New Jersey Lawyer: Restoration of License
Relief from DMV, In-Court or Administrative Suspension
The most frequent inquiry received by the lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall involves New Jersey drivers license restoration, more particularly, how to restore a suspended New Jersey driver’s license. In the majority of these situations, our traffic attorneys are speaking to an individual who no longer resides in NJ but their NJ driver’s license suspension has caught up to them in their home state. The out-of-state resident needs our help in clearing up the suspension in New Jersey because now, through reciprocity, they are being denied or prevented from getting a license, their license is being suspended, or renewal of their license is being refused in their home state. We also receive calls from individuals who are residents of New Jersey, had a license suspension for any number of reasons, and are seeking to clear up the suspension(s) and restore their license. Restoring a New Jersey drivers license can be a complicated endeavor and every lawyer at our office is experienced in dealing with the Division of Motor Vehicles, municipal courts, and other agencies and entities who can effect an individual’s ability to maintain a valid motor vehicle license. A knowledgeable attorney is available to speak to you immediately and initial consultations with the members of our law firm are always without charge. Please do not hesitate to contact our office so that your NJ driving privileges may be restored. The following information is intended to provide assistance in understanding the law and procedures to vacate NJ drivers license suspensions and restore a license.
We handle these cases statewide including Union County, Somerset County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Essex County, Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Hudson County, Morris County and Bergen County.
Types of Drivers License Suspensions
The first issue which must be addressed in restoring a license is to identify the type of suspension that is in place. In this regard, there are essentially four (4) types of license suspension in New Jersey:
- Surcharge Suspensions: one of the more common scenarios giving rise to a suspension in NJ is failure to pay insurance surcharges. A surcharge is levied on an individual’s New Jersey driver’s license when they accumulate 4 or more points, or commit an administrative infraction such as allowing their insurance to lapse or driving privilege to be suspended. When a surcharge becomes due but is unpaid, the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspends the individual’s driving privilege unless and until the unpaid surcharges are paid and/or an acceptable payment plan is agreed to by DMV. Failure to pay surcharges can become a recurring issue and extremely complicated to resolve. An attorney can often streamline this process;
- Close Out Suspensions: the most frequently encountered reason for a license suspension is what is referred to as a close out. A close out is a court imposed suspension resulting from an individual’s failure to appear in court, failure to pay a court fine or failure to adhere to a Court Order, for example, failing to perform community service, surrender a license, or perform IDRC. A warrant is typically in existence when a case goes to close out. The warrant customarily will not be lifted absent posting of the warrant amount or the appearance of an attorney on behalf of the defendant;
- Court Order: the reason for a license suspension can be as basic as a Court Order. Indeed, a municipal court or superior court in NJ possesses authority to suspend an individual’s drivers license for such things as driving without insurance, driving while suspended, driving while intoxicated, or possession of cds. A suspension may be modified, eliminated or ran concurrent by a Court but generally this can only be accomplished with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer such as those at our law firm; and
- Child Support Suspension: when an individual opens up a child support account with county probation in NJ, the individual’s driver’s license number is attached to the probation account. If the individual falls behind in paying child support, probation can issue a child support warrant and an order for suspension of the individual’s driving privilege. The suspension typically will not be lifted unless the child support warrant and arrearage is satisfied and/or the warrant is recalled by probation or the Court.
Resolving Outstanding Surcharges to Vacate a Suspension
We have attempted to streamline the process of resolving surcharges, outstanding tickets, warrants and child support arrearages so that an individual can restore their NJ motor vehicle license. When surcharges are the issue, the attorneys and paralegals at our firm know who to call and what must be said in order to give our clients the best opportunity to vacate the surcharges, reduce the surcharge, or get a reasonable payment plan in place. There are also many instances where the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles is attempting to collect surcharges where there actually is no authority to do so. We know the issues surrounding motor vehicle surcharges in New Jersey and bring these issues to the attention of NJDMV and/or their collection agency. Our efforts to restore a license which has been suspended for outstanding or unpaid surcharges typically save our clients considerable time, money and aggravation. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes individuals hours of effort on their own before they finally realize that the situation would be better left in the hands of one of our attorneys.
Resolving Close Outs, Vacating a Warrant & Lifting a Suspension
As stated previously, the majority of these cases involve individuals who have failed to address a traffic ticket, criminal summons, or other court proceeding or direction. When an individual fails to appear on a ticket in NJ, the Court issues a warrant and directs that the matter be closed out. The byproduct of this process is to “close out” the case and suspend the individual’s New Jersey drivers license. The only way to vacate a close out and warrant is to have the warrant recalled or lifted and the case relisted. When an individual is unrepresented, the warrant amount invariably has to be posted before the Court will even relist the case and provide any opportunity to resolve the ticket and the resulting suspension. In this regard, it should be reiterated that an individual’s drivers license cannot be restored until a close out ticket is actually resolved. The rationale for requiring that the warrant be posted is based on the fact that the defendant previously failed to appear and an appearance can only be assured if the defendant is risking losing the warrant amount. The courts are generally, however, accommodating to our office in relisting cases and vacating a warrant. We assume that this accommodation is based on the idea that our clients are obviously serious about addressing the case inasmuch as they have invested in hiring our office and that there is accordingly good reason to believe they will appear. Once the warrant is vacated and the case is relisted by the Court, our lawyers litigate and defend the charge to conclusion. We are overwhelmingly successful in resolving the charges without additional suspensions being imposed.
Modifying and/or Vacating Court Ordered Suspensions
Individuals often contact our office with the thought in mind that it is a long shot to vacate a court ordered license suspension. However, our law firm is frequently successful in persuading a court to vacate or modify an Order of suspension in New Jersey. For example, we can apply to the Court to have suspensions run concurrent or to modify or vacate an Order based on post conviction relief. Individuals are often surprised to learn just how often such an opportunity exists and we encourage individuals to take advantage of the opportunity to speak to one of our lawyers free of charge to explore this relief. Our attorneys are creative and will insure that you are given every opportunity for success in vacating or modifying an order of suspension.
Child Support Warrants and Suspensions
Child support warrants can involve substantial amounts of money. Our attorneys can petition the Court to list the child support case and we are often successful in having the warrant and suspension vacated provided the client makes a good faith effort to address the child support arrearage and judgment.
If your New Jersey driver’s license is suspended, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can assist you in restoring your driving privilege. Our lawyers are experienced in resolving all issues associated with restoring a NJ drivers license and are prepared to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation with a lawyer. We are prepared to handle your Union County, Somerset County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Essex County, Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Hudson County, Morris County and Bergen County charges and/or restoration.