New Jersey Traffic Lawyers

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Cost of Traffic Tickets Just Went Up in DeKalb, GA

cost of my traffic ticketContent Curated from AJC.com

Traffic tickets in DeKalb County (in Georgia) are getting more expensive through the addition of a $25 fee on each citation.

Drivers who received speeding tickets and other citations didn’t have to pay the automatic $25 court costs fee since Recorders Court stopped doing business last July. The Georgia General Assembly discontinued the court last year amid allegations that it lacked legal authority over traffic offenses, improperly jailed people who couldn’t afford probation plans and gouged residents with high fines.

The fee was inadvertently eliminated when traffic cases moved to DeKalb State Court, which wasn’t authorized to collect it.

But state lawmakers reinstated the fee in DeKalb State Court during this year’s legislative session. House Bill 1116 unanimously passed the state House and Senate, and Gov. Nathan Deal signed it into law April 28.

With roughly 120,000 traffic citations issued a year, the $25 per ticket fee could bring in $3 million annually for DeKalb’s government.

The temporarily elimination of the fee accounted for a large part of $7 million that the county government had projected in December it would lose from the transition from Recorders Court to DeKalb State Court.

Though the $25 fee has returned, other money-saving reforms instituted by DeKalb State Court will remain.

The court also lowered fines for many citations, required lower bond amounts and ended a $75 fee in every case in which a bench warrant was issued.

If you or a loved one recently received a NJ traffic ticket, contact Michael Botton today of the Botton Law Firm: 732-894-3686.

Comedian John Oliver Says Traffic Tickets Ruin Lives

John Oliver Takes on Municipal Court Traffic Tickets

John Oliver Takes on Municipal Courts and Traffic Tickets (Photo Source: Wikipedia.org)

Comedian John Oliver devoted his main story on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” to municipal court violations, like traffic tickets, that can become financially oppressive to motorists.

Using case after case as evidence, he illustrated how harsh fines and fees can end up destroying the lives of people whose only real crime is not so much driving over the speed limit or failing to wear a seat belt, but being poor.

Mr. Oliver noted that the common punishment in many states for a person failing to pay a traffic ticket on time is a driver’s license suspension.

The main issue with this policy, he explained, is that driving is how the majority of Americans get to their jobs.

Consequently, these people—had they been allowed to drive—could have earned the money needed to take care of their traffic tickets!

In many ways Mr. Oliver is 100% correct. Taking away your license prevents you from doing the very thing that would allow you to pay your fine (i.e. earning money).

One of the best ways to fight this counter-productive system is to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to contest your ticket.

In most cases, your driver’s license will not be suspended unless you are convicted of the traffic violation or fail to properly contest the ticket in a timely manner.

Of course, if the offense you were ticketed with is driving on a suspended license, it is abundantly clear that your license has already been suspended––and the help of a lawyer is for sure needed to avoid further problems.

Additionally, the cost of a traffic ticket is usually much higher than you think. Remember, the fine is just the beginning.

If you received a moving violation (e.g. speeding, careless driving, blowing through a stop sign, etc.), your automobile insurance can go up.

In New Jersey, an insurance increase for a standard moving violation can double and sometimes triple your premium, depending on the offense.

That increase—taken together with court costs and fees—usually ends up resulting in out-of-pocket expenses of thousands of dollars. All of which you will have to pay if you plead guilty instead of fighting the ticket.

However, by hiring a traffic lawyer to fight the ticket for you, you are getting the best shot at beating the charge and paying as little money as possible.

If you recently received a New Jersey traffic ticket, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

Florida Dismisses 24,000 Traffic Tickets

Traffic Tickets from Cameras

Many States are Considering Getting Rid of Their Traffic Camera Ticket Programs

Tens of thousands of Florida drivers that were ticketed by traffic cameras are now off the hook for their $264 tickets.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently reported that two traffic judges in Broward County have thrown out 24,000 pending traffic ticket cases because part of the process for issuing the citations violates Florida state law.

According to Florida state law, only law enforcement can issue violations––and traffic cameras are not law enforcement.

Likewise, the Arizona-based camera vendor called American Traffic Solutions was responsible for reviewing the footage captured by red light cameras in Florida, and then it forwarded the specifics to police.

However, judges ruled that the involvement by the out-of-state party is itself a violation of state law. Therefore, they decided to dismiss all traffic citations that came by way the traffic cameras. In so doing, this negated $6.3 million in potential revenue.

If you think about it, Florida is just another state to see the writing on the metaphorical wall when it comes to traffic camera tickets. New Jersey completely dismantled its traffic ticket camera program and other states have begun to do the same.

