New Jersey Driver’s License Suspension for Criminal and Traffic Charges
Charged with an Offense in New Jersey, Can they Suspend my License?
Unfortunately, being accused of a crime can carry significant consequences beyond jail time or fines. If you’re convicted of certain crimes, you could be facing the loss of your driver’s license. If you depend on your car and active driver’s license to get to work or run errands, the loss of your license due to criminal allegations can hamper your ability to get done what you need to. In addition to having your license suspended, being pulled over by an officer for driving while you have a suspended license could carry additional penalties, adding to the complexity of responding to these kinds of problems.
Make sure that you do as much as possible to protect your rights to continue driving if you have already been accused of a crime in Hackettstown, Hopatcong, Sparta, Newton, Phillipsburg, Frankford, North Warren, or a neighboring community in Sussex County or Warren County. A skilled NJ criminal defense lawyer at our firm can help you with this process and give you further information about how best to proceed. In this article, you’ll learn more about some of the common circumstances that allow the state to take your driver’s license and what options you have if this applies to your case. To discuss your specific criminal charges for drug possession, underage alcohol possession, DUI, fake ID, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, or another disorderly persons offense or indictable crime in New Jersey, call 973-755-1695 today. Consultations are provided at no cost to you and an attorney is available immediately to assist you.
Common Cases that Lead to Driver’s License Suspensions in New Jersey
One of the most common reasons for your license to be suspended are violations of existing motor vehicle laws and regulations. In general, there are criminal and DWI charges in Superior and Municipal courts in New Jersey that enable the state to suspend your driver’s license. Convictions for driving while suspended, leaving the scene of an accident, driving without insurance, reckless driving, careless driving with an accident, high rate of speeding, using a cell phone while driving, drug-related offenses, and underage drinking/possession of alcohol can all lead to loss of a driver’s license.
The other convictions that can lead to loss of driving privileges include refusing to take a breathalyzer test, traffic offenses, DUI, and accumulation of traffic violations or points. For DUI convictions, the length of the suspension will be influenced by the offense at hand. For a first offense DWI with blood alcohol content of .08 to .10, this suspension includes the loss of a driver’s license until an ignition interlock is installed. For a first offense DUI where the blood alcohol content is .10 or higher, the license is also forfeited until the ignition interlock is installed. The ignition interlock requirement on a case like that runs from 7 months to one year.
Is Suspending my License Mandatory if Convicted in NJ?
Some crimes come with an automatic or mandatory loss of driving eligibility, whereas others are at the discretion of the judge. In some cases, a drug offense conviction comes with a mandatory license suspension. For underage crimes, a license suspension can also apply. For persons over 18 but under 21 with alcohol in a vehicle, for example, an immediate suspension of six months applies upon conviction. It is important to note that New Jersey recently updated the laws such that people accused of minor offenses, certain drug crimes, or failing to pay fines, no longer face an immediate suspension of a driver’s license. The governor shared in relaying this news at the end of 2019, saying that many driver’s license suspensions for non-moving violations were unnecessarily punitive. Some of the specific situations that no longer lead to mandatory license suspension include criminal mischief charges for graffiti, some criminal misdemeanors (disorderly persons offenses) involving alcohol, possession of a fake ID, and failing to pay parking fines or failure to pay child support.
Who can Suspend my License in NJ?
Either a judge or the MVC hold the authority to suspend someone’s license. A written notice will be sent to you from the MVC explaining why your license is being suspended and the specific details surround this, as well as any details about how you can fight or avoid this suspension. Similarly, your license can be suspended due to too many unpaid parking tickets. Even though these are not always associated with certain offenses, they are common ways to have your license suspended. It is a myth that your license can only be suspended by a judge or the state due to conviction for a crime. In addition, if you are accused of committing an offense and have a scheduled court date or if you were supposed to appear in court for any reason, failing to show up on the day of that hearing or trial can lead to the issuance of an arrest warrant. A driver’s license suspension tied to failure to appear can be lifted once you do appear in court.
Want to Avoid Driver’s License Suspension? Talk to an NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Near You
Getting help with your criminal or traffic charges is key to understanding all the potential impacts, including discretionary or mandatory driver’s license suspensions. There may be defenses available to avoid losing your driver’s license in Washington Borough, Franklin, Pohatcong, Belvidere, and other towns in New Jersey. Don’t wait; call our office at 973-755-1695 today to get the help you need.