In New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission maintains a points system. For many traffic violations, in addition to fines or other penalties, you will receive points on your permanent driving record. If you are assessed enough points, your driver’s license can be suspended or you may be required to pay a surcharge on your auto insurance. As a driver in New Jersey, you need to know how the points system works and what your rights and obligations are.
What Is the Points System?
When you are found guilty or plead no contest to certain traffic violations, you will have a certain number of points assessed to your driving record. The number of points that are assessed depends on the specific offense. If you accumulate six or more points within a three-year period, you will be required to pay a surcharge on your auto insurance. If you accumulate 12 points in a three-year period, your driver’s license can be suspended.
Examples of Offenses That Receive Points
Examples of the points that are assessed for certain traffic violations include:
- Moving against traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, or Atlantic City Expressway – 2 points
- Improper passing on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, or Atlantic City Expressway – 4 points
- Unlawful use of the median on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, or Atlantic City Expressway – 2 points
- Careless driving – 2 points
- Reckless driving – 5 points
- Tailgating – 5 points
- Passing in a no passing zone – 4 points
- Speeding 1-14 mph over the speed limit – 2 points
- Speeding 15-29 mph over the speed limit – 4 points
- Speeding 30 mph or more over the speed limit – 5 points
How Do You Get Points Off Your License?
There are only a few ways to remove points from your driving record in New Jersey. The easiest way to get points off your license is simply to wait. In the points system, three points are removed from your driving records every 12 months following your last traffic violation.
If you commit certain traffic offenses or accumulate a certain amount of points, you can also remove points from your record by participating in certain court-ordered programs. As a probationary driver (someone who has held their license for less than two years), if you are convicted of two or more traffic violations that impose four or more points on your record, you will be involuntarily enrolled in the Probationary Driver Program, a four-hour class. If you pass the class, you will have up to three points removed from your license. For all other license holders, if you accumulate 12 to 14 points over more than two years, you can choose to attend the Driver Improvement Program in lieu of a driver’s license suspension. If you are convicted of another traffic violation within a year of completing the DIP, your license will be suspended.
Finally, you can voluntarily choose to attend a Defensive Driver Program to remove points from your record. The program, which is conducted online, will take two points off your license. However, you can only complete the program to remove points once every five years.
Contact an Experienced Scotch Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Traffic Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with a traffic violation in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with traffic violations in Passaic, Wayne, Union, Plainfield, and throughout New Jersey. Call (908) 325-5571 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 1827 E. 2nd St., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, as well as offices located in Westfield, Newark, East Brunswick, Clifton, Cherry Hill, and Elizabeth.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.