Furthermore, grassroots driver advocacy groups have been arguing that cities should get rid of red light cameras for years. Many critics claim that the fines resulting from red light cameras are often unfair and absurdly expensive––sometimes $500 in certain cases.

Not only that, but scandals have also called various red light camera operations around the country into question.

In Chicago, for instance, a $2 million bribery scheme resulted in the city dropping its contract with one red light camera vendor, while another investigation revealed strange, inexplicable spikes in tickets in certain locations in Chicago––signifying that someone manipulated how and when citations would be issued.

The Chicago Tribune even reported that city officials are aware that the yellow light timing is too short for real-time traffic conditions—the very same problem New Jersey had not too long ago.

Many in New York City have been demanding more transparency in the red light camera systems too, especially because many motorists feel there is good reason to be skeptical about the truth behind whether they actually improve driver and pedestrian safety.

Remember, if you receive a red-light traffic camera ticket, feel free to send in a letter contesting the ticket on your own.

However, if you receive a traffic ticket from an actual police officer, it is best to hire an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to help you fight it.

If you recently received a New Jersey traffic ticket from a police officer, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

CDL Drivers, Watch Out!

CDL Driver Traffic Tickets

NJ Traffic Tickets Can Lead to Your CDL Being Suspended

When you drive a truck or big-rig for a living, you know that your commercial driver’s license is the source of your livelihood.

Being a CDL driver has its benefits, but it also comes with responsibility.

Since you drive a very large vehicle and usually do so for a long time, New Jersey will punish you more harshly for traffic violations and driver misconduct.

Whether we like it or not, that is simply the reality.

Not only that, but getting traffic tickets when driving in your own personal vehicle (not your company truck) can also lead to a suspension of your CDL.

If you are caught committing any two of the following traffic offenses (even in your own private car) within 3 years from the date of your first violation, your CDL will be suspended for 60 days:

  • Speeding 15+ miles per hour over the posted limit
  • Reckless driving
  • Improper or erratic lane change
  • Tailgating (following too closely)
  • Any traffic offense that resulted in a fatal accident

Although two months might not seem that long, imagine not getting paid for two months of work. Now, think about not being at work for two months.

Similarly, what trucking company wants to keep around a driver who had his or her CDL suspended?

One suspension could literally lead to you losing your job.

Thankfully, by retaining a skilled traffic ticket lawyer in New Jersey, you can trust that your case will be dealt with professionally and properly.

Remember, a skilled NJ traffic ticket lawyer can negotiate a favorable plea bargain for you that will help you keep both your job and CDL.

Trying to represent yourself is way too costly: one wrong sentence in court could lead to you losing your CDL, and subsequently your job.

Make the right move and call an experienced NJ traffic ticket lawyer to help you fight your traffic tickets today.

If you recently received a traffic ticket in New Jersey and are a CDL driver, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

Will Flirting Get You Out of a Traffic Ticket?

Flirting With Police

Will Flirting With Police Actually Get You Out of a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?

Most of us heard stories about women who were pulled over by male police officers and got out of their traffic tickets by batting their eyelashes or being flirtatious. Are these just stories or does this actually work?

The real question becomes: Will flirting really get you out of a traffic ticket?

There are two schools of thought.

One side claims that police officers are only human and equally susceptible to temptation as everyone else.

The other side asserts that flirting degrades an officer’s integrity and actually angers him into giving you a traffic ticket.

When this happens, the police officer will not only issue the woman a traffic ticket, but he may also go out of his way to find other offenses to charge her with.

Officers who get offended by such conduct view the flirtation as a bribe and an attempt to subvert the law.

Nevertheless, some officers will fall prey to a pouty face, hair flip, or even puppy dog eyes.

However, even though conventional wisdom tells us that wearing tighter or more revealing clothing can help women get out of traffic tickets, the truth is that it almost never will.

It may divert the officer’s gaze, but––at the end of the day––he needs to put food on the table for his family and that requires doing his job effectively.

Real life is not like the movies––especially when it comes to getting pulled over.

Overall, the answer to “will flirting really get you out a traffic ticket” is a resounding “No.”

Think about it: it is far too risky for an officer to let you off with a warning, when everything that he says and does is recorded on his “dash cam”––no matter how attractive or flirtatious you might be.

In the Digital Age, where everything can be on YouTube in moments, most police officers are taking less chances than a pain relief cream company.

Remember, the best thing you can do if you get pulled over by the police, is be polite and never admit fault.

If the officer asks you, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” feel free to confidently say “No, officer, I don’t” even you suspect he pulled you over for speeding or distracted driving.

