Like many other states, New Jersey has a system of points associated with certain traffic violations, such as speeding, careless driving, and reckless driving. These points can often be avoided by making an agreement with the prosecutor to plead to a violation called "Unsafe Operation."

This charge carries no points but does have a hefty $250 surcharge in addition to fines and costs.  In situations where additional points could lead to insurance surcharges or license suspension, this option can be a good idea.

"Unsafe Operation" Only Works in New Jersey

A problem arises if you are not a New Jersey licensed driver. When someone licensed in another state is convicted of a traffic violation, it affects their driving privileges in that state, not their license. In effect, the consequences come into play only if you drive again in New Jersey.

However, there can be other consequences based on "reciprocation."  When you are found guilty of a motor vehicle violation in a New Jersey court, that violation is reported to the state where you hold your driver's license.

Home State Rules Apply

That state then enters the violation on your driving record based on specific rules of reciprocity, because the traffic laws are not identical in all states. In this way, the consequences of a New Jersey violation may be different at home.

A prime example of this is when a Delaware driver gets a speeding ticket in New Jersey.  In an effort to avoid points, the driver pleads to "Unsafe Operation."  The driver doesn't realize that that violation could well reciprocate back home to a violation that carries points!

There are ways to address this issue, and as an experienced New Jersey traffic court lawyer, I may be able to help you without you having to come to a New Jersey court

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