Garden State Drivers Could Face Fines, Points and Driver's License Suspension for Ordinary Acts Behind the Wheel
A new piece of legislation working its way through New Jersey's state legislature could have a dramatic impact on motorists using New Jersey many highway and byways. Right before Thanksgiving, the New Jersey State Assembly's Transportation Committee unanimously approved A4461. Here is the accompanying explanatory bill statement: “This bill addresses the increasing problem of distracted driving. The bill specifically prohibits a driver from engaging in any activity, not related to the operation of the vehicle, in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle. A law enforcement officer is to record on the summons the specific nature of the distracted driving behavior. A violation of this prohibition will result in a $200-$400 fine for the first offense, $400-$600 for a second offense, and $600-$800 for a third or subsequent offense. A third or subsequent violation may also result in a driver's license suspension of up to 90 days and a motor vehicle points penalty at the court's discretion. Points are only to be issued for third or subsequent offenses.” [Emphasis added.] Click here to read the current version; we'll wait to see if additional revisions/amendments occur as it makes its way through the legislative process. If passed and signed into law in its present form, it's conceivable that a local police offer or New Jersey state trooper would be able to pull you over and issue a citation solely on the basis of “driving while operating an over-sized soda,” fidgeting with your radio or turning around to reprimand your children in the backseat. Alternatively, seemingly mundane acts like those described in the previous sentence could serve as sufficient “probable cause” to make a traffic stop which, in turn, could open the door to additional charges. Substantial fines and insurance points are bad enough; a suspended license can dramatically affect one's ability to parent, work, and live a normal social life. Worse still are the repercussions associated with driving while suspended. If a driver is caught operating a motor vehicle while his or her license is still suspended or simply has not been restored post-suspension, the penalties could include months in jail. We'll keep you in the loop concerning all relevant developments. In the interim, if you or a loved one needs strong representation in any municipal court in New Jersey, do not hesitate to contact the municipal court defense lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele today. We are here to defend the charges against you. Contact us now for your confidential and free initial consultation. You can also reach us by telephone (856) 546-1350. Don't just plead guilty and risk your driving privilege or driving record.