Your car is somewhat dated, and you don’t have one of those fancy Bluetooth devices. However, you’ve managed to get away with it for years. Whether you’re in local traffic or on the Turnpike, you hold the phone to your ear when you need to catch up with friends and family. One day it happens. You see lights and sirens, and you receive your first ticket for distracted driving.
Perhaps you’ve been charged with texting while driving. Did you know in New Jersey a citation for texting while driving carries a fine of $200 to $400 for a first offense? Also, if you cause an accident while texting, you may face a reckless driving charge.
In recent years, many states like New Jersey have added distracted driving charges as punishable offenses. Distracted driving carries steep fines and the possibilities of court, a suspended driver’s license, and insurance hikes.
If you are facing distracted driving charges, you should consider talking to a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer who can help you to get your fees and charges reduced and your driving privileges protected.
Distracted Driving and Some Statistics
Maybe you’re under the impression that you’re not all that distracted when both hands aren’t on the wheel. However, the statistics say otherwise. Unfortunately, thousands of people have been killed in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. In fact, recent news reports tell the story of an elderly woman was killed by a distracted driver using a cell phone. The fatal accident occurred right on Grove Street in Elizabeth.
In 2012, New Jersey enacted a law that made it a crime to cause a death while driving and using a cell phone. The penalties include up to 10 years in jail and up to a $150,000 fine.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from safe driving. This includes:
Talking or texting on your phone
Chatting with other people in your vehicle
Smoking, eating or drinking
Adjusting the radio, climate, or navigation controls
putting on make-up, shaving, or other grooming
Reading a book or newspaper
Turning to check on children in the back seat
Tending to a pet.
Distracted drivers fail to pay attention to the road, take their hands off the steering wheel, and react slowly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. The NHTSA cites texting as the most alarming distraction.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General cites distracted driving in New Jersey as a major contributing factor in over 817,000 motor vehicle crashes in the state from 2010 to 2014.
New Jersey Distracted Driving Laws: Do You Have a Defense?
Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2 “it shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner likely to endanger a person or property.” A first offense will result in a fine between $50 and $150.
What about that ticket you received for texting while driving?
New Jersey’s cell phone law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3) is specific in stating: “wireless telephone or electronic communication … shall be unlawful except when the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone…”
Beyond the previously mentioned fine of $200 to $400 for the first offense, a second offense carries a fine of $400 to $600. For a third or subsequent offense, the punishment is a fine between $600 and $800, three points on your driver’s record, and suspension of your license for 90 days.
Although you have received a ticket for distracted driving, you don’t have to automatically plead guilty, pay the fine, and accept the results.
In some cases, you can defend against texting while driving because the state might not be able to prove you were texting.
The state law is not specific about other things distracted drivers do, like checking on the kids or eating.
No matter what the distracted driving charge, don’t fight the ticket alone. An experienced traffic attorney can help you to understand the distracted driving charge against you and work to get it and its fines reduced—even dismissed.
A distracted driving charge can impact your license, driving record, and insurance. Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law has experience in tickets for New Jersey traffic violations. If you are facing distracted driving charges, please call set up a consultation. There is no charge to meet with us. We can help you fight the ticket in court! Contact us to schedule an appointment!
I would highly recommend Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC . They were recommended to me because I was in a car accident. I was told they go the extra mile for you and they sure did! I’m extremely happy with how they handled my case from day 1 til my case was resolved. The staff was very professional and I always got a response back promptly.
18:59 15 Sep 20
I would highly recommend Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC. They were recommended to me because I was in a car accident. I was told they go the...
Dan and his team worked very hard to represent me during my car accident case. He has an outstanding reputation in the legal field and a great rapport with his clients. I would recommend everyone to him if you need a lawyer.
15:10 09 Sep 20
Dan and all of his staff are excellent, professional, and fast communicators. Any time I needed anything, they were there for me quickly and answered all of my emails within a day. I would recommend him to anyone!
14:24 19 Aug 20
Dan is an excellent lawyer with an extensive knowledge of the legal system. He helped me get out of serious jam and was well worth every penny. He is without a doubt the best lawyer i’ve dealt with hands down....You will be more than overjoyed with his services.
16:36 22 Jul 20
Dan is the man! Beninato & Matrafajlo has an exceptional team that is responsive and super professional.
23:25 16 Jul 20
Dan is not just your average lawyer. This man will go out of his way, and go above and beyond for you. I highly recommend his law firm for any personal injury or workers compensation related issues. He has an awesome staff. I truly believe you will not find another lawyer like Dan, not just in the state of New Jersey. But the eastern seaboard. You will not be disappointed with his services.
