Understanding Your Options if Caught Driving With a Suspended License

If your driver's license was suspended in New Jersey, you're facing a significant dilemma. Without the ability to drive, your daily responsibilities don't pause. You still need to get to work, take your kids to school, manage grocery shopping, and attend to the essential tasks of your life. This situation puts you in a tough spot, as you must navigate these challenges without the convenience of your vehicle. The risks of trying to fulfill these duties without a license are considerable, and should you choose to drive regardless, the consequences can be even more severe. This predicament affects your mobility and adds a layer of stress and complexity to your routine, making it crucial to find alternative solutions to address your transportation needs. As a skilled New Jersey traffic court lawyer, I can help you understand your options.

The Penalties for Driving While Suspended

Driving on a suspended license can become a severe problem, especially if you do it more than once. Convictions for this offense never go off your driving record, and the penalties for each one are increasingly severe:

  • First offense: $500 fine
  • Second offense: $750 fine and 0-5 days in jail
  • Third or subsequent offenses: $1,000 fine and ten days in jail

Each offense also carries a potential additional license suspension of up to 180 days and a $250/year surcharge for three years. If you are driving on a license suspended due to a DWI conviction, it is even worse.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done?

The good news is that most people can resolve these tickets relatively painlessly. Most of the cases I deal with are people who received the ticket because:

  • They never paid the fee to have their license restored after a period of suspension
  • The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission suspended their license for failure to pay fines or surcharges, appear in court on another unrelated ticket, or reinstate an insurance policy.
  • They did not know their license was suspended.

In those circumstances where a driver's license is "restorable," the traffic courts, on the whole, will agree to downgrade the ticket to Failure to Produce a Driver's License upon demand or out-and-out dismiss it if the license is restored.

How to Get Your License Restored

In these instances, getting restored may just mean paying the restoration fee, working out a deal for the payment of fines and surcharges, or going to court on another unrelated ticket to resolve it.

Also, if you did not know that your license had been suspended, and the state cannot prove that you received proper notice of the same, you may well get the ticket dismissed.

If you have received a ticket for driving while suspended in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, or Cumberland County, New Jersey, call my office right away at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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.