New Jersey, like many other states, has a system of points that are associated with certain traffic violations such as speeding, careless driving, and reckless driving. These points can oftentimes 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 NJ

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

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

Home State Rules Apply

That state then enters that violation on your driving record there based on certain 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 where a Pennsylvania or Delaware driver gets a speeding ticket in New Jersey.  In an effort to avoid points, he pleads to "Unsafe Operation."  What he doesn't realize is that that violation reciprocates back home to a violation that carries points!

So How Do You Handle the Ticket?

There are ways to address this! So, if you have received a ticket in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, New Jersey, before you plead to anything that could have serious, unforeseen consequences, you should call me as soon as possible at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to discuss your options.  It may also be able to be resolved without you having to come to court!

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