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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27097
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was ticketed for unlicensed driver and careless driving

Customer Question

Hi i was ticketed for unlicensed driver and careless driving yesterday
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: NJ But I live in NY
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Will I be sent to the prison?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

The maximum penalty for unlicensed driving is 60 days of jail, although the odds of you serving any time in jail at all for these charges are just about zero. Under normal circumstances people do not generally receive jail for this crime. Most people caught driving while unlicensed would get fined.

Careless driving in NJ is a traffic infraction. If you are convicted of this charge you will get 2 points on your license and a fine of around $85.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How much is the fine going to be for unlicensed driver? What should I do to reduce the fine as low as possible? Would there be any criminal record for me? I mean, my family is dealing immigration to USA. Is this record going to have an impact on it?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

No. In New Jersey these are not considered crimes but traffic offenses. They should not stand in the way of your immigration prospects. In most instances you don't even need to disclose traffic matters on government forms. If they ask for them, however, you would do so.

The amount of the fine is in the judge's discretion, but the maximum it can be is $500, not including court surcharges, if any.

If you require additional information, please post your follow up here on this question thread, and I’ll be happy to provide it.

If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or 5 stars, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work here. You would still be able to ask further follow ups about this incident for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Would it make a difference if I caused an accident that time? No one injured.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Sorry for the delay. I was not at the computer when you replied to me.

No, it would make no difference to Immigration. The question of who caused the accident is a civil and not a criminal issue. The charges against you are still traffic violations.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
You know, the accident happened on NJ turnpike, is it gonna make a difference when coming to the jail problem? Do I need to hire a lawyer for this?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

If you're charged with just unlicensed driving and careless driving, the fact that this happened on the turnpike should make no difference.

It is always better to have a lawyer with you when you have to go to court. He can protect your rights, and if there are any surprises, he will know how to handle it.

If you don't know where to find a NJ criminal lawyer contact the NJ bar association's lawyer referral service, and for a small fee of about $50 they will find you one. That fee includes a free half hour consultation with an attorney.

If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or 5 stars, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work here. You would still be able to ask further follow ups about this incident for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Since i don't even have a NJ driving license, how can they get 2 points on my license for careless driving?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Sorry for the delay. I was away from the computer.

Almost all states, including NJ and NY, belong to the Interstate Driver's compact. That's an agreement among member states to share information and hold drivers accountable for their actions in all member states. The NJ compact administrator will notify NY of your conviction and points. NY can treat the case like its own and assess you the same number of points you would have gotten had you committed the offense in NYS.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Oh, it's terrible. The thing is, what I only have is a Chinese license and a NYS learner's permit. Would the NJ careless driving and unlicensed driver ticket deprive my rights for applying for a NY driving license?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

New York doesn't have a careless driving charge, so you actually won't get any points. However, NY will be aware of the conviction in New Jersey, which could cause an increase in your car insurance. In New York, the driving while unlicensed should be a violation and get you a fine, assuming you are at least 18, as you do have a Chinese license. it should not get in the way of your ultimately getting a license in New York.

If you require additional information, please post your follow up here on this question thread, and I’ll be happy to provide it.

If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or 5 stars, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work here. You would still be able to ask further follow ups about this incident for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
One more question. On the traffic ticket the police gave to me, there is a date, 10/22/16, and the name of the court, Elizabeth Court. The policeman told me to check the accident online in 15 business days. What should I do next? Do I need to make an appointment for the court case, or just come to the court on 10/22/16. What if I can't be there due to some personal stuff?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Do what the officer says. From there, you would be expected to show up on your 10/22/16 date. If you can't, you need to contact the court, talk to the clerk and ask him how to get a continuance, since that differs in different jurisdictions. You could also retain a lawyer to be there on your behalf.

You want to avoid either a warrant or a default judgment for your failure to appear.

Please don't forget to rate my services as that is how I get credit for my work.