You are not a mind reader, and a “suspicion” of why an officer pulls you over is certainly not “knowledge.”

If the officer ends up issuing you a NJ traffic ticket, be sure to reach out to an experienced traffic ticket lawyer who can help you avoid the points, fines, and auto insurance hikes associated with your charge.

If you recently received a New Jersey traffic ticket, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

Distracted Driving Tickets in New Jersey

Distracted Driving in NJ

Distracted Driving Tickets are Becoming Very Serious Traffic Violations

Believe it or not, getting a cell phone ticket in NJ for distracted driving is becoming a very serious traffic violation.

Aside from the fact that government officials are rolling out a new campaign to promote awareness of the destructiveness of texting-while-driving and talking on the phone while driving, police are pulling people over left and right for these offenses.

It might be routine these days to ask “Siri” a question while in traffic or use “Okay Google” on the way to work, but these actions could count as distracted driving in NJ and be grounds for an officer to pull you over.

Remember, getting a distracted driving ticket can be costly, in terms of the fine associated with the charge as well as when it comes to your auto insurance.

The first time you are convicted of distracted driving in NJ, you’re looking at a minimum fine of $200 and a maximum fine of $400. For that kind of money, you can buy a brand new smartphone!

The worst part of it is your auto insurance carrier will label you a “careless driver” and raise your auto insurance premium by 55% (according to the InsuranceQuotes.com calculator).

Think about it: if you pay $1,000 per year for car insurance that means, your rate will skyrocket by $550.

This hike is estimated to last for 4 years (and sometimes even longer).

That means in the long run, you could be paying close to $2,500 in out of pocket expenses (over 4 years) for getting caught on the phone while driving.

The good news is a NJ traffic ticket lawyer can help you avoid all of those costs by getting you out of the ticket altogether or negotiating a favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor that will lead to you paying much less.

Make the smart choice and hire an experienced NJ traffic ticket lawyer to help you fight your distracted driving ticket today.

If you recently received a distracted driving ticket in New Jersey (NJSA 39:4-97.3), contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

Saint Louis Man Arrested for Not Paying $10 Traffic Ticket

Arrested for Traffic Ticket

Police Jailed a Man in Saint Louis for Failing to Pay a $10 Traffic Ticket

In Saint Louis, Missouri, a man was recently put behind bars for failing to pay a $10 traffic ticket.

The story is so hard to believe, the city prosecutor created a new policy just to ensure that it never happens again.

Nicholas Durrell had never been arrested, but he soon learned all about the process when he was cuffed and jailed twice due to failing to appear in Florissant Municipal Court to pay a $10 ticket for not wearing his seat belt.

His story began almost four years ago. Mr. Durrell paid a speeding ticket online, but insisted there was no record of the seat belt citation, so he never paid for that violation.

Durrell told News 4, “I was very much under the assumption that I was finished with it.”

However, Florissant Municipal Court records still showed he had an unpaid $10 ticket.

Consequently, on June 20, 2011––the day after he failed to appear in court––the judge signed a warrant for his arrest.

Mr. Durrell did not know about the warrant until a police officer pulled him over in Maryland Heights in early February for driving on expired plates.

According to Mr. Durrell, “The officer asked me to step out of the vehicle, told me to put my hands behind my back. I was under arrest … he searched me.”

He was taken to the Maryland Heights Jail where he waited more than four hours before being picked up. Then, he was in Florissant police custody for an hour and a half.

Mr. Durrell spent a total of six hours in handcuffs or in a jail.

Although this did not happen in New Jersey, it really could have happened anywhere and to anyone.

Whenever you are issued a traffic ticket, be sure to reach out to an experienced traffic ticket attorney who can help you make sense of what you are facing.

Sometimes officers forget to issue you tickets that end up in their electronic system and mistakes happen.

Do not let these mistakes lead to you having a warrant out for your arrest for something you never even did.

Contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

His team of skilled traffic ticket attorneys will fight to keep you out of jail, on the road, and paying as little in fines and auto insurance hikes possible.

Did Morristown Police Make Up Traffic Charges?

Traffic Tickets in NJ

Man Sues Morristown Police for Trumped Up Traffic Charges

A man recently alleged in a lawsuit that when he gave a Morristown police officer a hard time about using a cell phone instead of paying attention to a traffic violation, the cop cited him on trumped-up traffic charges.

The man also asserts that as he brought a complaint up the chain of the command, several supervisors told him the cop was in the wrong.

The man told NJ Advance Media, “It seems the Morristown Police Department can’t be trusted to police itself.”

