Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500
www.njlaws.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cell phone ticket penalties increased





3rd Cell phone use includes possible 90-day loss of license

 Starting back on July 1, 2014, the fines for talking or texting on a hand-held wireless communications device were increased. More details at http://www.njlaws.com/39_4-97_3cellphone.htm





39:4-97.3 d. A person who violates this section shall be fined as follows:



 (1) for a first offense, not less than $200 or more than $400 plus court costs and possible court appearance;



 (2) for a second offense, not less than $400 or more than $600 plus court costs; and



 (3) for a third or subsequent offense, not less than $600 or more than $800 plus court costs .



 For a third or subsequent violation, the court, in its discretion, may order the person to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of 90 days.  In addition, a person convicted of a third or subsequent violation shall be assessed three motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c.43  (C.39:5-30.5).



 A person who has been convicted of a previous violation of this section need not be charged as a second or subsequent offender in the complaint made against him in order to render him liable to the punishment imposed by this section on a second or subsequent offender, but if the second offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense, the court shall treat the second conviction as a first offense for sentencing purposes and if a third offense occurs more than 10 years after the second offense, the court shall treat the third conviction as a second offense for sentencing purposes.

 A person can hire an attorney to negotiate no loss of license on a 3rd offense. It is not cost effective to hire an attorney on the first or 2nd offense.

Careless driving plea bargain 39:4-97





39:4-97 Careless driving

    39:4-104 Fine or imprisonment not

exceeding 15 days, or both

$50 $200 plus court costs

NJ MVC Points 39:4-97 Careless driving 2

And 2 Car insurance points

Plus Judge Can Suspend DL for Willful Traffic Offense.

State v. Moran  202 NJ 311 (2010)

 The license suspension provision of N.J.S.A. 39:5-31, which is published in the Motor Vehicle Code of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated, is not “hidden,” and defendant, like all motorists, is presumed to know the law.  To ensure that license suspensions meted out pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:5-31 are imposed in a reasonably fair and uniform manner, so that similarly situated defendants are treated similarly, the Court today defines the term “willful violation” contained in N.J.S.A. 39:5-31 and enunciates sentencing standards to guide municipal court and Law Division judges. More info at http://www.njlaws.com/careless_reckless_driving.htm

Thursday, January 21, 2016

39:4-123 Failure to make proper turn Middlesex County East Brunswick Edison Highland Park Jamesburg Metuchen Middlesex Boro Milltown Monroe New Brunswick North Brunswick Old Bridge Perth Amboy Piscataway Plainsboro South Brunswick South Plainfield South River Spotswood Woodbridge Carteret Cranbury Dunellen

39:4-123 Failure to make proper turn
     Penalties set forth at 39:4-203 Fine or imprisonment not
exceeding 15 days, or both
fines $50 $200 plus court costs and possible non renewal by insurance company
points
3 NJ MVC points 39:4-123 Improper right or left turn
3

Plus 3 car insurance points

Cell phone ticket penalties increased Middlesex County East Brunswick Edison Highland Park Jamesburg Metuchen Middlesex Boro Milltown Monroe New Brunswick North Brunswick Old Bridge Perth Amboy Piscataway Plainsboro South Brunswick South Plainfield South River Spotswood Woodbridge Carteret Cranbury Dunellen

3rd Cell phone use includes possible 90-day loss of license

         Starting back on July 1, 2014, the fines for talking or texting on a hand-held wireless communications device were increased. More details at http://www.njlaws.com/39_4-97_3cellphone.htm


39:4-97.3 d.A person who violates this section shall be fined as follows:

(1)for a first offense, not less than $200 or more than $400 plus court costs and possible court appearance;

(2)for a second offense, not less than $400 or more than $600 plus court costs; and

(3)for a third or subsequent offense, not less than $600 or more than $800 plus court costs .

For a third or subsequent violation, the court, in its discretion, may order the person to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of 90 days.  In addition, a person convicted of a third or subsequent violation shall be assessed three motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c.43  (C.39:5-30.5).

A person who has been convicted of a previous violation of this section need not be charged as a second or subsequent offender in the complaint made against him in order to render him liable to the punishment imposed by this section on a second or subsequent offender, but if the second offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense, the court shall treat the second conviction as a first offense for sentencing purposes and if a third offense occurs more than 10 years after the second offense, the court shall treat the third conviction as a second offense for sentencing purposes.
         A person can hire an attorney to negotiate no loss of license on a 3rd offense. It is not cost effective to hire an attorney on the first or 2nd offense.

         The full statute is below
39:4-97.3  Use of wireless telephone, electronic communication device in moving vehicles; definitions; enforcement.
1. a. The use of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle on a public road or highway shall be unlawful except when the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone or the electronic communication device is used hands-free, provided that its placement does not interfere with the operation of federally required safety equipment and the operator exercises a high degree of caution in the operation of the motor vehicle.  For the purposes of this section, an "electronic communication device" shall not include an amateur radio.

Nothing in P.L.2003, c.310 (C.39:4-97.3 et seq.) shall apply to the use of a citizen's band radio or two-way radio by an operator of a moving commercial motor vehicle or authorized emergency vehicle on a public road or highway.

b.The operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving with one hand on the steering wheel only if:

(1)The operator has reason to fear for his life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against himself or another person; or

(2)The operator is using the telephone to report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard or medical or hazardous materials emergency, or to report the operator of another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  A hand-held wireless telephone user's telephone records or the testimony or written statements from appropriate authorities receiving such calls shall be deemed sufficient evidence of the existence of all lawful calls made under this paragraph.

As used in this act:

"Citizen's band radio" means a mobile communication device designed to allow for the transmission and receipt of radio communications on frequencies allocated for citizen's band radio service use.

