Careless driving points

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Careless driving points

Can a judge throw out a ticket if you
have a CLEAN driving record ?

I recently got a careless driving ticket
for doing 40 in a 25 in an area without
a posted sign. Is it worth fighting the
points ? Are there any additional fees
or penaties?

Asked on February 3, 2018 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) The judge cannot throw out the ticket, unless there was some significant procedural defect with it which renders it invalid (such as not identifying the offense you were charged with), or unless the govenment cannot prove its case (such as if the officer who issued it died in the meantime, so if you go to trial, they have no testimony; or you can provide persuasive evidence that you were elsewhere at that time, so you could not be the person who sped).
2) The prosecutor, however, can and frequently does "plea bargin" the ticket to let you plead to a lesser offense, like fewer miles over the limit, if you have an otherwise clean or good record. Show up early for court to make sure you have the chance to speak to the prosecutor.
3) If the ticket you were issued has points and you are wiling to pay more money to avoid points, ask the prosecutor about whether you can plead to unsafe driving, number 39:4-97.2. It is an alternate plea often given in NJ to those who are willing to trade money against points. The total fines plus fees are fairly high--around $400 to $450--but there are no (0) points for it.
 


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