Restoring Your License and Improving Your Driving Record after a Suspension in Union County, NJ

driving a vehicle

Driving is something that we easily take for granted, as most people have a driver’s license and make use of it every day. However, the licensing commission that issues licenses, the Motor Vehicle Commission, can suspend or revoke a license for failing to obey the traffic rules and regulations. If you have 12 points on your record, the Motor Vehicle Commission can suspend your license. You get a certain number of points per traffic violation, including being in an accident. In addition to not paying fines, surcharges, and judgments, you can lose your license over an accident. So, if you caused an auto accident and the other driver obtained a judgment of $500.00 or more against you for medical or property damages, you may lose your license if you do not pay the judgment. Failure to pay traffic tickets can also lead to a license suspension, as well as other traffic violations, such as a DWI and DUI.

If you have a serious traffic or criminal violation, call our Cranford law office at (908) 838-0150 to speak to an attorney about your case and available options. We consistently defend clients in courts throughout Union County NJ, such as Scotch Plains, Clark, Berkeley Heights, Westfield, Kenilworth, Springfield, and Union Township. If you would like a free consultation, please contact us online or by phone today.

A DWI Can Affect Your Driving Record Forever.

Since it is not a criminal offense, you cannot get it expunged or removed from your record. Additionally, a DWI or DUI causes insurance premiums to rise when you are looking for vehicle insurance. That is aside from the three-year insurance surcharge those convicted of a DWI pay as part of the sentence, along with other fines and surcharges for Intoxicated Driver Resource Center education. As part of a DWI/DUI sentence, you must attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center to learn about traffic laws, the effects of drugs and alcohol, and substance abuse. A driver’s license is suspended for a first-time DWI offense until the driver installs a device that acts like a breathalyzer in their vehicle. If the Ignition Interlock device registers alcohol in the breath, the car will not start. And for those with prior convictions, the license suspension is longer, from months to years.

How Come Your License Can Be Suspended in NJ?

Not only drunk driving but reckless driving, causing a fatal accident, and driving with a suspended license can lead to a license suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Failing to pay court-ordered fines and surcharges is another way to lose your license. Those charged with a DWI must pay fines and surcharges to fund the programs that the driver needs to attend to fulfill their sentence. If they do not pay as ordered, a court may remove the driver from the road with a suspension or revocation. The same applies to insurance. If pulled over for a traffic offense, a driver must present proof of automobile insurance or get a fix-it ticket to show proof to the court later. If not, license suspension is the result. Multiple traffic tickets and leaving a car on a highway or other public road are other ways to lose a license. However, the Motor Vehicle Commission has the discretion to re-test a driver before suspending their license to inform the suspension decision.

Process for Restoring and Reinstating Your Driver’s License in New Jersey

To regain a license after suspension, a driver must pay a restoration fee of $100.00 and pay any outstanding tickets to the appropriate court. Upon proof of the paid tickets, the Motor Vehicle Commission can reinstate a license. If a license suspension is due to the driver’s failure to show proof of insurance to an officer, then the driver must present proof of current coverage on their vehicle. Other restoration processes include particular instances of abandoned or sold vehicles and proof of the surrendered license plates or reasons for missing plates. Once a driver verifies that they cleared all license suspensions, they can pay their $100.00 restoration fee and $100.00 registration restoration fee for their license. Alternatively, they can apply for a new license to replace an expired one. The Motor Vehicle Commission may require a driver to take a new driver’s license test after a DUI license suspension but only after the driver fulfills all the terms of the DUI conviction.

How to Improve Your Driving Record in NJ

You also may have to take a new driver’s test if you waited three years to renew an expired driver’s license. After getting a new license, it might be time to think about improving your driving record, which can benefit your personal, financial, and professional life in many ways, as well as lower your insurance premiums. Staying violation-free for a year is one way to reduce points from your record. You get a three-point reduction from your record for every year you maintain a no-violation status. You can also take a driving course to learn the road rules and how to be a defensive driver, which is worth two points off your record. Most courses run about six hours and cost around $50.00. Another driving course is the driver improvement course that removes three points. You can track your points on your driving abstract.

Avoiding DWI and Traffic Offense Convictions is the Best Option

Keeping your record with the Division of Motor Vehicles clean has obvious benefits for safety and monetary reasons. But you also benefit by not limiting your employment options. If driving is part of a job description, you may not be considered for the job with a DWI or too many traffic violations, as an employer may not want to risk liability for lawsuits by hiring you. As such, be sure you get help with the legal process and aggressively defend yourself if you have been charged with a DWI or other moving violations, disobeying traffic laws, getting into an accident, assault by autoeluding an officer, or leaving the scene of an accident. Any type of criminal or traffic charge may have you entangled in the legal system for months or years, and the results can be a nightmare without skillful defense representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Your best defense is with someone who knows the laws and how to get you the best outcome for your future. An attorney can pressure the prosecutor with facts that diminish the prosecutor’s case and strengthen yours to get your charges reduced or dismissed. They can also advise you how to plead when you get a traffic violation, especially if you are close to the 12 points that lead to your license suspension. Contact an attorney at our New Jersey defense firm who practices in the criminal and traffic courts who can advise you whether it is best to plead to an unsafe operation ticket that costs more than most tickets but has zero points attached to it. Choose the best path for you with the help of our lawyers by contacting us at (908) 838-0150 today.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.