Posted on Feb 08, 2011
It happens all the time; you walk out of the house, get in your car, and drive off to work, realizing later that you forgot your wallet.  On top of that, you get pulled over by the police for some infraction.  The law says that all motorists must produce their driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance, upon request by a police officer.  If you don't, it can get expensive.

Well, maybe not anymore.  Yesterday, a bill proposed by Senator Christopher Bateman (R - Somerset)  and unanimously passed the State Transportation Committee, seeks to lower the fine. Currently $150 plus court costs, the bill would allow the judge to set the fine for an amount not to exceed $100.  He or she also has the discretion to dismiss the charge entirely if the correct documents are produced in court.  As quoted on, Senator Bateman observed:  "'If you're a soccer mom and you're running to your kid's game and you forgot your license, it shouldn't cost you $180,' said Bateman, who noted someone missing all three would have to pay almost $500."

This is a very welcome recognition of how much motorists pay in New Jersey for violating its motor vehicle laws.  Although some people do go to court on these tickets, many more just mail in a check for the amount of the fine printed on the back of the summons.  If this bill passes, motorists have the opportunity to ask for dismissal of the charges if they go to court and produce the documents.  At worst, the cost of the convenience of staying at home would be no more than $100.  Now that's good news!

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

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