So you’re driving through New Jersey and you get a ticket. The summons says that you have to appear in court on a particular date (or just pay a fine and plead guilty through the mail), but you forget or blow it off. You figure you can go back home and forget it. The problem will be left at the state line. Big mistake!
Although you might be thinking, what can they do to me, the answer is plenty! Most all states in the union talk to one another and share information on traffic court violations. As I have said in many articles on this site, states reciprocate on points (and sometimes license suspensions) and this can have an adverse effect when you get home.
Consequences of Blowing It Off
When you ignore a violation and do not appear in court or otherwise respond to the summons, the judge will initially enter a Failure to Appear on the court docket and issue a bench warrant for your arrest (there’s a nasty surprise if you ever come back to the Garden State).
The next step is the issuance of a detainer to the Motor Vehicle Commission, which will suspend your driving privileges here. Eventually, this will be reciprocated. That reciprocation can result in your home state license being suspended, or an inability to renew or get a new license somewhere.
This can even happen where you appear in court, but leave the state and do not pay the remainder of the fines or comply with other requirements of the sentence.
The bottom line here is that you cannot and should not ignore a New Jersey traffic violation if you are from out of state. It can have too many adverse consequences.
I Can Help!
If you are from out of state and have received a traffic ticket in southern New Jersey, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to discuss your case. I can work out a strategy for you and represent you in court. In most courts, and with most violations, you won't even have to appear!
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.