Fighting a Red Light and Failure to Stop Traffic Violation in NJ, Even if You Have an Out-of-State Driver’s License
Were you rushing to work or an appointment, and you received a traffic ticket for failing to stop at a traffic light or a stop sign?
Did you misjudge the yellow light? Could it be you thought you had enough time to clear the intersection, or you didn’t think you could safely stop in time, so you decided to go through because you didn’t think you could safely stop, and the light turned red before you did it. Maybe you were rushing to pick up your kids from daycare before closing in hopes of avoiding a late fee? Did you get a ticket for failing to obey traffic signs at an intersection that said “right turn signal” or “no turn on red”? Were you just distracted or suffering from inattentional blindness?
There are many circumstances where your traffic citation for failure to stop or obey instructions means you could be found guilty of various Title 39 statutory provisions related to motor vehicle offenses.
Besides demerit points on your driving record, in New Jersey, traffic violations can have a significant impact on your finances in the form of penalties, surcharges, increased insurance premiums, loss of license, or possible incarceration. If you received a citation for failing to stop at a stop sign or other motor vehicle offenses, Union County Attorney Edward S. Cooper, Esq wants to protect your rights, wallet, and driver’s license.
What is a Failure to Stop Violation?
New Jersey law requires that motorists approaching a stop sign or a ready or flashing red light comes to a complete stop. According to N.J.S.A. 39:4-105, if the red light is solid, then drivers must come to a stop before “entering the intersection or crosswalk.” In addition and following NJ Rev Stat § 39:4-119, the same applies when motorists approach a flashing red light. They are required to come to a “complete stop before entering or crossing the intersection….and shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street.”
Furthermore, N.J.S.A 39:4-144 (stopping or yielding right of way before entering stop or yield intersections) explicitly states that motorists must come to a “complete stop at a point within five feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street.”
A ticket in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-81 (failure to observe traffic signal) is similar to one for N.J.S.A. 39:4-105 (failure to stop for traffic light), and law enforcement often writes for either one of these violations when a driver runs a red light in New Jersey.
What are the Penalties for Failing to Stop?
- up to 15 days in jail (rarely imposed unless there was a car accident or other aggravating circumstances)
- up to a $200 fine
- points on your license
- car insurance points
Such fines can be doubled if you were also speeding. The violation took place in a construction zone or a “Safe Corridor,” or if you have previous traffic citations or are charged with another traffic violation while waiting for your ticket to be resolved.
What is inattentional blindness?
As a form of distracted driving, it may impact anyone at any time. The American Psychological Association lists inattentional blindness as a psychological phenomenon in which a person misses something undeniable due to focusing elsewhere. Their focus is so intense that they cannot pay attention to anything else that is happening.
Interestingly, this happens quite often with new motorists because they are unaccustomed to the additional visual stimuli and may focus only on: the speedometer, traffic ahead of them, or their rear-view mirror, and miss very obvious dangers like red lights or animals in the road.
I Have an Out-of-State License & Want To Contest My NJ Traffic Ticket. What Should I Do?
Each case varies. Penalties can be destructive to both your personal and professional life, so you shouldn’t risk losing your license for exceeding the speed limit. Whether from out-of-state or you are a New Jersey resident, you should discuss your case and options with an experienced New Jersey criminal and traffic attorney.
As an out-of-state driver and because of two state compacts, New Jersey is likely sharing your traffic violation information with your home state, so getting a ticket in New Jersey will likely cost you points on your license in your home state because of the:
- Driver License Compact: adds points, but these points may be fewer points than you would normally receive in your home state.
- Nonresident Violator Compact – affords out-of-state motorists the same rights and privileges as in-state drivers and requires drivers to fulfill the terms of traffic citations received in member states or face the possibility of license suspension in their home state.
Fines can be paid, and surcharges eventually end, but points can hang on to your driving record for years and accrue towards getting your license suspended. In addition, if you receive an out-of-state ticket and don’t pay it, you could have legal problems if both states are in the Compact.
Whatever the case, it’s important to fight every ticket as if it could be the one to cost you your license. Talk to an out-of-state traffic ticket lawyer from The Law Office of Edward Cooper. Esq. to find out the best way to avoid the most penalties.
Call an Elizabeth NJ Traffic Violation & Failure to Stop Lawyer for a Consultation
If you have been cited by the police for a traffic violation in NJ, it could result in points, surcharges, impact your insurance rates or cause you to lose your license. If you have an upcoming municipal court date, consult an experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer, who knows the law, the elements of the offense you have been charged with committing, and about what your rights, and what your options are.
Contact Attorney Edward Cooper about your traffic violation in any municipal court in Union County, Linden, Westfield, Elizabeth, Plainfield, and across Central and Northern New Jersey. Get the peace of mind you deserve. Call our Union County offices at (908) 481-4625 to discuss how we can help protect your rights, driving record, and livelihood.