Careless Driving sometimes acts as something of a catch-all penalty in New Jersey. A Careless Driving ticket will often be issued along with other charges such as speeding or when a police officer finds that you caused an accident.
N.J.S.A. 39:4-97 provides that: “A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property shall be guilty of careless driving.”
Carless Driving carries 2 points and a fine between $50 and $200. You can also be sentenced to jail for up to 15 days, although this is very unlikely in most situations. In a 60-mile per hour zone, the fine is doubled.
It is important to remember that you are not found to have broken this law until you either plead guilty or are convicted in court. Rather than simply pleading guilty to this violation, you should at least consult with an attorney to discuss the possible consequences. An experienced municipal court attorney can often have the ticket reduced or possibly dismissed. If your ticket was issued in association with an accident, there are important steps that must be taken to ensure that your ticket does not prejudice you in a civil suit.