Abandoment of a Motor Vehicle

It is unlawful for any driver to operate a motor vehicle on any highway, bridge, or tunnel in N.J., in such a manner as to willfully cause the vehicle to become disabled, with the purpose of interfering or with obstructing the passage of other vehicles. This includes the disablement of a vehicle caused by a lack of fuel. It is also unlawful for any driver to willfully abandon a vehicle upon a highway, bridge, or tunnel of this State for the purpose of interfering with or obstructing the passage of other vehicles.

The fines are $202 to $502. A court can suspend a driver’s license for not less than one year, and not more than five years. The driver may not purchase liability insurance while he is on the revoked list.

Since the penalties of abandonment are so severe, a good lawyer will try to have the charges downgraded to obstruction of traffic, or to some other lesser offense. A driver who is not represented by counsel, may leave municipal court with a five year license suspension.