Most Americans drive so much it is like breathing that becomes unconscious and perhaps, taken for granted, especially with today’s pace of life. Drivers become inattentive when they multitask while operating a vehicle, putting on makeup, checking a phone message, or talking on the phone. Someone involved in a heated telephone conversation may inadvertently change lanes without looking or drive too slowly as they answer a text. For this reason, careless driving is one of the most common driving violations, New Jersey law punishes those who drive carelessly, incautiously, and dangerously harshly. The consequences of a careless driving conviction can be expensive and inconvenient, not to mention problematic for your insurance and points on your license.
Careless Driving Defense Lawyer in Florence NJ
Contact an experienced traffic ticket defense attorney at Proetta, Oliver & Fay, if you face careless driving charges in municipal court in Bordentown, Burlington Township, Mount Holly, Riverside, Mount Laurel, Evesham, Moorestown, Pemberton, Westampton, Bass River, and surrounding municipalities. Our lawyers know that careless driving is just a pending case until you have the opportunity to defend yourself in which, means the prosecutor must prove to the judge that, beyond a reasonable doubt, you are guilty of careless driving. Otherwise, the state cannot convict you. Without eyewitnesses, the police officer who issued the citation, or expert testimony, a prosecutor may be unable to prove guilt with such a stringent burden of proof. We may examine the facts of your case and find defenses you are unaware of to challenge the prosecution’s case.
New Jersey statute 39:4-97 defines careless driving as operating a motor vehicle “without due caution and circumspection,” essentially negligent driving. Inattentive drivers are often cited in accidents when police determine by witness accounts and other evidence that a driver was distracted or violating traffic laws.
Anyone can drive carelessly by car, truck, or motor scooter. Late for work or school, drivers can speed, make unsafe lane changes, and cut other drivers off on the roadways. But it can also be a simple matter of someone’s braking too hard, their foot stepping on the gas instead of the brake, or failing to yield entering a busy intersection. Some drivers may cause traffic accidents by driving too slowly on a highway while they read or answer texts. But even being preoccupied with a problem on their mind, a driver may not be aware of traffic conditions suddenly coming to a stop and so cause a rear-end accident.
Careless Driving Compared to Reckless Driving in Mount Holly
Compared to reckless driving, careless driving is a lesser offense, and not a crime. While reckless driving and careless driving are motor vehicle violations that endanger others’ safety and property, reckless driving includes an element of intent and a higher degree of carelessness to be considered irresponsible. Running a red light and excessively speeding may be reckless driving, resulting in more severe penalties than careless driving, such as 60 days in jail depending on the case. Careless driving is negligent, which includes breaching the duty to drive without injuring others or their property. Sometimes the distinction between reckless and careless driving is unclear, but one thing is sure. A careless driving ticket is better than a reckless driving one.
What is the Penalty for Careless Driving in NJ?
The penalties for careless driving include two points on your driver’s record for a conviction. Another two points could drastically drive up insurance premiums depending on how many points the driver already has. And if a judge determines aggravating circumstances warrant a license suspension, a careless driver may lose their license for a time. Aggravating factors may be one of many considerations, such as the extent of damage resulting from the careless driver and the driver’s conduct. It also matters whether the driver has a history of driving offenses, and a judge also looks at the driver’s age, attitude, character, and experience. In examining these factors, a judge wants to know if a driver is likely to commit further infractions on the road so that a license suspension will deter other incidences. Still, a judge may also consider the hardship to the driver and their dependents.
Even if a court does not suspend the driver’s license, a conviction or guilty plea results in a fine ranging from $50.00 to $200.00 in addition to court costs and assessment fees of close to $40.00. And fines double when careless driving occurs in a construction or 65-mile-per-hour speed limit zone. A conviction can also lead to a 15-day maximum jail sentence. Even though two points on a driving record is not much presumably, six or more points can result in a surcharge ($25 per point after six), and 12 points lead to a license suspension.
Careless Driving Offense Resulting in an Accident in Riverside, New Jersey
Getting a ticket for careless driving can cause significant distress, from financial struggles to losing your license. You could lose your job or endure stressful lifestyle changes without the ability to drive to work, go grocery shopping, or transport your children to school. Driving carelessly when no one gets hurt is one consideration to a judge, but causing an accident after careless driving is another. The court may be more likely to suspend a driver’s license when extensive personal injury and property damage occurs.
Speak with Moorestown Careless Driving Lawyers Today
If you have been issued a traffic ticket for careless driving anywhere in Burlington County, contact our local defense firm for immediate assistance with your case. Consult with an attorney on our talented team before going to court for your careless driving ticket. Our lawyers can inform you about preserving your driving record, avoiding a conviction, and plea bargaining with the prosecutor. For example, motor vehicle laws differ from state to state. If you traveled to New Jersey from another state, you might be unaware of the rules and, thus, unwittingly break the law. You may have come from a state that does not require you to mount your cell phone on the dashboard, so when an officer stops you for an unsafe lane change (not signaling before changing lanes) with your cell phone in your hand or lap, you may have grounds to challenge a careless driving charge.
And if the state charges you with reckless driving or DWI, we also know how to help you reduce those charges to careless driving so you face fewer days in jail, lower fines, and fewer points. Reckless driving convictions result in five points on your record rather than two, but even two points may disappear from your record if you have no other violations or suspensions for a year or by taking certified driving courses. Our years of experience defending clients throughout southern New Jersey gives us an edge when representing clients in courts in Florence, Cinnaminson, Southampton, Mansfield, Delran, Delanco, Lumberton, Pemberton, and other Burlington County areas. Contact our offices at (609) 850-8284 if you face a careless driving ticket and talk through your legal options to obtain the optimal result.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted.
525 Highway 73, Suite 104, Marlton, New Jersey 08053 Phone: 609-850-8284 By Appointment Only
100 Horizon Center Boulevard, Hamilton, New Jersey, 08691 By Appointment Only
Point Pleasant Office
3828 River Road,
Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
By Appointment Only
180 Kings Highway, Middletown Township, New Jersey 07748 By Appointment Only