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Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question

Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 38263
Experience:  Run my own practice.
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my wife got arrested on a failure to appear for a Traffic ticket.

Customer Question

my wife got arrested on a failure to appear for a Traffic ticket. She was driving with a suspended license (license was suspended after she failed to appear) and was issued a ticket for that and for running a stop sign. She has a prior conviction for unlicensed driver as well. Her court date is Wed the 14th. What penalties is she looking at and what would you advise?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Thank you for your question.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Please permit me to assist you his afternoon. I happen to be a licensed New Jersey professional.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Has she retained counsel as yet or she pursuing this hearing on her own?

Customer :

on her own we cannot pay any counsel

Dimitry K., Esq. :

not a problem--please give me a few moments to find the proper code

Dimitry K., Esq. :

just to be clear, she has two tickets--one for running a stop sign and one for driving with a suspended license

Customer :

yes

Dimitry K., Esq. :

The statute that would govern driving with a suspended license is 39:3-40

Customer :

ok

Dimitry K., Esq. :

First conviction is a fine of up to $500

Dimitry K., Esq. :

There is also a mandatory surcharge of $250 a year for 3 years by the DMV

Dimitry K., Esq. :

That is a first offense

Dimitry K., Esq. :

For a second offense the penalties rise to $750 and up to 5 days in jail

Customer :

well she has a prior conviction for unlicensed driver... but thats not the same thing right?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

that is the same

Dimitry K., Esq. :

so she would be exposed to the higher penalty

Customer :

so she will get Jail?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

it is possible if the judge wishes to do so. The jail is a potential penalty, it is not mandatory

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Here is the breakdown:

Dimitry K., Esq. :

For failure to stop at a stop sign, that is governed under NJSA 39:4-144

Customer :

in such cases what is usual?

Customer :

in your opinion what are the chances of her getting arrested in court on wed?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Penalties are up to a fine of $200, and 2 points on your wife's license

Dimitry K., Esq. :

In my opinion her chances of being arrested are unlikely if she truly did not know that her license was suspended

Dimitry K., Esq. :

she would have to provide such proof to the courts that she really did not know that she was in a position where her license was suspended

Customer :

how could she prove that?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

But if she knew, and has has her conviction within 5 years, the courts may choose to make her an example

Dimitry K., Esq. :

she can prove it by stating that she never received mail or notice from the DMV notifying her of the suspension (for example)

Customer :

her conviction was last year... I'm not sure if we recievd a notice in the mail.. is there nay way I can find out?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

the burden is on the prosecutor to prove mail was sent out

Dimitry K., Esq. :

so unless they have evidence they sent it certified mail, a claim that it may have been lost in the mail is fairly effective

Customer :

ok so she should just say that she didnt know about the suspension?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

If she didn't, it is the best defense she has

Dimitry K., Esq. :

otherwise the courts will tell her she had no business driving and would pursue higher penalties.

Customer :

I dont know is she did, but it was for sure not sent certified....

Customer :

Can I send you her dmv record to give you a better idea?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I apologize but that I cannot do--it would violate site rules as I cannot directly represent or review

Dimitry K., Esq. :

what governs here is knowledge

Dimitry K., Esq. :

if your wife has knowledge she was suspended but chose to drive, she has no legitimate defenses other than if this was a true emergency situation.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

but if she had no knowledge, that is a viable basis for a defense

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Does that make sense?

Customer :

I guess so. My question is in your professional opinion what would you guess she will receive penalty wise?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I suspect she is looking at a fine of at least $500. She is also looking at a further suspension of license

Customer :

I just am concerned about her getting arrested. e/t else is fine for me

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Highly unlikely unless the courts do not buy her story that she was unaware.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I would say a chance is under 10%

Customer :

OK that's a relief. So she should just insist that she was unaware

Dimitry K., Esq. :

It is the best potential option here, and if she cannot prove notice, the burden is on the other party to prove knowledge

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Hope that helps and please be well.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Good luck to you and to you wife.

Customer :

ok do prosocuters typically come with such proof?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

they have the burden of proving their case, so yes, it is exactly part of their job.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Is there anything further I can answer for you at this time?

Customer :

yes I have one more question... Typically are prosecutors successful at proving knowledge if something was mailed (not certified mail) and the def. claims they didnt get it? Because it seems that's what will keep my wife from being arrested....