21:26 19 May 20
Dan Matrafajlo is a top notch attorney who cares about his clients. I have referred friends to Dan for many different legal matters as well as having used Dan’s services myself for several different types of legal issues, all of which resulted in favorable outcomes. I highly recommend Dan Matrafajlo with Beninato & Matrafajlo.
14:50 29 Mar 20
I chose Dan to represent me because I wanted to have the best possible outcome in my case. Working with Dan has made my worries an anxiety go away. Thank you!
Dan and the lawyer’s team is the Best law office in New Jersey. Every cent is worth hiring the Law office. I always look for reviews and make sure to read people’s comments and that’s how I got to Dan. I was in very difficult situation and didn’t know how to get out of the situation Until I stepped in to the law office of Dan. Trust him and he will show you what he is all about. Amazing Law office Team.
16:06 04 Mar 20
22:48 29 Feb 20
I was referred to Dan for a serious DUI which involved multiple tickets no injuries no accidents. Dan assured me that might case had some flaws he did not make any promises made me feel comfortable and put my worries at ease. Needless to say mycase was dismissed due to complications Dan brought forward in the court he fought hard for me and my family and my freedom at a very reasonable price I would consider this law firm one of the best for DUI cases in New Jersey I've sent many of my friends with similar cases to him not with all the success I had but very good results
Joseph A F.
11:52 29 Feb 20
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20:32 28 Feb 20
Dan is hands down the best lawyer out there. He will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
19:20 27 Feb 20
I can say without a doubt .. Dan Matrafajlo is an outstanding attorney. 5+ stars . He & his firm represented me on my worker’s compensation case . Years ago. Did right not only by me but my wife & friends as well. Danny & his firm continues to represent me . Will always represent me .. and our most recent my son who got ticketed for allegedly speeding and illegal lane change on the parkway which I know many many drivers have been ticketed for the same violations when you know You haven’t committed it. But!!!.. Dan Matrafajlo got my sons tickets dismissed. This attorney & his firm know what there doing . And are the the best . Talk about hitting the trifecta. Beniato & Matrafajlo firm and all his staff and attorneys . Get the job done. The best ..super lawyer. Google him you’ll see I’m not B.Sn you .
16:52 07 Feb 20
Thank you ....and your associate best lawyer in town GOD bless ...
00:16 30 Jan 20
I had a work related incident on 11/2017. I immediately google reviewed a workers comp attorney. Beninato & Matrafajlo Law firm revealed extremely positive reviews. Without a hesitation I drove to their Elizabeth location seeking help. Attorney Andrew was very polite, courteous and resourceful with aiding my problems. Andrew assistant was just as helpful. They kept me updated throughout the entire process via phone or email. The doctors they administered to me were pleasant as well. Even though the process took nearly 2yrs - Andrew was alongside for entire journey. On May 29, 2019 I finally went to court for work incident. Andrew prompt me on entire court process making me feel comfy and confident before speaking in front of judge. After the ordeal Beninato & Matrafajlo Law firm followed up making sure I was completely satisfied with everything. I wouldn’t of chosen anyone else! Thank You Andrew, his assistant & entire Law firm for the marvelous experience.
18:56 28 Jan 20
15:02 03 Dec 19
15:21 28 Oct 19
DAN is a great lawyer!!!Far exceeded my expectations.. answered all my questions personally and walked me through the whole process... THANKS
Dan is a lawyer you want on your side, he was on point , always working on strategies on my case. btw we won our case!!! When it matters to you call him. Thanks Again Beninato & Matrafajlo
22:11 16 Jul 19
Best Lawyer ever very professional flights to the very end To make sure his client is happy with the decision of a case
01:44 28 Jun 19
Dan is the best lawyer I have ever met he did not give up he said he was going to help me and that's definitely what he did I am grateful to have him as my attorney and I will highly recommend him to anyone looking for help p.s and everyone that works at the office is extremely professional polites and very nice and I thank you as well keep up the great work
10:54 20 May 19
Mr. Matrafajlo and his staff are both professional and kind. He went to court 5 times over 6+months fighting a traffic ticket that would of suspended my license and caused me thousands in fine and surcharges. It was dismissed with zero owed to the courts after proving DMV administrative discrepancies. Thank you so much for all your helpRenee
14:07 11 May 19
Mr. Matrafajlo and his staff are both professional and kind. He went to court 5 times over 6+months fighting a traffic ticket that would of suspended my...
