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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Hello! In June 2013 I received an official legal notice

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In June 2013 I received an official legal notice to appear in the Municipal Court of Jersey City, NJ on August 08 2013.
The notice says about the following 3 summons for the following 3 violations (the violation date of all of them is 06/14/2013):
(I checked them in many sources including the New Jersey Permanent Statutes Database at{E79C}&softpage=Doc_Frame_PG42)


#1) 39:6B-1 Maintenance of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage.

I have always had sufficient liability insurance coverage as per NJ requirements:

Bodily Injury Liability
Current Limit: $15,000/$30,000

Property Damage Liability
Current Limit: $15,000

How can I prove it in the court?
May I bring a print-out from GEICO?


#2) 39:6-55B Prohibited acts; violations; enforcement; remedies; procedure; revocation of license
(b) Any person willfully failing to return license or registration as required in section 22 of this act shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned not to exceed 30 days, or both.

See my comments below for another summon.


#3) 39:3-4 Registration of automobiles and motorcycles, application, registration certificates; expiration; issuance; violations; notification.

Here is what really happened. In January 2013 I received a registration renewal application form from New Jersey Motor Vehicle Comission (as usual, I get a form every year). The application said, "Your new expiration date is MAR 31 2014", and somehow I misunderstood and thought I still had one more year before I would have to renew my registration, and I put away the envelope with the application by marking it "No action required". That was clearly my mistake which never happened before. And I forgot about it until I received the above-mentioned summons.
On one hand, I agree that I did not renew my registration on time. On the other hand, the required action was not done intentionally, purely by accident.
The statute says, "Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $100".
I am my wife are both driving our car. We have not been stopped by the police for at lease last 3 years. No violations whatsoever.
My question is whether I have to plead guilty or try to plead not guilty.
What smart way would be to handle this situation?


Thank you for your question and for asking for me.

You need to go to court and plead not guilty first. You need to bring your proof of insurance with you together with all of the notices you received regarding the renewal of your registration including the one that stated you did not expire until 2014. Before court you need to ask the prosecutor if you can speak with them, most will tell you to wait until your case is called. If they will speak with you show them the summons and documentation and ask if they would agree to a dismissal based on the circumstances. If they will not speak to you, once you plead not guilty after you enter your plea ask if you can have a conference with the prosecutor and the court will allow you to go speak with the prosecutor and you show him your documentation. In most cases the prosecutor will agree to dismiss the charges, but at the very least they will agree to dismiss the insurance and the suspension of the registration/license and let you pay only one of the citations for your mistake.

In general, you would not pay all three in these circumstances as you have mitigating circumstances with the registration issue and you did have insurance.

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