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Statute of Limitations for Traffic Offenses in New Jersey

June 20, 2020

A traffic violation is not something you should take lightly. After all, a traffic violation can severely impact your driving record, insurance rates and result in costly fines, surcharges and even jail time. In most cases, a motor vehicle summons must be issued within 30 days of the violation. This is outlined in Statute N.J.S.A. 39:5-3. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Learn more below. 

Traffic Violations with Longer Statutes of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a law that outlines how long parties have to initiate legal proceedings. While many summons are issued within 30 days of the violation as mentioned above, there are times when certain violations have a longer statute of limitations if they are considered more dangerous than others. These are outlined below. 

Traffic Offenses That Have a 90 Day Statute of Limitations

For anyone who was pulled over for drunk driving, the statute of limitations is 90 days. This includes drivers of regular passenger vehicles as well as those who have a CDL – or commercial driver’s license. While a driver can be found guilty of drunk driving if their Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.08 percent or higher, commercial truck drivers can be charged with drunk driving if they are found to have a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.04 percent. Boaters are also included in this time frame if they are found to be operating a boat while having a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. 

In addition to these charges, it’s important to note that anyone who refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test will also be subject to this 90 day period. New Jersey follows “Implied Consent Laws,” which means that every motorist is required to submit to a chemical breath test when law enforcement requests it. While it may seem counterintuitive to take a breathalyzer if you’ve been drinking, refusing to do so can result in much stiffer penalties. In fact, when an individual refuses to take a test, it is considered to be an admission of guilt and for a first-offense, can result in up to $500 in fines and driver’s license suspension until an ignition interlock device is installed in your vehicle. 

The 90-day time frame also applies to anyone who was driving on a revoked license or who passes a school bus with flashing lights and their “Stop” sign extended due to the harm that could have been imposed. 

Traffic Offenses That Have a Six Month Statute of Limitations

All New Jersey drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. These minimums include: 

  • $5,000 property damage liability
  • $15,000 bodily injury per person/accident
  • $15,000/$30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist 
  • $30,000 bodily injury for everyone under the policy per accident

If a driver operates a motor vehicle without car insurance, they could be facing serious criminal charges, while also opening themselves up to a civil suit if injuries resulted from the accident. Driving without insurance has a six month statute of limitations. 

Traffic Offenses That Have a One Year Statute of Limitations

There are several traffic violations that have a one year statute of limitations. These include: 

  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Filing a false driver’s license application
  • Using a fake driver’s license

If a driver leaves the scene of the accident, the consequences can vary based on how many times the offense occurred and the details of what happened, as explained in N.J.S. 39:4-129. Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage only is considered a traffic violation if it was the first time the individual committed the offense. The driver will be facing a mandatory fine of up to $400 and six months driving suspension. The driver may also face jail time of up to 30 days. 

For subsequent offenses, drivers may be facing up to 90 days in jail in addition to up to $600 in fines and yearlong driving suspension. The driver will also have two points added to their driving record, which can increase insurance rates and result in other surcharges. To learn more about New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission and point system, click here. 

If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket, don’t delay in contacting an experienced attorney for help. The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio understands the severity that a traffic violation can have on a person’s life. Mr. Vecchio has dedicated his legal career to standing up for the rights of those who are facing a wide range of charges, including those stemming from traffic violations. If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket, don’t delay. Call Anthony J. Vecchio today: 732-217-4860.

Contact a Woodbridge Traffic Lawyer to Discuss Your Violations in New Jersey

Were you issued a traffic ticket in New Jersey? Don’t delay in consulting with an experienced traffic ticket defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, we will work with you to make sure your rights are protected. Working with a traffic violation lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected. We represent clients in Mercer County, Ocean County, Union County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 334-7468 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2500 25th floor, Harborside Financial Center, 5th Street, Jersey City, NJ 07311, as well as offices in Freehold, Mt. Laurel, and Princeton, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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