Plead guilty or not guilty in an auto accident in NJ?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Plead guilty or not guilty in an auto accident in NJ?

I was involved in a car accident in NJ a couple of weeks back. I was driving at
around 50 mph in the right lane when another car entering the ramp
increased his speed and suddenly merged in front of me. Consequently, I had
to switch lanes to avoid hitting that car. The lane I had to shift in to was an
exit lane and was at a stand still due to traffic. I hit the brakes hard but could
not manage to stop in that short duration and rear ended the car in front of
me. The officer wrote me up for Careless Driving with personal injury check
marked. This is my first citation and I have never been to the court. What is
the path I should follow plead guilty or not guilty?

Asked on November 1, 2016 under Accident Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Speak to the prosecutor when you get to the court. If you value saving 2 points on your license more than paying a slightly higher (around $200 - $250 more) fine, you can probably get him to offer you a plea to "unsafe driving," N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2 (that's the statute number), which has no points for the first two times you plead to it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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