Getting a traffic ticket in New Jersey may be getting a little less expensive. We're always keeping an sharp eye on the New Jersey Legislature for legal developments that effect New Jersey motorists. No one likes paying traffic tickets. For many, paying a $150 fine, $6 administration fee, and $33 in court costs for a total of $189 is an extreme amount of money for inadvertently driving without having possession of your drivers licence or registration. This week, the New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee approved legislation (designated S-73) that would reduce the fine for NJSA 39 -39 (a), 39 -39 (b), 39 -39 (c) from $150 to $25. The bill proposed by Senator Kip Bateman (Somerset, Hunterton, and Mercer Counties) will now be considered by the full Senate. As always, the details are important. Senator Bateman's legislation seeks to reduce the hefty fines associated with failing to produce a driver's license or vehicle registration during a traffic stop the police officer conducting the stop can verify by electronic means that those documents have been issued to the person and are valid on the date of the charge.” You can read a full text of the proposed bill right here on our website. However, there are important exceptions to Senator Bateman's bill that New Jersey drivers need to be aware of… “In instances where the officer is unable to verify via electronic means that the missing documents have been issued to the person and are valid on the date of the charge, the current fine of $150 would remain. Additionally, judges would retain the ability to dismiss the charge of failing to produce a license or registration if the person could present the missing documents when summoned to answer the charge in municipal court. The judge would also retain the ability to impose court costs, even if the case is dismissed. The reduced fines would only apply to failure to present a driver's license or vehicle registration, since that information in stored in a database that is accessible from most patrol cars. The fine for failure to provide proof of insurance would remain at $150 since insurance information is not stored in a way that can be easily verified electronically.” DeMichele & DeMichele will keep you up-to-date regarding the progress of Senator Bateman's legislation through the State House. Until the bill passes both chambers and is ultimately signed by the Governor, New Jersey motorists still face the possibility of steep fines and a trip to municipal court for a relatively common and simple mistake: leaving the house without driving-related documents. If you or someone you know is facing a charge of driving without a valid driver's license, vehicle registration, insurance or simply proof thereof, then contact the municipal court defense lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele online today for a confidential and free consultation. You can also reach by telephone at (856) 546-1350.
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