What are the Penalties for Driving While Suspended in New Jersey?
The penalties for Driving While Suspended in New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 39:3-40, can be severe. For a first offense, there is a $500.00 fine and up to six months additional suspension. For a second offense, the fine is $750.00, jail for one to five days, up to six months of additional suspension and, if the second offense occurs within five years of the first, revocation of motor vehicle registration privileges while the license suspension is in effect (N.J.S.A. 39:3-40.1). For a third offense, the fine is $1,000.00, up to six months additional suspension, jail for ten days and, if the third offense is within five years of the second, revocation of motor vehicle registration privileges while the license suspension is in effect (N.J.S.A. 39:3-40.1).
The penalties can be enhanced based on the reason for the suspension or the facts surrounding the operation of the motor vehicle.
If there is a motor vehicle accident during the period of suspension and there is injury to another party, there is a 45 to 180 day jail sentence, in addition to the fines and license loss listed above. N.J.S.A. 39:3-40(e).
If the operator is suspended for failure to have liability insurance, N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2, there is, in addition to the fines and license loss listed above, an additional $500.00 fine, additional suspension for one to two years and up to 90 days jail. N.J.S.A. 39:3-4(f)(1).
If the operator is suspended for a first offense DWI, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, and it is a first offense of driving while suspended during the suspension period, there is, in addition to the fines and license loss listed above, an additional $500.00 fine, additional suspension for one to two years and from 10 to 90 days jail. N.J.S.A. 39:3-40(f)(2). If the operator drives twice during the suspension period (or once during a suspension period for second or subsequent offense DWI) they are subject to an indictable (felony) criminal charge, N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, which would, most notably, subject the operator to a minimum of six months in the county jail, maximum 18 months in state prison, as well the fines and license loss above.
If the operator is caught while on school property or within 1000 feet of same, or, if the operator is driving through a school crossing which has been designated by ordinance or resolution, or, if the school crossing has not been designated by ordinance or resolution, but the operator knows that children are present, he or she is subject to penalties in addition to those above of another one to two year license loss, another $500 fine and 60 to 90 days jail for a first offense, 120 to 150 days jail for a second offense and 180 days jail for a third or subsequent offense. N.J.S.A. 39:3-40(f)(3)(a), (b) and (c).
Prosecutors are frequently amenable to amending or dismissing allegations of Driving While Suspended if the operator was not aware he or she was suspended and/or if the operator restored the privilege soon after receiving the summons. If you or someone you know is charged with Driving While Suspended or any other motor vehicle or criminal offense, feel free to contact me to discuss. My cell is (732) 558-2019. The office is (732) 750-4600. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.