Driving While Suspended (N.J.S.A. 39:3-40)
Driving with a Suspended License in New Jersey
Few New Jersey motor vehicle offenses are easier to run afoul of than driving while suspended. Unfortunately, few motor vehicle offenses carry more significant penalties.
Your drivers license can get suspended in a variety of ways – often without your knowledge. Unpaid parking tickets, lapses in your car’s registration or insurance, having acquired too many points, missed court appearances are but a few of the things that can result in your license getting suspended.
Penalties for DWS
The penalties set forth in N.J.S.A. 39:3-40 are severe. The basic penalties are as follows:
- First conviction– up front fine of $500.00 (plus an additional $750.00 in NJ MVC surcharges), and a potential 6 month loss of license;
- Second conviction– fine of $750.00 (plus an additional $750 in NJ MVC surcharges), an additional license suspension of up to 6 months, and a mandatory jail sentence of not less than 1 day and not more than 5 days. If the second offense occurred within 5 years of the first, the Court will also suspend your registration for the same period of your license suspension.
- Third conviction– fine of $1000.00 (plus an additional $750 in NJ MVC surcharges), imprisonment in the county jail for a mandatory minimum of 10 days, and a substantial additional period of suspension of both your driving license and your vehicle registration privileges.
There are a variety of circumstances under which these penalties will be enhanced. They include:
- Driving While Suspended Due to DWI Conviction: If the suspension occurred while under suspension for a DWI (in any State), the fine will be increased by $500.00, the surcharge increased by $750.00, an additional suspension of license and registration of at least 1 year to 2 years (beginning after the DWI suspension ends), and not less than 10 and up to 90 days in jail.
- Accidents with Bodily Injury when Driving While Suspended: If you are in an accident causing bodily injury to another person while driving when suspended, in addition to the basic penalties identified above, you will also be sentenced to an additional mandatory jail sentence of not less than 45 days and not more than 6 months.
- Driving While License Suspended For No Insurance: If you are convicted of driving while suspended due to having no motor vehicle, you will face a mandatory jail sentence of up to 90 days, an additional loss of license for 1 to 2 years, and an additional $500 fine.
Attorney David C. Barry has decades of successful experience helping New Jersey drivers navigate this complex area of law. He knows the grey areas, the technical defenses and the practical steps that can be taken to either defeat these charges or to substantially minimize the penalties faced by drivers.
Call David today at (732) 204-7387 for a free consultation. He’ll help you understand your driving while suspended charge and help you get back on track and back on the road.