Blog | Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC


What Is the Difference Between Careless and Reckless Driving in New Jersey?

Neither careless nor reckless driving is a criminal offense in New Jersey. However, they are both traffic offenses with serious consequences. While they sound similar, the practical difference between reckless and careless driving does matter in terms of possible fines, points on your license, and its possible suspension.


Reckless Driving

If you have been charged with reckless driving, it means that you are accused of behaving negligently behind the wheel. Drunk driving and speeding both fall under this category. Obviously, these behaviors are highly dangerous, often leading to deaths and injuries in car accidents.

According to a New Jersey government fact sheet, “Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or reckless driving, are examples of motor vehicle violations that may result in the loss of driving privileges. It will take time and money to reinstate driving privileges.”

However, by choosing the right lawyer, you increase your chances of getting out of that charge. For instance, in the case of drunk driving, making sure the correct procedures were followed by the arresting officer, that any tests were performed correctly, and that the breathalyzer was properly maintained are all potential avenues that can be explored.

Reckless Driving Penalties

  • First Offense – Five points in addition to either a $50–$200 fine or imprisonment not exceeding three months—or both
  • Second Offense – Five points in addition to either a $100–$500 fine or imprisonment not exceeding three months—or both


Careless Driving

A careless driving offense has to do with endangering a person or property, and a ticket can result from actions such as not fully stopping at a stop sign, eating behind the wheel, and ignoring a closed lane sign.

As an example of possible defenses for this sort of charge, drivers are often ticketed when there are modifications to the road, such as a closed lane. Sometimes the police officer can incorrectly charge you with making an illegal turn when your proper lane was closed if it was not marked correctly during the transition. Catching small details like this (and there can be many) can get your violation thrown out or reduced if you work with an experienced traffic lawyer who knows how to find them.

Careless Driving Penalties

  • Any Offense – Two points in addition to either a fine of $50–$200 or imprisonment not exceeding fifteen days


Why Driving Points Matter

If you accrue too many points on your license, not only might your insurance rates go up, but you could face a number of potential negative consequences:

  • If you get six or more points within three years on your current driving record, you will be assessed a surcharge.
  • If you get twelve or more points on your current driving record, your license will be suspended. You will receive a notice of scheduled suspension by mail


Get Help from a New Jersey Traffic Lawyer

Call today to speak to one of our attorneys for free and see how we may be able to help you improve your situation. There is no obligation to continue with us after the call, and it is 100 percent completely confidential.

Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC has extensive experience getting traffic violations reduced or dropped for our clients. Once retained, we will conduct a detailed investigation of your case and look for loopholes and errors in your charges. Call us at 1-800-531-6442 or contact us through the form below to arrange your free case evaluation.

My License Was Suspended. What Now?

If your license was suspended, you should speak with an experienced traffic attorney about getting it back. This is not something that you want to ignore, because once your license has been suspended for the first time, you are at risk for it being suspended more easily in the future.

Plus, each time you lose your license, the penalties and suspension times are increased. This makes it critical for you to take the first offense seriously.


Ways a License Can Be Suspended in New Jersey

When at all possible, you should take the steps necessary to avoid the suspension of your drivers license. Working with an attorney can help prevent a suspension because you can fight your tickets long before you near this point.

There are other possible ways to have your license suspended, however:


Watch Out

If your license is suspended multiple times, you are at risk for losing it for up to three years. For example, if you lost your license temporarily by not showing up for court and then again for not paying a fine, your third suspension could lead to you being unable to drive for three full years.

You need an attorney to assist you any time your license is at risk for suspension. Additionally, each time that your license is suspended, you will lose it for a longer amount of time.


Your Options

When working with an attorney, there are options available to you beyond a license suspension. For example, if your license is at risk due to points on your record, you can fight tickets and try to get them dismissed as they come in.

If you are past this point, you may qualify for the Driver Improvement Program. This is a course that is offered through certain approved providers in lieu of losing your license for thirty days. It removes three points from your record, enough to avoid a suspension, but not enough to clear it. This means that you need to continue to drive safely afterwards and fight any additional tickets you receive.


