Jean Baptiste & Associates
New Jersey Careless Driving Lawyer
We have all seen careless drivers doing any number of questionable activities while behind the wheel. We all do it a little occasionally, but any time you so much as drift over the center line a little, it could result in a ticket for careless driving.
Careless driving is one of the most common charges, as it encompasses many small violations. It is also usually handed out after an accident where you are found at fault. You can fight a charge like this with the help of a New Jersey careless driving lawyer from Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC.
What Is Careless Driving?
In some states, careless driving is not differentiated from reckless driving, meaning the penalties can be much harsher than what is deserved. Luckily, New Jersey is one of the states that separates reckless driving from careless driving, giving you more options to use in defense. The main difference is a “wanton disregard” for the rules of the road and the safety of others.
There are many ways to be a careless driver, such as talking while driving, falling asleep behind the wheel, forgetting to signal when changing lanes, and so on. However, in most situations you probably won’t receive a ticket unless you are found to be at fault in an accident.
If an accident was involved, pleading guilty or getting convicted can be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit later, so it is always best to fight the charge with the help of a New Jersey careless driving lawyer from our firm.
You Have Options
Defending against a careless driving ticket can sometimes be simple, but because it is often tied into other violations—especially if an accident was involved—this is not always the case. Careless driving has a fine of $50 to $200 and a sentence of up to fifteen days in jail. A knowledgeable New Jersey careless driving lawyer from our office may be able to reduce your charge to obstructing traffic, which is only a $50 fine and likely won’t affect your insurance rates at all.
If that doesn’t work, we may ask the prosecutor to consider unsafe driving instead. This carries a fine of between $50 and $150, a surcharge of $250, but it doesn’t give you any points until your third offense in three years, when it penalizes you with four points all at once. The fines increase with each offense and can reach up to $500.
The Worst-Case Scenario
If your only valid option is to plead guilty to one of these charges, we will pursue a “civil reservation,” making the conviction inadmissible as evidence in any civil lawsuit that may follow. This is only necessary if there was an accident involving personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death, and your New Jersey careless driving lawyer will know when such a choice is appropriate.
Call a New Jersey Careless Driving Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with careless driving, you should fight the charge because it will begin a steady progression of headaches, financial costs, and possibly jail time. You deserve the best advice when dealing with any level of traffic violation, because one missed element could cost you later.
To arrange your consultation with a New Jersey careless driving lawyer from Jean Baptiste & Associates, LLC, please call or fill out the form below. Contact us before it is too late to save your license!