happen in every instance. Some judges are more strict on what constitutes too far away to appear. If the court is in Camden, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, and you live in a Philly suburb, they may still require you to appear. Others just do not allow it.

It is also not available with more severe charges, like drunk driving or excessive speeding. Anything that can result in license (or driving privilege) suspension or jail time requires an appearance.

Thus, although it is common practice to enter a plea by affidavit, and you probably won't have to, you should always assume you must appear unless your attorney tells you otherwise.

Understanding Your Options

If you live out of state and have received a ticket in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, or Cumberland County,  you need an attorney to represent you. If you are ready to take action, call my office immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to discuss your matter. It may well be handled quickly and easily without you having to leave your home!

If you want more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.

Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.