Restoring Your License

Once your license has been lost, you will need to wait out the suspension period and be sure to pay any related fines during that time. Once you do, you will receive a notice that allows you to restore your license. The cost is $100 on top of any fees that you owe.


Speak with a New Jersey Traffic Citation Lawyer

If you fear that your license may be suspended, the best thing you can do is call Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC for help. Being proactive may prevent your license suspension, allowing you to continue driving, picking up your kids from school, going to work, grocery shopping, and carrying on with your life.

Scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation is as easy as completing the form below or calling 1-800-531-6442.

What NOT to Do When Evicting Tenants in New Jersey

New Jersey has strict laws that govern renting in the state, so as a landlord or renter, it is not always easy to know what NOT to do when evicting tenants. You may be well-versed in some of the past laws, but New Jersey’s real estate laws are continuously changing, so it can be helpful to have an attorney who is familiar with the past, current, and upcoming changes in order to help you be prepared.

Above all, be aware that some landlord-tenant laws that are in place can cause a landlord to face criminal charges, so it is incredibly important to make certain you understand both your rights and your tenant’s. Working with a knowledgeable real estate lawyer from Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC is the best way to ensure that you have all of the legal angles covered for your eviction case.

Below are some of the things you should never do when evicting tenants in New Jersey, as well as some of the ways in which we can help you with the eviction process:


Don’t Forget the Truth in Renting Bulletin

All New Jersey landlords are required to give tenants a copy of the Truth in Renting bulletin produced by the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. If you forget to give your tenants this bulletin, you may find that you have no legal ground on which to stand when attempting an eviction, and you could face fines and other penalties when you try to proceed. The bulletin provides tenants with the information they need in order to be fully aware of their own rights as tenants.


Never Perform a Self-Help Eviction

One of the biggest differences between New Jersey and other states is that New Jersey does not allow landlords to perform self-help evictions. These evictions happen when a landlord changes locks, removes a tenant’s property, or otherwise prevents the tenant from accessing a rental unit or its contents.

Instead, landlords need to follow the exact steps required for the particular type of eviction they are trying to carry out. To be on the safe side, it is always best to consult with the experienced eviction lawyers from our firm throughout the process.


Don’t Skip the Notice to Quit

The notice to quit comes before an actual eviction in New Jersey. This notice gives warning to the tenant that an eviction may be imminent unless they comply with the options you have provided, which should be within reason.

For example, if a tenant has violated one of the terms of the lease, you may be required to provide this notice demanding that the tenant stop the action in question. In most cases, this step is required before you file for an eviction and is not something you want to omit from the process. In addition to the notice to quit, our firm can help you manage any of the documentation your eviction requires.


Don’t Evict Without Legal Counsel from Experienced Eviction Lawyers

Knowing what NOT to do when evicting tenants in New Jersey may be just as important as knowing what to do. You don’t want to make a costly mistake by attempting to navigate the eviction process without an experienced eviction lawyer. Consult an attorney from Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC to make certain you follow the proper procedures. Don’t put your property on the line by attempting to figure out eviction laws yourself.

Let us help you retain your rights as a landlord. Please call our office at 1-800-531-6442 or complete the form below to arrange a free consultation.

As an Out-of-State Landlord, Why Hire a New Jersey Eviction Lawyer?

If you are either an out-of-state landlord or are considering becoming one, you might be asking yourself why you would ever need to hire a New Jersey eviction lawyer. The fact of the matter is that many landlords that live in New Jersey have a hard enough time keeping up with all of the many and varied New Jersey eviction laws.

Because of changes in the housing market, the state has strengthened laws in an effort to protect tenant rights, which has had the side effect of making things more difficult for landlords. This doesn’t mean that landlords don’t have rights, but it does mean that all landlords need to be careful to follow all of the proper procedures.

As someone who is from another state, it would be easy, as well as costly, to accidentally break one of these laws as they differ greatly from other states’ real estate laws. At Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC, we routinely help out-of-state landlords navigate New Jersey’s unique collection of landlord-tenant laws.


Landlord-Tenant Awareness in New Jersey

In many other states, tenants and landlords are on their own when it comes to understanding their basic rights concerning renting and evictions. In New Jersey, however, it is the landlord’s responsibility to make certain the tenant has access to this information. Landlords must supply tenants with a copy of the Truth in Renting bulletin, and this is not optional.