"Hands-free wireless telephone" means a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a conversation without the use of either hand; provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.

"Two-way radio" means two-way communications equipment that uses VHF frequencies approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

"Use" of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device shall include, but not be limited to, talking or listening to another person on the telephone, text messaging, or sending an electronic message via the wireless telephone or electronic communication device.

c.(Deleted by amendment, P.L.2007, c.198).

d.A person who violates this section shall be fined  as follows:

(1)for a first offense, not less than $200 or more than $400;

(2)for a second offense, not less than $400 or more than $600; and

(3)for a third or subsequent offense, not less than $600 or more than $800 .

For a third or subsequent violation, the court, in its discretion, may order the person to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of 90 days.  In addition, a person convicted of a third or subsequent violation shall be assessed three motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c.43  (C.39:5-30.5).

A person who has been convicted of a previous violation of this section need not be charged as a second or subsequent offender in the complaint made against him in order to render him liable to the punishment imposed by this section on a second or subsequent offender, but if the second offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense, the court shall treat the second conviction as a first offense for sentencing purposes and if a third offense occurs more than 10 years after the second offense, the court shall treat the third conviction as a second offense for sentencing purposes.

e. Except as provided in subsection d. of this section, no motor vehicle penalty points or automobile insurance eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) shall be assessed for this offense.

f.The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall develop and undertake a program to notify and inform the public as to the provisions of this act.  Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.39:5-41, the fines assessed pursuant to subsection d. of this section shall be collected by the court and distributed as follows: 50 percent of the fine imposed shall be paid to the county and municipality wherein the violation occurred, to be divided equally, and 50 percent of the fine imposed shall be paid to the State Treasurer, who shall allocate the fine monies to the chief administrator to be used for this public education program, which shall include informing motorists of the dangers of texting while driving.


g.Whenever this section is used as an alternative offense in a plea agreement to any other offense in Title 39 of the Revised Statutes that would result in the assessment of motor vehicle points, the penalty shall be the same as the penalty for a violation of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2), including the surcharge imposed pursuant to subsection f. of that section, and a conviction under this section shall be considered a conviction under section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2) for the purpose of determining subsequent enhanced penalties under that section.

39:4-97 Careless driving Middlesex County East Brunswick Edison Highland Park Jamesburg Metuchen Middlesex Boro Milltown Monroe New Brunswick North Brunswick Old Bridge Perth Amboy Piscataway Plainsboro South Brunswick South Plainfield South River Spotswood Woodbridge Carteret Cranbury Dunellen

39:4-97 Careless driving
    39:4-104 Fine or imprisonment not
exceeding 15 days, or both
$50 $200 plus court costs
NJ MVC Points 39:4-97 Careless driving
2
And 2 Car insurance points
Plus Judge Can Suspend DL for Willful Traffic Offense.
State v. Moran  202 NJ 311 (2010)
       The license suspension provision of N.J.S.A. 39:5-31, which is published in the Motor Vehicle Code of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated, is not “hidden,” and defendant, like all motorists, is presumed to know the law.  To ensure that license suspensions meted out pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:5-31 are imposed in a reasonably fair and uniform manner, so that similarly situated defendants are treated similarly, the Court today defines the term “willful violation” contained in N.J.S.A. 39:5-31 and enunciates sentencing standards to guide municipal court and Law Division judges

Careless driving Careless driving 39:4-97 requires the State to provide the vehicle was operated by the defendant carelessly or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property

         The NJ Appellate Division in held in State v Lutz 309 N.J. Super. 317 (App. Div. 1998) that merely because an accident took place a driver does not been the driver is guilty of careless driving. The court wrote:
         "Finally, we find merit in defendant's contention that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of careless driving.
The court wrote:
 It appears that both the Municipal Court judge and the Law Division judge applied a res ipsa loquitur analysis in finding defendant guilty of careless driving.   The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, however, has no application in the determination of careless driving due to the quasi-criminal nature of the proceeding in which the State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt all elements of the offense.   See State v. Wenzel, 113 N.J.Super., 215, 216-18, 273 A.2d 395 (App.Div.1971) (the mere fact of an “otherwise unexplained jackknifing” where a tractor-trailer entering a construction area had jackknifed on the wet roadway, crossed into the opposite lane and broadsided another truck fatally injuring the truck's driver, did not establish that the defendant had been driving carelessly.)
The careless driving statute provides:
[a] person who drives a vehicle on a highway 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.
[N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.]
Here, other than the accident itself, the State only presented defendant's statement that his vehicle began to slide on the wet highway and continued to do so when he tapped his brakes.   Moreover, his apology was not an admission to driving carelessly, but merely a statement that his car had slid on the wet pavement.   The State presented no evidence indicating that defendant had been speeding, driving too fast for the wet road conditions, distracted or otherwise driving without due caution and circumspection.   Consequently, there was insufficient evidence to support defendant's conviction for careless driving, and we reverse that conviction.

      In State v. Wenzel, 113 N.J. Super. 215 (App. Div. 1971) defendant was charged with careless driving when his tractor-trailer jackknifed and struck another trailer. The State's only witness did not see the accident. There was no evidence defendant was speeding or that he drove without due caution or circumspection. However, both the municipal and county courts determined that an otherwise unexplained jackknifing was indicative of careless driving. The Appellate Division reversed, holding the res ipsa doctrine employed by the lower courts had no place in a quasi-criminal action for careless driving. The rationale of the Wenzel decision applies to this case.
        
See also State v Roenicke 174 N.J. Super. 513 (Law Div 1980)
       Defendant was involved in a one-car accident which was not observed by the trooper or any other witness. The State failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he drove in a reckless manner.  Defendant cannot be found guilty of reckless driving, and his conviction is set aside.

                                    Very truly yours,


                                    KENNETH  VERCAMMEN