In New Jersey you can actually face jail time for traffic tickets. It is fairly rare, but it does happen. What is even rarer is where there is an accumulation of jail time for various tickets you would have received at the stop that adds up to a rather long stay. How much time can you rack up?
Judges Can Be Limited to 180 Day Jail Sentences
In the case of State v. Federico the court held that jail terms imposed as a result of multiple traffic ticket convictions arising out of a single incident may not exceed 180 days. In that case there was someone who was convicted of a third offense DUI, along with driving on the revoked list as a result of a prior DUI conviction. Each of these offenses required a jail term, and the total time exceeded 180 days.
In arriving at this decision, the Court noted that federal constitutional law would permit a sentence exceeding 180 days following the conviction for a variety of petty offenses stemming from the same incident. However, as a matter of long-standing policy, in the absence of the offer of a jury trial, 180 days of incarceration is the maximum permitted in our state for convictions of multiple petty offenses arising from the same incident.
Judges Don't Always Have That Limitation
You should bear in mind, however, that this is for traffic court offenses, not criminal matters such as shoplifting, simple assault, and the like. These are considered disorderly, or petty disorderly conduct, charges (what other states would call misdemeanors), as opposed to traffic tickets. Even so, it does give someone an idea of the maximum time you may face as a result of these types of violations.
Are You Facing Jail Time for NJ Traffic Tickets?
If you are facing the possibility of going to jail, whether it be for a traffic ticket or minor criminal offenses, you should have a lawyer to represent you in court. An experienced practitioner may be able to avoid or limit a jail term on your behalf.
If you have received a ticket or tickets in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, and are facing possible jail time, call me immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation in my Woodbury office. If you are out of state or out of the area, this can be done by phone.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.
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