You’ve been stopped on the road and issued a traffic citation—officers say you were speeding, made an illegal turn or failed to stop at a light. There’s not really much you can do, is there? After all, it’ll be your word against that of the police officer. You may as well just plead guilty and pay the fine, right? Not so fast!
There are more consequences to pleading guilty to a traffic violation that a simple fine:
- The citation may add points to your record. If you’ve had prior violations, you may be at risk of losing your driving privileges.
- Your motor vehicle insurance premiums are determined, in part, by your driving record. Pleading guilty could lead to significant increases in what you have to pay.
- You may be required to enroll in driving classes, an additional cost
On the other hand, if you plead not guilty and contest the ticket, you can potentially avoid all these costs.
Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Fight a Traffic Citation
Here are some of the criteria for determining whether you want to contest a traffic ticket:
- What objective evidence do you have to challenge the ticket? Were there witnesses who would testify that you did not violate the law? Were there extenuating circumstances that caused you to engage in illegal actions? If so, how will you communicate that information to the judge and jury?
- Will pleading guilty add points to your driving record and, if so, how many? Different traffic violations carry different numbers of points. If the violation involves a lot of points, you will want to give more consideration to challenging it. In addition, will the number of points added put you at risk of losing your license?
- Is there a likelihood that a guilty plea or conviction would result in jail time? These types of penalties usually only apply in DUI prosecutions.
- Can you take the time to go to court? What do you stand to lose if you have to appear in court on a number of occasions?
Contact the Law Offices of McNerney & McAuliffe
At McNerney & McAuliffe, we fight for the rights of people who have received traffic citations in New Jersey. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 201-525-1980. All major credit cards are welcome. We will travel to meet with you, if necessary. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.