You may expect severe penalties for a DUI conviction or causing a serious accident. However, you may not give much thought to the penalties for traffic offenses, such as speeding, running a red light or tailgating. In fact, you may be like many who prefer to accept the charges, pay the fine and go on with life. However, paying a fine may not be the end of your penalties.
New Jersey, like other states, has a points system in place. Certain moving violations can result in points on your license. As these points accumulate, the consequences become more severe.
It’s not a simple matter
Traffic violations can remain on your record for years. This can affect you in ways you may not consider. For example, if you apply for a job that involves driving or the use of a company car, your driving record may play a significant role in your eligibility. However, more immediately, you will probably have the following consequences if you simply pay a ticket or if a judge convicts you of a violation:
- You will likely pay a fine.
- You will receive a certain number of points added to your record, depending on the offense.
- Points on your driving record may classify you as a high-risk driver, which means your insurance rates may rise.
- As few as six points in three years can result in an additional surcharge from the Motor Vehicle Commission, which can add up to hundreds of dollars and which you may owe for several years.
- After you accumulate 12 points on your record, the state of New Jersey will suspend your driver’s license.
A few points on your license may not seem like much, but if you are a careless driver, those points can add up quickly. A speeding ticket and an accident may get you there before you know it. You will have to drive for one year without a single violation or attend a driving defense school to have any points removed from your record. Otherwise, they remain for five years.
While complying with traffic laws is a safe way to avoid the frustrating and expensive consequences of a moving violation, you may be facing a violation you feel you do not deserve. Because of the potential for long-lasting consequences, you would be wise to keep your record as clean as possible by obtaining the assistance of a skilled attorney.