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Samuel-II, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  I have been handling minor traffic offenses for more than 20 years.
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A driver wishes to plea bargain a citation for unauthorized

Customer Question

A driver wishes to plea bargain a citation for unauthorized use of a placard because the driver does not live in the area of the court and cannot afford a lawyer. Please describe the process and what the driver should consider.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.


This is Samuel. Please tell me what state was the citation issued? And if you have a citation number, please provide it. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Samuel, New Jersey, don't have the citation number (just happened an hour ago, so maybe it's not in the computer yet anyway). Trying to understand the process and why a plea bargain is even an option (according to another attorney, it is) since there must be some purpose of making a mandatory court appearance. Driver would like to admit guilt and pay fine.
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Thank you for your information. Please give me a few minutes to type the information. I will respond here. Thanks for your patience.

Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

So it appears to be a $250 fine to use a handicap placard fraudulently. In addition there is 90 days community service. There was proposed legislation to have the fine max out at $5000. But that does not appear to have passed. And so I suggest if you want to consider a plead bargain you can try to have the fine and/or the community service reduced.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a first time offender so I don't think the community service applies, unless the parking sign is outdated with current law. The sign, and the officer, said the worst case scenario is a $250 fine. The driver is physically unavailable to attend the mandatory court date and would like to contact the prosecuting attorney in order to avoid court.
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. i suggest you should contact the clerk of the court and enter your appearance in the matter pro se. Then if you want to contact the prosecuting attorney to strike a lower fine for a guilty plea they would probably talk to you. Keep in mind, anything you say to the prosecute will be used against you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The driver doesn't care about the fine. The driver only cares about getting on with their life. It sounds like going that route adds drama. Maybe better just to show up, plead guilty, and pay fine. But then, why the court date? I thought court was if you wanted to appeal the fine. What should the driver be expected to say/do on the court date, assuming this is the path of least resistance (vs. speaking to a prosecutor).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried to rate you so you could get credit and the system would not let me. I repeatedly get this error message on two different computers: "Sorry, your rating was not processed. Please refresh the page and try rating again. If the issue persists, contact Customer Care at 1-***-***-****." I contacted customer service and they are actually having the same issue. Please use this message to get credit for your answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please explain why there is a court date if the driver is already willing to pay the fine and admit guilt.
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

Some traffic violations are a must appear. And so that is why there would be a hearing date.

Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

You certainly can go and plead guilty at the hearing. You not need to speak to the DA about it first. But you asked about that and so the information I provided was in that regard.

Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

And you asked not once, but twice about discussing a plea with the DA. Thanks for attempting the positive rating and letting me know about it. I will make a report to the administrators.

Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.

I suggest, you see if you can pay the fine online. If that is what you want to do. If it allows you to pay online, then the hearing is not mandatory. Then check with the clerk of the court and verify the hearing has been dismissed. Here is the LINK