By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:
Are you the type of person who immediately stuffs a traffic ticket into the glove box and forgets about it? If so, this is a habit that you should immediately try to break. Failing to respond to a New Jersey traffic ticket carries serious consequences.
If you have Failed to respond to a New York traffic ticket click here for more information.
Bench Warrant for Your Arrest:
If you do not respond to a New Jersey traffic ticket, you will receive a “Failure to Appear” notice. That notice will give you a certain amount of time to comply with the instructions contained within it. If you fail to do so, a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued. That’s right; if you do not respond to a New Jersey traffic ticket, you can be arrested. You might be at work, watching a ball game, or eating with your family when it happens. The police come knocking on your door with a bench warrant for your arrest solely because you failed to respond to something as simple as a New Jersey traffic ticket.
Even if the police choose not to arrest you right away, the warrant will remain open and active until the court recalls, withdraws, or discharges it. This means the warrant may be active for years. Imagine getting that very same knock at your door a year after stuffing the ticket in your glove box! Needless to say, you would be in for a very rude awakening.
Also, if you fail to respond, your license can be suspended. New Jersey courts will contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to have this done. The suspension will immediately go into effect and could possibly prevent you from renewing an out-of-state license. It is extremely important to realize that failing to respond to a New Jersey traffic ticket is considered a crime. Failing to respond or appear will usually constitute a misdemeanor, and judges will hardly be lenient.
What if I Honestly Cannot Attend That Day?
If you truly cannot make your court date, be sure to let the court know immediately. If you make a concerted effort to call and write the appropriate Municipal Court, then you most likely responded effectively (and cannot be cited for failing to respond). However, if the court compels you to attend that day, despite the fact that you alerted them to your conflict, you must appear. If you do not do this, you will get slapped with a failure to appear charge and will not be looked favorably on when it comes time for your attorney to make a case for you.
Affidavits of Hardship:
Unlike other states, New Jersey is especially picky about having you personally respond and appear in court. Even if you:
- have an attorney show up
- sign an affidavit of hardship attesting to how and why it would be unduly burdensome for you to appear
- get a letter from an employer backing up your explanation
- are telling the truth, the judge may simply reschedule the proceeding for another day instead of accepting a plea bargain.
Consequently, it is crucial to make sure that you not only respond to your tickets, but also do everything in your power to personally appear in court with your attorney on the appropriate date and at the specified time.
What Should I Do?
In the event that you already have been charged with failing to respond or appear, you will need the help of a highly qualified traffic court attorney who knows exactly how to fix the situation. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law are skilled traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email the Rosenblum Law or Call 888-883-5529 today for a free consultation about your case to ensure that your liberty and legal rights are protected.