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  1. I got a traffic ticket, can I just pay it, or do I have to go to Court?
 To determine if you must go to Court, look at your traffic ticket.  Three quarters of the way down on the traffic ticket there is a line that looks like this:                                                                                                
    ¨      Court appearance  Court:                                           Time  am            
             required                         Date                                            Hour  pm 
If the box is NOT checked off, you are not required to go to Court, so long as you pay the appropriate fine by the date set forth on this line of the ticket.  However, if you do not intend to pay the ticket, and you wish to contest the ticket, you must notify the Court prior to the date set forth on the traffic ticket.   If the box is checked off, you are required to go to Court on the date set forth on this line of the traffic ticket.  You cannot resolve your case by paying a fine prior to the Court date.  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1. Am I admitting that I am guilty, if I pay the fine on my traffic ticket and do not go to Court?
 Yes.  When you pay the fine for the traffic offense that you are charged with committing on your traffic ticket, you are admitting that you are guilty of that offense. 


  1. I got a traffic ticket which carries points.  Who issues the points, the municipal court or the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission?
 The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission issues the points (if appropriate), upon review of the disposition of your case from the municipal court.  The municipal court has no authority regarding issuing points. 


  1. I think I am probably guilty of the traffic offense that I am charged with committing.  Should I just plead guilty and get it over with?
 There are some instances where pleading guilty may be appropriate.  However, there are several factors to consider, prior to making this decision.  First, there may be defenses to the traffic offense for which you have been charged.  If you can avail yourself of one of these defenses, you may not be guilty of the traffic offense, and not even realize it.  A lawyer can advise you of the defenses available to you, based upon the law and the facts of your case.  Further, even if you plead guilty or are found guilty of a traffic offense, a lawyer may be able to make arguments at sentencing to achieve a more favorable result.  Second, while some traffic offenses are relatively minor, other traffic offenses are more serious and can result in more severe consequences.  You should determine the ramifications of pleading guilty to the traffic offense you are charged with committing, prior to making a decision to plead guilty.  Third, in most instances, plea bargaining is permitted in municipal court (with the exception, for example, of Driving While Intoxicated [DWI] cases).  However, if you plead guilty immediately at your First Appearance, you will lose the opportunity to attempt to plea bargain the charge to a less serious offense.   


  1. I received a Notice of Proposed Suspension from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.  Can I appeal the Proposed Suspension?
 Yes.  You can file a written appeal of the Notice of Proposed Suspension.  The Notice of Proposed Suspension contains the time frame by which the appeal must be filed and where to send the appeal paperwork.  If the appeal is accepted, a hearing is scheduled to review the proposed administrative suspension.  Generally, the drivers license is not suspended pending the hearing.  However, you should always contact the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to confirm the status of your appeal by the date of the proposed suspension to make sure that your drivers’ license has not been suspended prior to driving.   


 Do you still have more questions?   To schedule a free in-person or telephone consultation, call the Law Office of Carol H. Gold, Esquire, LLC at 609-267-3883.  This office handles all traffic and municipal court quasi-criminal matters.