A driver can appeal their conviction in the Law Division, Criminal Part of the Superior Court. A driver has 20 days to file an appeal. The driver must also pay a filing fee of $50, and pay for the transcripts which cost about $200. The time limits to file an appeal are very strict.

Bankruptcy of Surcharges

Surcharges can only be discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Surcharges can’t be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If a driver is stopped for driving while suspended for failure to pay surcharges, then there is an additional $3,000 surcharge that is assessed.

Bench Warrant

If you do not appear at court, then the court will issue a bench warrant. The judge will direct that the local police go to your home or place of employment to arrest you.

“Blowing Off” Tickets and Moving to Another State

A driver must beware of ignoring tickets by simply moving to another state. Eventually the new state will become aware that the driver is suspended in New Jersey. Most states are part of an interstate compact agreement. Therefore, all of the states are connected by the internet, and all states keep track of each other drivers. In short, if a driver does not pay his N.J. tickets, eventually, the new state will not renew the driver’s license, because it is suspended in New Jersey.


This is an instrument that the police use to determine a driver’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Level).

Conditional Driver’s License

New Jersey does not have a conditional driver’s license as some other states have. If you lose your driver’s license in New Jersey, then you can’t drive at all, even if you are only driving to work.

MVC Hearing

If a driver gets 12 or more points the MVC will issue an administrative suspension. The typical suspension period is for 180 days. The driver can request a MVC hearing with a hearing officer. At the hearing, most of the times the suspension can be reduced to 30 days or less. The hearings are held at the MVC regional offices.

Driver’s Abstract

This is a report of a driver’s history. This report can be obtained by the MVC for a fee of $10.

Enhanced Penalties

If a driver is caught driving while he is on the suspended list for DWI, or for having no insurance, then there are enhanced penalties. The court can give the driver an additional period of suspension, more fines, and jail time.


If a driver does not appear at court to fight his ticket, then the court will issue an FTA. Normally, the driver will be noticed, and he will be given a chance to appear at a rescheduled court date. The court will assess an additional fine of $50 to $100 for the driver failing to appear.

Insurance Eligibility Points

There are two types of points in New Jersey. One type of point is used by the MVC. The other type of point is an insurance eligibility point. Every time a driver is convicted of a motor vehicle charge, he also receives an insurance eligibility point. The more insurance eligibility points that a driver receives, then the higher insurance will be.


Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center. All drivers who are convicted of a DWI offense must attend the IDRC. There are local IDRC Centers in all of the regions of the State of New Jersey. If a suspended driver does not attend the IRDC, and comply with the provisions, then he can’t get his license back.

Motor Vehicle Points

A driver can have up to 12 points on his N.J. license. Every time a driver is convicted of a traffic offense, he is assessed points, and the records are sent to the MVC in Trenton, N.J. Once a driver gets 12 points he gets a notice that he will receive an administrative suspension for 180 days.

Municipal Ordinance

Quite often a driver will by charged with disorderly people’s offense. A good lawyer will try to get the charges downgraded to a municipal ordinance. This type of charge will not give a person a criminal record, and it is not searchable.

Payment Plan of Fines

Quite often the fines are outrageous for traffic cases. The municipal court judge will permit a driver to pay the fines over time, if after review of a financial disclosure, the driver proves he can’t make the payments. Each municipal court judge has their own “collection” policies. It is wise for all drivers to come to court with at least $200 to make payments. A payment of $200 will show the court some respect for the seriousness of the proceeding.

Payment of Fines by Credit Card

Some municipal courts permit drivers to pay fines by credit card. However, this practice varies from court to court. Always call the court before the hearing, to assess if the court will accept a credit card. This can be a great way to earn frequent flier miles!

Plea Bargaining

This is the process wherein tickets are downgraded to lesser charges. There is no plea bargaining in DWI cases. However, if the defense prepares a good case, then the prosecutor can offer an alternative disposition, and have the DWI charge downgraded to a reckless driving, or dismiss it.

Public Defender

A public defender will only be appointed for charges of consequences of magnitude. Cases which constitute consequences of magnitude are driving while suspended, driving without insurance, and DWI. In some municipal courts, the public defenders are excellent. In other municipal courts, the public defenders are overworked, and they do not have time to put a significant amount of effort into your case. The amount of money that a driver earns is the determinative factor as to whether the court will appoint a public defender.

Psycho-physical Tests

The police will often provide pyscho-physical tests on a driver arrested for a DWI. The psycho-physical tests are the hand to nose test, the walk on the straight line test, the one leg stand test, the heel to toe turn test. These tests along with the BAC test are the primary evidence that the State will use to convict a drunk driver.


Your license or privilege to drive is cancelled. To get a new license, you must re-apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles (MVC) once the revocation period is over. A bad driving record or refusing to meet MVC requirements may cause your application to be denied.

SLAP Programs

This is a program that permits drivers to perform their jail time by doing community service. One day of jail time equals six hours of community service


Your license is taken away for a period of time before it is returned to you.

Temporary Driver’s License

Quite often a driver will get to the municipal court by driving their car. At court, the driver may have his license immediately suspended. A municipal court judge often grants a driver who has just lost their driver’s license, a temporary one hour license. This will permit the defendant to drive home. Remember a temporary license is just what it says – temporary. It should not be abused.

Work Release Program

In most counties, they have work release programs. This means that a driver can go to his regular job in the day time, and he has to sleep at the jail.

Wristlet Program

In some counties, the jails will permit drivers to serve their time by home confinement. The driver will also have to wear a wristlet monitor. During the day, the driver will have to perform community service by raking leaves, picking up garbage, and by other fun tasks.