First of all, I admired Dan for his understanding by putting himself on his clients shoes and fight for their best interest (outcome). For me, the definition of a great lawyer are those who "deliver" and he does.
16:22 03 Apr 19
I am writing this review almost a decade after the fact......Mr. Matrafajlo is an excellent attorney. He did everything in his power to help me out. I would recommend him to anyone that was in need of an attorney.
23:24 01 Mar 19
The best of the best! I would definitely recommend Dan to my family and friends. Very professional and goes above and beyond to answer questions and to get the best results!
20:43 18 Jan 19
I got a 3 point ticket for doing an unsafe turn. I ended up hiring Matrafajlo. He seemed pretty confident he can get the ticket reduced to obstruction of...
I would definitely recommend Dan and his team to friends and family. The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful every time I reached out with questions. Dan and Teresa aka the Dream Team!! Everyone went above and beyond for little ‘ol me! Job well done!!
18:29 07 Nov 18
Dan really went above and beyond for my case . I was wrongfully accused of reckless driving . He could of just told me to take first plea deal and been done with it . Instead he suggested I refuse . The prosecutor in turn ran us around for months refusing to budge. Dan was sted fast in his support for me and never wavered. What started as a reckless driving which is a criminal offense ended as an unsafe driving ( 0 point offense). All thanks to Dan's hard work and perseverance
23:13 16 Sep 18
The best of the best, there's no other choice if you're looking for legal representation. Simply an incredible attorney. Helped me get out of a serious jam.
22:51 08 May 18
Dan Matrafajlo was fantastic. From the moment I hired him he handled everything from scheduling my court date to representing me with my traffic ticket. Literally, all I had to do was show up to court. He put me at ease throughout the whole process and had my fine reduced dramatically!! I highly recommend him.
A J S.
02:40 26 Apr 18
Dan Matrafajlo one the best attorneys ever I was completely satisfied and he has one of the best teams working for him .. I would and have recommended him .
Represented my mother when she had an accident, highly recommend him as an attorney
20:57 25 Mar 18
I don't know much about Beninato but I know a lot about Matrafajlo Danny Matrafajlo is very ambitious, smart, knowlegable, helpful lawyer I have ever know.Keep that way DannyHappy Thanksgiving to you and your family
Few months back, my husband had injured in a car accident. It seemed to be a small injury, but in fact it was brain injury and the truck who hit our car, ran away. We were so confused that how to survive and get compensation for brain injury. At that time, from my friend's reference, I got to know about Beninato & Matrafajlo Law, The firm handled our case very carefully and passionately, took the right steps for us and helped us in getting compensation. Thanks to Beninato & Matrafajlo Law!
05:42 26 Jul 17
Dan is an outstanding lawyer he has handled personal injury cases for me for a couple of my friends he has handled matrimonial and Municipal Court tickets and everyone is happy with his services
20:05 23 Jul 17
I was referred to Dan Mantrafajlo by a dear friend of my that I respect greatly. This friend said that Dan was the type of lawyer that made the hard work she was putting into law school worth it...I found this to be very true. Professional, hard working, informed and willing to go above and beyond. This is a real review from a real client.
08:12 20 Jul 17
Very professional. I highly recommend it to anybody.
01:46 12 Jul 17
Simply put he is the best! He was professional, prompt and always acted in my best interest. Couldn't have expected a better outcome.
Mr. Matrafajlo has represented me in a civil case where I was struck and injured by another vehicle.His professionalism and hard work truly made my experience seamless. There will be unpredictable measures that life throws at you, it always helps to have someone you trust by your side.I highly recommend Mr. Matrafajlo or anyone in this law firm to represent them if need be.-Zack
Dan is an excellent attorney. Unlike most attorneys Dan actually cares about your case. He went the extra mile and did countless hours of research to help me win my case. I'd give him 10 stars if I was able to.
14:44 31 Mar 15
I starting using Dan after a VERY bad experience with a previous attorney who took advantage of our family. Dan is a great lawyer and very competent. While he specializes in personal injury, he and his office staff proved themselves on multiple occasions to be more then competent in other areas of the law. He's quick to respond and always makes us feel like our case is his top priority. I have since referred him to multiple people and their experience has been a positive one as well. His rates are reasonable and he has no desire to drag things out, file extension after extension etc. and rack up my bill as our previous attorney did. We highly recommend Dan Matrafajilo Esq., as does everyone I know who have used his services before.
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