Received a ticket for driving under a suspended license but I didn't know it was suspended, what is the best case scenario?

Question Details:It weas for an anpiad parking ticket. I received notice in the mail that my license was suspended a couple of days after I got the ticket for driving while suspended. I did not know it was suspended; for an unpaid parking ticket. The date on the notice though was 1-28-10 and I got the ticket on 2-1-10. I'm trying to find out if an attorney is really needed in this case. I must let the court know in 2weeks if I will have representation. What is the most likely fines/surcharges I will end up paying with an attorney? Are there points involved? The parking ticket has been payed and license restoration fee paid all the day after getting the ticket. I'm in Middlesex County. NJ.

Asked 5 years ago under DUI / DWI | 11439 Views | More Legal Topics

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James Fennessy Answered 5 years ago This Lavallette, NJ attorney is licensed in New Jersey

You may, or may not, need a lawyer.  You can bring the documents showing lack of notice and subsequent restoration of your driving privileges to court to show the prosecutor.  If the prosecutor will either dismiss or downgrade the charge to failure to exhibit the license (NJSA 39:3-29), take the deal - you don't need a lawyer.  On the other hand, if the lawyer offers to only amend the driving while suspended  (NJSA 39:3-40) to the "i" parking violation (NJSA 39:3-40i) don't take the deal, tell the prosecutor you want an adjournment to hire a lawyer. While the "i" violation has only a small fine, it counts as a prior NJSA 39:3-40 violation, meaning that any second NJSA 39:3-40 violation, anytime for the rest of your life, will result in mandatory jail time.  The middle ground is that the prosecutor may offer to amend the original charge to an expired license violation NJSA 39:3-10a, but you must know that the 39:3-10a violation will go on your driving record and result in a $100 per year DMV surcharge for the next 3 years.  Good Luck

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

Driving with a suspended license is a misdemeanor in most states and is punishable by a fine.  The state is required to prove in most states that you were on notice that your license was suspended.  You can be sure that the state is going to have records of the notice being sent to you. You may be able to deny receipt or that the address the notice was sent to is not correct.  I suggest that if you have a good standing license now, that you go to court with the restoration papers and show the state's attorney your license is now in good standing and that you truly didn't know about the suspension.  Many times the state will drop the charge as a conviction results in points on your license, and fine in the $200-1000 range.  If you have no record, I think you can handle this alone and explain that you have never been in trouble and have restored your license.

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