Got a ticket for no headlights, on a 911 compliant by a bystander. Should i plead guilty or not guilty?

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Got a ticket for no headlights, on a 911 compliant by a bystander. Should i plead guilty or not guilty?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. This was the first time ever I got pulled over by a cop. He was very nice to me. He said someone called 911 and told them that I was driving with headlights off. When I got pulled over, the cop noticed that the headlight was actually ON. However, he asked me if I flipped it sometime back, I said no but was nervous – this was my first stop. He then said another officer spoke to the witness who said that I was driving without lights on and might have turned it back on a mile before. The officer said that there would be no points against my driver’s license and handed me a $130 ticket. I am from out of state, and will cost be more to come down and appear before a judge. If I plead guilty will it be noted against my record a black mark in future or should I plead guilty and get it over with?

Asked on August 21, 2017 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It may be reported to your DMV, but it is not certain to be if you are in another state. Given that you are out of state and would have to travel to the NJ court to try to contest it, and that there are no points, and that a $130 fine is close to pretty much the lowest fine you'd ever get in NJ you probably want to pay. If you contest it, they *may* dismiss the case, especially if the can't get the witness to show, but don't have to; they could also "adjourn" the case to another day (to give them time to subpoena the witness to appear) and force you to make a second trip to NJ, too. On the balance, with no points at stake, it's makes more sense to pay.


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