How to Respond to a Notice of Proposed Suspension from the MVC

When the Motor Vehicle Commission or the M.V.C. wants to suspend a persons driver’s license it must first send out a form called a notice of a proposed suspension. Once you receive this form then you will immediately become unnerved and it will also ruin your day. Nonetheless, you can’t just rip up this notice and throw it in the garbage. If you receive a notice of proposed suspension then you must hire a lawyer and defend yourself. If is critically important that you must protect your legal right to a hearing, and to vigorously contest any proposed suspension of your driver’s license.

Over the last decade more than one million New Jersey drivers have opened up their mailbox and found a terrifying notice of a proposed suspension letter from the M.V.C. This letter or notice will advise the driver that (1) that the M.V.C. intends to suspend the person;s driver’s license; (2) the grounds for the proposed suspension; and (3) the effective date of the proposed suspension. If you receive a notice of a proposed suspension then you should not throw it away and simply hope that your driver’s license problems will just go away. Instead, you should immediately hire an experienced lawyer with ample experience in M.V.C. license suspension cases.

The first step to defend against a driver’s license suspension is to write the M.V.C. and to a request a hearing. In this letter you also must specifically explain why you believe that your drive’s license should not be suspended. The letter to request a hearing must be sent to the M.V.C. via certified mail so that there is sufficient proof that the M.V.C. has received it. If a request for a hearing is sent in then the suspension will not start on the date as specified in a the notice of the proposed suspension. Be forewarned, if you simply ignore the notice of the proposed suspension then eventually your driver’s license will be suspended, and you will not be legally permitted to drive in New Jersey.

The M.V.C. will then respond by scheduling a date for a pre-hearing conference. The pre-hearing conference will be held at one of the numerous M.V.C.’s Regional Service Centers. The pre-hearing conference is simply a meeting with a M.V.C. senior employee. You and your lawyer will meet with the M.V.C. hearing officer in an informal setting and it is usually held in an office cubicle. Here, you will review your driver’s history and discuss the reasons why the M.V.C. wants to suspend your driver’s license. The hearing officer will then make the driver an offer as to the length of a proposed suspension. This process is very similar to plea bargaining. Thereafter, you can either choose to accept this offer, or you can request a full hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you request a hearing then it will not be held until several months later. The hearing will be held before an Administrative Law Judge from the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law. Prior to this hearing, the M.V.C. is also legally required to provide you with any and all information about your driving history, and the proposed length of any suspension. When you appear at this administrative hearing your lawyer will have an opportunity to work out a deal with the the M.V.C. before the hearing actually starts. It is important to emphasize that the vast majority of the cases are settled without having a full hearing.