Dimitry K., Esq. :

That is based on a few separate conditions. First, the courts look to your wife and see if she is believable with her assertions. Second, they look to the past driving history. Third, the judge listens to the prosecutor and your wife to best ascertain the facts. Sometimes judges are more in favor of cutting a break, other times they are more deferential to the state

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Here, I cannot make a legitimate guess purely because your wife has a history of non-appearance

Dimitry K., Esq. :

That is a negative that is likely going to be used against her

Customer :

does that significantly up her chances of being arrested?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

My apologies on being realistic, but judges take it personally when someone fails to appear in court.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

It does not lower the chances.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

What your wife should consider is appearing in court early

Dimitry K., Esq. :

about 30 minutes or so

Dimitry K., Esq. :

and speaking with the state by asking about a potential plea deal.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

the prosecutors have the ability to offer a lesser fine or even agree to no jail time, at their discretion, if the specific case warrants a plea

Dimitry K., Esq. :

that is the best approach to consider

Customer :

do you think they will?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I don't know. I do not know the prosecutor or the judge so I cannot make an honest estimate other than to say, as I said above, that it is highly unlikely

Customer :

unlikely that they will offer a plea?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

No, unlikely that they will jail your wife

Customer :

ok good. that's what worries me, i think I am more worried then her. I am literally losing sleep imagining her getting arressted

Dimitry K., Esq. :

I do not blame your worry and concerns, but I see it as fairly unlikely.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Hope that helps and good luck to you!

Customer :

thanks for your help

Dimitry K., Esq. :

You are most welcome, hopefully that helps you to worry less.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Should you need me again, please do not hesitate to request me by name.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Otherwise, kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can credit for my work.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Thank you!

Customer :

i will thanks so much

Dimitry K., Esq. :

You are most welcome!

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 38263
Experience: Run my own practice.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 8 other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi! I have one more question. Is it possible that there is more warrants out or would they all have shown up when she was arrested last week?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Ari,

Thank you for your follow-up. There may be more warrants out but if there are, they would be from a different state and different acts. All outstanding warrants in this state would have appeared in her record, and even out-of-state warrants generally appear in the system also. So while there may be more warrants out, it is very highly unlikely.

 

Good luck.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

we got a notice to appear on the charges my wife's tickets that caused her to get arrested. I already paid the tickets when we bailed her out and when I called the court the receptionist told me not to worry about it. Should she appear? will a warrent be issued if she doesnt?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Relist: Other. On november 6 my wife got arrested on an outstanding warrant. we got a notice to appear on my those tickets. I already paid the tickets after we bailed her out and when I called the court the receptionist told me not to worry about it. Should she appear? will a warrant be issued if she doesn't? this happened in NJ

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your post and thank you kindly for requesting me. I was offline, do you still require assistance at this time?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes I do
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Ari,

Thank you for your patience. You asked:

we got a notice to appear on the charges my wife's tickets that caused her to get arrested. I already paid the tickets when we bailed her out and when I called the court the receptionist told me not to worry about it. Should she appear? will a warrent be issued if she doesnt?
-----------------------------------------------
If she doesn't appear, she will be at risk of being hit with a bench warrant. This is why appearing is really important. This is standard--your wife should be prepared at being admonished and verbally chided by the judge, but if everything was paid and she appears, that should be it.

Hope that helps clarify.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks! One last question. If she shows up at court and there is an outstanding bench warrant for something else from a diffrent court in nj will they pick it up and arrest her in court? Or do these things tend not to show up?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Ari,

 

That is a fairly serious situation--if there is a different bench warrant, the courts can elect to pick her up since that bench warrant, if there is one, was not dealt with or paid for. They CAN arrest her if she shows up with other outstanding bench warrants.

 

Hope that helps clarify.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
One more detail. She was arrested on a failure to pay on a court installment plan. My mother bailed her out and after that I paid the tickets. The court sent my mother back the bail. Does the fact that they sent back the bail mean the case is settled?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Ari.

 

No, case is settled and over when and only when your wife receives a letter from the court that the warrant was released and payments were accepted. Simply getting the bail back does not mean that the case is released or over--it is very likely that it is indeed the case, but ending funds back does not signify that the issue is fully resolved.

 

Hope that helps clarify.

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