DRIVING WHILE SUSPENDED/REVOKED
Driving is a “privilege” (not a right) that most individuals take for granted. That privilege may be suspended or revoked by a Municipal Court Judge or by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) for administrative reasons.
In-Court Suspensions: Some of the reasons your license may be suspended by a Municipal Court Judge are:
- Conviction for DWI;
- Conviction for refusal to take chemical breath test (in connection with DWI arrest);
- Conviction for a drug offense;
- Conviction for driving with no insurance;
- Conviction for driving while suspended/revoked;
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Failure to appear in court;
- Failure to pay fines;
- Failure to install ignition interlock device;
- Allowing an unlicensed or suspended driver to operate your vehicle;
- Any moving violation that the Court deems a suspension would be appropriate, e.g. Speeding at a very high rate of speed or Reckless Driving.
Administrative Suspensions: Some of the reasons your license may be suspended administratively by the MVC are:
- Accumulation of 12 or more points;
- Failing to pay MVC surcharge.
- Failing to pay insurance.
Basic Penalties: It is illegal to drive if your driving privilege is suspended. In New Jersey, the basic penalties for driving with suspended/revoked license are as follows:
- 1stOffense:$500.00 fine and license suspension not to exceed six months;
- 2ndOffense: $750.00 fine and license suspension not to exceed six months. Mandatory jail not to exceed 5 days;
- 3rdor Subsequent Offense: $1,000.00 fine and license suspension not to exceed six months. Mandatory jail for 10 days.
If a second or subsequent offense occurs within 5 years of the previous conviction, your registration privilege will also be suspended for the duration of the license suspension.
Enhanced Penalties: Depending on the reason your license was suspended, harsher (enhanced) penalties may be imposed in addition to the basic penalties described above. Some of the more common reasons why those pnealties may be enhances are as follows:
- Driving While Suspended Involving Accident: If you are driving with a suspended license and are involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury to another person, there is a mandatory jail sentence of 45 to 180 days. This penalty applies regardless of who was at fault;
- Driving While Suspended for DWI Conviction: In addition to the basic penalties above, there is an additional fine of $500.00, an additional license suspension for a period of not less than one year nor more than two years, and a mandatory jail sentence not to exceed 90 days if your suspension is the result of a DWI conviction.
Please note: It is a criminal offense (crime of the fourth degree) punishable by a mandatory 6 to 18 months imprisonment in the county jail if:
- it is your second or subsequent driving while suspended conviction as a result of your first DWI conviction; or
- it is your first driving while suspended conviction while serving a suspension for a second or subsequent DWI conviction.
There is no parole, or reduction of the 180 days for “good behavior”, and the entire jail sentence must be served in the county jail. It cannot be satisfied by house arrest, weekend jail, or Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP).
- Driving While Suspended for Uninsured Vehicle: In addition to the basic penalties above, if your suspension is the result of an Uninsured Vehicle conviction, there is an additional fine of $500.00, an additional license suspension for a period of not less than one year nor more than two years, and a mandatory jail sentence of not less than 10 days or more than 90 days.
Mandatory Surcharge:In addition to the above fines and penalties, a conviction for driving while suspended will result in an automatic surcharge by the MVC of $250.00 per year for 3 years, i.e. $750.00 total.
Restoration of Driving Privilege: The length of time your license is suspended or revoked may vary. After your period of suspension or revocation expires, you may have to pay a restoration fee, pay other fees, or complete other requirements before your license will be valid again. The restoration fee may be $100. Please note: If your driving privilege is suspended by either a judge or the MVC for a specific period of time, your privilege will continue to remain suspended until you have paid your restoration fee, and the MVC has formally entered an order of restoration.
What to do if you are charged with Driving While Suspended/Revoked (N.J.S.A. 39:3-40): Consider hiring legal counsel if you are charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license. The considerable fines, suspensions and potential jail time resulting from a Driving While Suspended/Revoked conviction can affect your ability to stay employed or in school, especially if you live in an area where public transportation is not easily accessible. Your inability to keep up with the mandatory surcharges may result in further suspensions of your driving privilege.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT ATTORNEY!…Elliot Stomelhas over 40 years of experiencerepresenting literally thousands of individuals charged with Driving While Suspended. He not only knows the law, but is also familiar with the particular policies of the judge and prosecutor in the municipality where you were charged. His many years of experience as a defense attorney combined with his having served as Municipal Prosecutor for Cherry Hill Township from 1991 to 1999, have provided him with the knowledge and skills to achieve the best possible result.
If you have been issued a ticket for Driving While Suspended/Revoked, you need to act quickly. Contact Elliot Stomel for your free telephone consultationat 856-216-1700.