Turning Traffic Offenses In New Jersey Into Crimes With A Stroke Of A Pen

by Richard R. Uslan on Sep. 07, 2017

 General Practice 

Summary: If you are charged with the serious offense of Driving While Suspended, consult with Richard R. Uslan, the attorney who has personally and successfully helped thousands of motorists charged with this NJ traffic violation over the past thirty years...

If you are charged with the serious offense of Driving While Suspended, consult with Richard R. Uslan, the attorney who has personally and successfully helped thousands of motorists charged with this NJ traffic violation over the past thirty years, day in and day out, throughout the more than 500 municipalities of the State of New Jersey, including but not limited to the Municipal Courts in Central Jersey, such as Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Morris County, Union County and Warren County.

It is now more important than ever in New Jersey that you be represented by a lawyer with a proven track record of defending, not only persons charged with serious traffic violations, but also, persons charged with NJ criminal offenses, as well.  Richard R. Uslan is an attorney who, as a result of his experience, reputation and knowledge in this special area of the law is often invited to teach attorneys — throughout the State of New Jersey — how to effectively defend the very serious traffic violation of Driving While Suspended or Driving While Revoked, as well as Driving Under the Influence and all other serious motor vehicle offenses.

Certain Violations Of Driving While Suspended Are Now Criminal In Nature

Count on Richard R. Uslan to Effectively Defend You!

There is no room for error by having an inexperienced or unseasoned attorney represent you, because on August 1, 2011, the stakes became greater for New Jersey suspended motorists.  It was on that date, that what had been a traffic violation the previous day became, under some circumstances, a Fourth Degree Crime, carrying a maximum State Prison term of up to 18 months if convicted; and in the case of this particular 4th Degree Crime, a minimum 180 day jail term without being eligible for parole.

I’m talking about N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26 of the New Jersey Criminal Code.    This new law makes it a crime to drive while suspended two or more times in the course of serving the driving suspension imposed for a first conviction of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).    You will also violate this law and face jail if you drive while suspended, even once, while serving the driving suspension imposed for a second or subsequent DWI conviction.    Before August 1, 2011, neither of these infractions were a violation of New Jersey’s Criminal Laws.  Instead, they were classified as motor vehicle infractions, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39: 3-40(f)(2)(3).

As Many Ways As There Are To Have Your Driver’s License In New Jersey Suspended Or Revoked, Are There Defenses To Defeat These Charges Or Reduce The Penalty

There are over 200 ways that your privilege to drive can become suspended or revoked, and interestingly, only about twenty of those pertain to suspensions or revocations due to poor driving.   For example, you can be suspended for non-payment of child support, failure to pay insurance charges or failure to pay certain fines or penalties.    What do these have to do with your ability to drive safely?

 In New Jersey, one can be driving in a safe and careful manner, yet still be lawfully stopped by the police, who, armed with mobile data terminal (MDT) computers in their police cars, have direct and immediate access to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) records located in Trenton, the State Capitol.    After entering the license plate of the car you are operating, if it is determined that your vehicle registration has expired or is suspended, the police officer can pull you over, regardless of who is driving the car!    An equally common occurrence is that the police run the license plate of the registered owner of the car and then search the driving history for that owner.  If the driving privilege of the registered owner of the vehicle is suspended, and the police have determined that the description of the driver of the car is similar to the digital driver’s license photo and other identifying information appearing on their computer screen, the officer can and will pull you over — even if you have been driving the car in a safe manner!

Almost as many ways as there are to suspend driver’s licenses in New Jersey, are there defenses, and other factors,  that the Law Offices of Richard R. Uslan has utilized to defeat or minimize these serious charges based upon his extensive knowledge and experience in this area of the law over the past thirty years.

Looking back at my legal career of over thirty years, I remember several occasions as a Driving While Suspended Attorney in Bridgewater Township, a Driving While Revoked Lawyer in South Bound Brook, and a Suspended Driver Attorney in Manville, Franklin Township, Readington Township and Raritan Township, when my clients were exposed to possible convictions for motor vehicle violations with potential sentences of not more than 180 days in the County Jail.  Now they would face potential convictions of crimes with a maximum sentence of 18 months in State Prison.  The trend is to criminalize offenses such as appear in Chapter 40 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, aptly categorized as “Other Offenses Relating to Public Safety”.  Many were previously contained in New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle & Traffic Regulations.  As the public and lawmakers become less tolerant of this conduct, criminalizing motor vehicle violations will continue, making it necessary to be very selective and discriminating when making the important decision about who should represent you.

In New Jersey, defendants charged only with traffic offenses are generally prosecuted by part-time local prosecutors appearing in front of a part-time judge of the municipal court.   Traffic Offenses are regulatory; almost without exception, the prosecution need not prove that you had any intention of committing the violation in order to convict you of it.   Moreover, you are not entitled to a jury because you are not facing a conviction for a crime that exposes you to more than six months in prison.  The procedures in municipal court are more abbreviated, and while they are complex, do not include the added dimension of a trial by jury, which every defendant charged with a crime is entitled to under the United States Constitution.

Criminal Trials in New Jersey are conducted in the Superior Court, are prosecuted by a full-time county prosecutor, with a jury and a full-time judge, often with tenure, presiding;  and who, unlike municipal court judges, is insulated from public criticism if they make unpopular, yet just rulings, whether for the prosecution or the defense.

A conviction for a motor vehicle violation does not appear on a Certified Criminal History (CCH).    However, the traffic conviction would appear, forever, on a New Jersey Certified Driving Abstract.  Crimes, on the other hand, would appear on a CCH, and only under certain strict circumstances could they later be “expunged” — segregated from general public access — together with identifying police photographs (“mug shots”), fingerprints, DNA samples and the police reports, all of which are generated when one has been arrested and convicted of a criminal offense inNew Jersey.

I am able to guide you, educate you, and first and foremost, defend you through this complicated process, whether you have been charged with the motor vehicle violation of Driving While Suspended or Revoked, or any related Crimes and Offenses.  I’ve been doing it for over thirty years and I do it very well.

Defending you is my business!

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