A few months ago your driving privileges were suspended. Nevertheless, you need to get to work, and your ride seems to have forgotten to pick you up. The desire to drive yourself compels you to take the chance, so you grab your keys, run to your car, turn the key, and start to take off so that you don’t lose your job. Soon after, you are pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. The police officer asks you to produce your license, registration and insurance card. Of course, you don’t have a valid driver’s license. What will happen now?
It doesn’t matter that this was the only time you got behind the wheel since your license suspension. Unfortunately, it takes just that one time. The consequences of your last minute decision can gravely affect you.
Penalties Can Be Severe
A driver’s license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. It could be something as simple as letting parking tickets accumulate. In some cases, you may find your license suspended because you were driving while under the influence. Meanwhile, if you’re late on your child support payments, you could be faced with a suspension.
N.J.S.A. 39:3-40 makes it clear that you are prohibited to operate a motor vehicle if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, and it is a punishable offense if you are charged. Without question, it is critical to speak with an attorney who represents clients in municipal court to see what can be done as far as the charges.
If convicted for a first offense for driving while on the suspended list, you can be fined $500. For a second offense, you can be fined $750 and given a jail sentence between one and five days. For a third offense, you may be fined $1,000 and given a jail sentence of 10 days. Also, your license may be suspended or revoked for up to six months for any of these convictions.
If you are driving with a suspended license and are involved in a car accident resulting in bodily injury to another person, you may be sentenced to between 45 days and 180 days in jail and your license may be suspended or revoked for an additional period of time. If you are caught while driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your license will be suspended for one to two years, and you will serve anywhere from 10 to 90 days in jail.
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, you should consider hiring legal counsel. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo can help guide you through the legal process and discuss your options. Call today for a free consultation.