New Jersey Speeding Tickets
Defense Lawyer & Former Prosecutor
If you have received a New Jersey speeding ticket or speeding summons under N.J.S.A. 39:4-98, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help. Our criminal defense lawyers are experienced in handling speeding violations and other municipal court offenses throughout New Jersey. In fact, Jonathan Marshall previously served as municipal court prosecutor in several New Jersey municipalities and all of our attorneys have experience in defending NJ speeding tickets.
New Jersey Speeding Law
The New Jersey speeding law, N.J.S. 39:4-98, provides that a motorist may lawfully operate his or her motor vehicle at the following speeds unless an alternative speed limit has been approved by the appropriate state, county and/or municipal authority:
a. Twenty-five miles per hour, when passing through a school zone during recess, when the presence of children is clearly visible from the roadway, or while children are going to or leaving school, during opening or closing hours;
b. (1) Twenty-five miles per hour in any business or residential district; or
(2) Thirty-five miles per hour in any suburban business or residential district;
c. Fifty miles per hour in all other locations, except as otherwise provided in the “Sixty-Five MPH Speed Limit Implementation Act,” N.J.S. 39:4-98.3.
The statute also incorporates a provision which mandates that motorists adjust their speed for appropriate road conditions or risk issuance of a speeding violation. More specifically, the New Jersey speeding law provides that a driver shall drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, railway grade crossing, going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazards exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
Explanation of New Jersey’s Speeding Law
The NJ speeding statute sets certain blanket speeds which a driver must adhere to and outlines circumstances under which governmental entities may set other speeds, specifically, where it is determined by engineering or traffic investigation that a greater or lesser speed is reasonable or safe. The authority to set different speed limits rests with the commissioner of transportation for state highways, is subject to the approval of the Department of Transportation with the county for county highways, and the appropriate municipality for roadways within municipal jurisdiction. What is important to remember about the statute is that a speed limit sign which deviates from the statute, which is the case most often, is invalid unless it was properly approved. We often defeat speeding and other traffic tickets based on the fact that a county or municipality never obtained approval for a speed limit sign or other traffic sign from the Department of Transportation. In other words, a motorist cannot be convicted for a New Jersey Speeding Ticket unless placement of a speed limit sign was appropriately approved and memorialized in a Resolution and/or Ordinance. See State v. Miller, 58 N.J. Super. 538, 540 (County Ct. 1959).
New Jersey Speeding & Motor Vehicle Points
In New Jersey, if you are driving in excess of 1-14 mph over the speed limit, it is a 2 point ticket. If you are driving 15-29 mph over the limit, it is a 4 point ticket. If you are driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit, it is a 5 point speeding violation. In addition, a police officer can issue a reckless driving ticket involving N.J.S.A. 39:4-96 where he believes that your speed was so high or excessive as to involve reckless driving. Reckless driving carries an additional 5 points. Therefore, if you are driving at an excessive speed, typically 30 mph or more over the speed limit or higher than 90 mph, it is not uncommon for a state trooper or local police officer to issue both the speeding summons and a reckless driving summons. If you accumulate 12 or more motor vehicle points on your New Jersey drivers license, your license will be subject to suspension. It is, therefore, imperative that you consult with an attorney and defend a speeding ticket or speeding summons instead of permitting points to accumulate and deciding to defend yourself when it is too late.
Nonresident Drivers Receiving NJ Speeding Tickets
N.J.S.A. 39:4-9.1 of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle laws provides for an exchange of NJ speeding ticket information with states who have enacted reciprocal exchange laws. Virtually every state now has reciprocity with the State of New Jersey so it is important that an out-of-state motorist or nonresident makes sure that a speeding ticket is appropriately defended so as to minimize and/or eliminate any impact on their license. Nonresidents should also keep in mind that representation by our office can customarily be accomplished by affidavit. Indeed, most New Jersey municipal court judges will allow our NJ traffic ticket defense lawyers to appear on behalf of an out-of-state defendant, waiving a personal appearance by the defendant, and permitting the case to be resolved and a negotiated plea to be entered—using an affidavit drafted by our office and executed by the out-of-state client. Our New Jersey traffic attorneys routinely assist out-of-state drivers in resolving summons issued in NJ and the entire process is usually through mail. Please do not hesitate to call us for assistance.
Fines for New Jersey Speeding Summons Can Be Doubled
The fines for NJ speeding violations are doubled under the following circumstances: (1) whenever a driver is found guilty of a NJ speeding violation of 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit; (2) whenever a driver commits a New Jersey speeding violation within a 65 mile per hour speed zone; (3) whenever a driver is speeding in a NJ construction zone as outlined in N.J.S.A. 39:4-203.5(b); or (d) whenever the driver is speeding a New Jersey Safe Corridor area.
Use of Radar for New Jersey Speeding Summons
The radar used by police in New Jersey is typically the K-55 Radar. New Jersey’s courts have found that this radar device is reliable and that speeds measured using the K-55 are sufficient to support a conviction for speeding provided the radar is operating as intended and the operator is properly trained to operate the device. See State v. Wojtkowiak, 174N.J.Super. 460 (App.Div.1980). In order to establish that the radar was operating properly, the State needs to present certificates of calibration and tuning fork certificates evidencing that the radar was tested and operating properly. See State v. Cardone, 146 N.J.Super. 23 (App.Div.1976), certif. denied 75 N.J. 3 (1976). The State must also present an up-to-date operator’s card for the police officer who clocked the speed. The NJ traffic summons attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall know how to defend radar cases and are available to assist you.
Use of Laser in New Jersey Speeding Cases
Speed readings taken by laser are admissible in New Jersey provided the prosecutor demonstrates that the officer was properly trained to operate the laser and that the pre-operation check procedures were followed and found to be acceptable. See State v. Abeskaron, 326 N.J.Super. 110 (App.Div.1999), certif. denied 163 N.J. 394 (1999). It is important to keep in mind that laser has certain inherent limitations and therefore cannot be used when there is heavy rain or when snow is falling absent expert testimony from the State. Ibid. Additionally, speeds measured by laser from a distance of 1,000 feet or more are also limited in admissibility. Ibid. While laser is a very accurate device, it can be misused or effected by outside forces such as weather, visibility, and distance. Our New Jersey traffic ticket lawyers will insure that all appropriate defenses to laser are presented.
Reduced Speed Limits in New Jersey for Certain Trucks
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-98. 1, registered trucks with gross weights of 10,000 pounds and over, may be subjected to reduce speed restrictions of 5 miles per hour on State highways with posted speed limits of 50 miles per hour or greater.
The New Jersey speeding ticket and NJ speeding summons defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are experienced in all aspects of speeding violations in New Jersey. We can almost always succeed in eliminating or reducing the impact of a speeding ticket issued in the State of New Jersey and this can be crucially important given the motor vehicle points associated with a speeding charge. Please do not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity to speak to one of our defense attorneys as initial consultations are always without charge.