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A traffic ticket is no big deal, or is it?

If someone were to ask you whether you have a criminal record, you might be glad you can answer in the negative. However, if there's a past DUI or some other serious offense in your history, you're definitely not the only person in New Jersey who would have to answer positively to surveys regarding criminal histories. What about less-serious offenses such as traffic violations? Has a police officer ever issued you a speeding ticket?  

You might consider it no big deal because, after all, some people have many traffic tickets listed on their driving records. It's true that most people would not consider a minor traffic ticket as serious an issue as a DUI conviction or some other criminal offense. However, multiple traffic violations can impact your future in some very negative, long-lasting (if not permanent) ways. If you understand the possible implications ahead of time and know what type of support resources are available, you may be able to mitigate your circumstances. 

How many points do you have right now? 

Are you fully aware of your own driving record in the state of New Jersey? Do know how many, if any, points you have against your driver's license for minor or major traffic violations? Are you confused as to what we mean when we talk about points on a driving record? Read on, for further explanation: 

  • The Motor Vehicle Commission in New Jersey, as in many other states, adds points to your driving record any time you incur conviction for a traffic violation.  
  • The basic system works in such a way that serious offenses carry more points than minor infractions.  
  • In this state, if you get more than five points in three years' time, you will likely face a surcharge fine, meaning you will have to pay a certain amount annually for several years. 
  • Possible license suspension kicks in if you receive 12 points on your driving record at any time. 
  • Traffic violation conviction points are not the only instances that lead to driver's license suspension in New Jersey. DUI convictions, operating a vehicle without insurance and other offenses carry similar penalties. 

Let's say you are using GPS to navigate your way to a social event. Somehow, the technology detects your global positioning in reverse order (Glitches can happen!) and you wind up heading the wrong way on a one-way street. A conviction for this violation typically carries two points against your driving record. Failing to yield to a pedestrian or impeding traffic flow by driving too slowly are also two-point violations. 

At the other end of the spectrum, if you cause an accident that results in someone's injury, you may receive as many as eight points on your driving record. If you lose your license, you may not have another means of transportation to get to work. If you can't work, you have no income. You can see how repeated traffic tickets can have long-lasting and far-reaching effects on your day-to-day life. If you wish to challenge a ticket or believe a police officer somehow violated your personal rights, you can pursue justice in court.  

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