The man claims in his lawsuit that he made a remark in frustration over how a Morristown Officer was caught using his cell phone while driving and failing to notice a traffic violation that nearly resulted in a collision.

In what is being called retaliation, the officer allegedly got annoyed and ordered the man to pull over for obstructing traffic.

Later on, when the driver called the police department and asked a supervisor to come to the scene, Sergeant Matt Edwards arrived and found that he did not do anything wrong.

According to the lawsuit, Sergeant Edwards was upset with the police officer for pulling the driver over, and told him that such conduct was not acceptable.

Originally the driver was told he was free to go without any traffic tickets, but stuck in the paperwork was the initial traffic ticket for obstructing traffic.

The legal complaint goes on to claim that then-Captain Steve Sarinelli apologized for “an ordeal” and the officer’s behavior.

When asked to comment, the Morristown Police referred reporters to municipal attorney Vijayant Pawar, who said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not comment on pending litigation.

If you recently received a New Jersey traffic ticket, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

Bill Introduced in Missouri to Lower Cap on Traffic Ticket Revenue

Traffic Ticket Revenue

Bill Introduced in MO to Lower Cap on Traffic Ticket Revenue

Paul Curtman, a Missouri State Representative, joined a list of lawmakers filing revolutionary legislation to lower the amount of general operating revenue that local governments can receive from traffic tickets.

According to Curtman, certain cities around Missouri received exorbitant amounts of revenue from traffic tickets.

He explained that speed traps are not appropriate ways of generating revenue and people should be able to have confidence that their government is going to exercise discretion instead of abusing a system just to bring in more revenue.

The current law in Missouri says that if any city or county receives more than 30% of its general operating revenue from traffic fines and court costs, the excess must be sent to the Missouri Department of Revenue to distribute to schools.

The bill filed by Curtman and other lawmakers would lower the 30% cap to 10% in terms of the amount of general operating revenue a city or county could get from traffic fines and court costs.

Having a cap like this in New Jersey would dramatically impact the way in which drivers looked at traffic ticket stops.

Think about it: if drivers knew that the focus of a traffic ticket was safety and not increasing funding for local municipalities, motorists would be much less jaded when they receive a ticket for speeding or running red lights.

This mind-shift alone could itself help promote safety.

Nevertheless, New Jersey has not put forth legislation to do something like this yet and its citizens are just starting to calm down from the revenue-gouging red light traffic ticket program that recently sunset.

Getting a traffic ticket can be extremely expensive. Aside from the points that stain your driving record and the fines/surcharges that really ding your wallet, your auto insurance can go through the roof.

In order to mitigate the short term financial costs and long-term consequences associated with a traffic ticket, it is highly advised that you reach out to an experienced NJ traffic ticket attorney who can tell you what you are facing and help beat your ticket.

If you recently received a New Jersey traffic ticket, contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.

New Distracted Driving Traffic Ticket Blitz Underway

Tickets for Distracted Driving

NJ Recently Launched a New Distracted Driving Traffic Ticket Campaign

New Jersey is planning on spending $1 million on a multimedia campaign designed to persuade motorists to stop talking or texting on their smartphones while driving.

While standing near a pickup truck recently wrecked in a car crash resulting in two deaths, attributed to distracted driving, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno announced the initiative.

The campaign is called “Just Drive,” and is expected to be a Web, TV, print, radio, and billboard effort to highlight the dangers and penalties of distracted driving while providing an interactive forum for people to share their stories.

Over 80,000 tickets are issued yearly in New Jersey, but government officials realized that enforcing a law that levies a fine of a couple hundred dollars is simply not enough.

According to Thomas Louizou, regional director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California, Delaware, and Massachusetts reduced distracted-driving crashes under Just Drive (a federally approved outreach, education, and ad campaign).

Last year, the New Jersey Legislature doubled the prior $100 fine for distracted driving and tacking on a $400-$600 penalty for a second offense. Likewise, for a third and subsequent violation, the fine can rise to $800 and you will face a 30-day license suspension.

Half the revenue generated from the fines must go to education and outreach run by the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).

MVC Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez revealed, “Through December, we raised $1 million,” which is enough to launch a website that provides information and grim statistics that might otherwise escape drivers.

Some critics are asking whether it is worth pumping that much money into a campaign designed to stop texting while driving and whether it would be effective at all.

Regardless of the answer, it is worth noting that this campaign will likely lead to heightened enforcement as well.

That means police will be on the lookout even more so than usual. Expect them to be issuing cell phone tickets and pulling people over for distracted driving.

If you recently received a cell phone ticket in New Jersey (NJSA 39:4-97.3), contact Michael Botton of The Botton Law Firm today at 732-894-3686.