In fact, it is fair to say that a landlord starts the eviction process as soon as the property is rented out because this particular document is essential to the eviction process. If a tenant never receives a copy from the landlord, an eviction may be legally blocked later. The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs provides online copies of this bulletin so that landlords have easy access to this important document.

The necessity of this bulletin is just one of the differences between landlord-tenant laws in New Jersey and other states that an out-of-state landlord might be unfamiliar with. Overlooking any one of these laws can make things extremely difficult for a landlord later on, and our firm can help you make certain all of your bases are covered.


Representation in Your Absence

Just because you own property in New Jersey, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you want to make a trip here every time there is a legal issue. When you ask yourself why you should hire a New Jersey eviction lawyer, you should be aware that there are several steps to the eviction process, and you may neither want nor need to be present for all of them. This costs you both time and money, and in most cases, it is just easier—and probably more affordable—to have your lawyer complete the required steps for you.

Eviction laws and procedures are complicated enough without having to figure them out for multiple states. For most out-of-state landlords, it’s both more cost-effective and less stressful to simply hire a New Jersey eviction lawyer from our firm to navigate the process on your behalf.


Qualified Eviction Lawyers in New Jersey

As experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey eviction lawyers, the attorneys at Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC can help you with your landlord-tenant legal challenges.

Don’t put your property on the line by attempting to manage an eviction from another state. Let us make sure you retain your rights as a landlord. Please call our office at 1-800-531-6442 or complete the form at the bottom of this page for a free consultation.

Top Five Ways a New Jersey Eviction Lawyer Can Help a Landlord

While there are many ways that a real estate lawyer can help you, the top five ways a New Jersey eviction lawyer can assist landlords involves far more than just filing eviction notices. In fact, an eviction lawyer’s value extends far beyond the eviction process, and it may even begin before you ever rent your property out.

Here are some of the primary ways that an experienced eviction lawyer from Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC can help you with your landlord-tenant relations:


Preventative Maintenance

The state of New Jersey makes certain that tenants know their rights so that they can properly interact with their landlords. New Jersey’s real estate laws are intended to prevent unfair evictions. However, renting and evicting in New Jersey don’t follow the same procedures as is in other states, so it pays to have a lawyer who knows, understands, and helps you take action throughout the process.

We can help you put together a package for new tenants that includes the Truth in Renting bulletin, which every New Jersey landlord must provide for their tenants. This and other proactive measures are considered preventative maintenance that could safeguard you from unknowingly violating your tenant’s rights.


Lease Details

We know that the terms of a lease can play an enormous role in the eviction process. Each item must be fully spelled out without any details being left open to interpretation. We can help you create a lease that works for each and every one of your rental properties so that all of your bases are covered.

We can even help you create a template that can be modified to suit the details of each of your rental properties and tenants, but that is also constantly updated to reflect any changes in rental and eviction laws.


Lawful Evictions

Do you have grounds for an eviction? New Jersey has strict laws that govern when you can and can’t evict someone. These laws apply to everything from the documentation you have to provide to rent increases and lack of payment. When it comes to eviction, you want to make certain you carry out every step according to the law. Otherwise, you risk costly fees and penalties—possibly even criminal charges.


Choosing the Path of Least Resistance

You may have several reasons for wanting to evict someone, and you may have several grounds for doing so. Depending on the specifics of your tenant and your rental property, you may have multiple options for how to proceed—all with different requirements. An experienced eviction lawyer from our firm can help you choose the path that offers the least resistance for a timely eviction.


Staying Within Legal Bounds

Of all the ways a New Jersey eviction lawyer from our office can help you, keeping the process within legal bounds may be the most important. Your attorney can ensure you are in full compliance with the law, from rental application to eviction filing and every step in between. We’ll help you retain your landlord rights throughout the process.


Experienced New Jersey Eviction Lawyers

If you need assistance with any part of the renting and eviction process, or you just want to make sure you rent your property according to New Jersey laws, our experienced attorneys at Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC can help. Let us advise you so you don’t overlook important steps in the process. Please call our office at 1-800-531-6442 or complete the form at the bottom of this page for a free consultation.