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Insurance and NJ No-Point Ticket option

My wife just got our first ticket in decades for a prohibited right turn ( using a detour that was only allowed during certain hours at the wrong time). NJ has a new rule (started in July) where you can plead to a no-point offense ($185 plus $250 surcharge). I don't care about the points as much as how the insurance company will look at the two different offenses. If there is no difference I might as well just pay the normal $75 fine, but if the other allows me to keep the family record clean I'd rather do that. Anyone familiar with this?
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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    But there also might be a better board to post your question on. The Smart Shopper Message Board is the place for questions regarding insurance issues, or at least it's the board that specializes more in topics about insurance issues. We'll see what kind of response you get here, but I'd bet you'll get a a faster one there. Try using the Search By Keyword feature in the left sidebar and search for "insurance". you'll get a listing of insurance related topics in Town Hall.

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  • Tried that before starting a new topic. I only saw discussion on Insurance and accidents. Most insurance topics are read only. Should I start this topic and repost in smart shoppers as well? I need to get the info in the next few days. Thanks.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    I'm leaving it open in here for possible responses, but posting it on Smart Shopper might get you a faster one...

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  • I tried to post on Smart Shopper -
    Apparently only the hosts can do that, there is a topic to suggest topics but no add topic option I could find. Would you please put my topic and question on the Smart Shopper board?
  • Hi stevestein. Apparently your discussion was moved here to the Smart Shoppers Message Board. This is a great place for it because a number of the discussions here are about insurance. I am not aware of any new New Jersey law about negotiating tickets to a lower violation, but people have been doing so for a long long time. When you get a ticket, it is always a good idea to plead not guilty and apply for a court date rather than just signing it and sending it in. When you do so, the state will almost always allow you to plea down to a lesser offense. In New Jersey, this usually involves a reduction in two points. So for example, they will allow you to plead guilty to a 2 point speeding ticket instead of a 4 point one or plead to a no point violation instead of a 2 point one. While it is very time consuming and never fun to go to court, it's better than having your insurance go up. Besides you will feel better about your little ticket when you see all of the people who are in there for driving with suspended licenses.

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  • Thanks car man.
    I'm not concerned over the number of points. We both had clean driving records, and at worst this is a 3 point ticket, and the points will go away in a year. The only reason to pay almost $400 extra is if it doesn't count as an event (i.e. accident or ticket)for insurance rating purposes. If it was an impact in terms of suspended license we'd definately do it, but with insurance what it is in NJ the thought of losing a perfect record is scary.
  • alfoxalfox Posts: 716
    and have been driving longer than 6 years a $100 moving violation can end up costing $1,500-$2,000, when you add in the ticket, loss of safe-driver's discount and step change ("steps" are roughly analogous to points) for six years, all depending on your insurance premiums.

    If you don't have a clean record, a $100 ticket costs $100. So safe drivers have the incentive to stay safe. Unsafe drivers have little incentive at all.
  • Stevestein-

    I've been in that boat before, but years ago before the No-Point Ticket option existed. What I did was plead down a 13-mph over the limit speeding ticket with the DA at the court date. I got a Failure to YIeld ticket, a no-point offense. This was when I was 17 and still one month licensed. I pled down another one six months later, still the same.

    I am now 22 and my premiums have remained the same as when I was 17 (Ah, youth! :-)). I think it's safe to pay extra rather than risk the points, period, especially with NJ. Offenses that are no-pointers NVER register on your insurance record, apparently, so unless immediate cash money is a BIG issue, I'd go with the no-point and keep your clean record.

    Good luck!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    but, definitely follow the last poster's advice. Whereas you pointed out that the points will be off your license in a year, they will not be off your insurance record for 3 years! (sometimes even 5 years)

     

    not to mention that you never know what may happen in the next few years. If you take the points now and happen to get another ticket with points in the next couple of years, you are completely screwed. This is what happened to me 2.5 years ago in jersey. I've been paying twice my insurance rates since then. What makes it even worse is that, come February when those points are off my insurance record, my insurance STILL will not go back to its previous price. Because of the rules of my insurance company, it will take me several more years with no offenses and no accidents to get back to the top tier of the insured.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Hi, I'm new here and have a question about the No Point Ticket policy and court proceedings.

    I just got into an accident this weekend and have a court date next week. I received a ticket for careless driving in NJ for falling asleep at the wheel. By the grace of God, I did not injure anyone or myself, just damage to the driver side of the car, mainly front and rear wheels, not driveable.

    I have a clean driving record and this is my first offense. I don't believe I can plead not guilty as I am clearly in the wrong, but I DO NOT want the points on my driving record. Can I still negotiate with the court on lowering the offense? What can I do? I'm not familiar with the No Point ticket policy, can anyone explain it?

    Also even if I do manage not to receive points, will my insurance go up? I am sure the repairs will cost me enough to have to go through insurance. A fellow driver, who also happened to work for AAA, estimated the damages to be around $2000. I know I made a stupid mistake, but please, if you can provide me with any advice I will greatly appreciate it!
  • I am glad to hear that you were not hurt in your accident. Many moons ago my brother fell asleep at the wheel and was lucky enough to be relatively uninjured as well. Even though you are obviously guilty, the courts are often willing to work with you if you go in and ask for leniency. In the interest of moving proceedings along quickly, the courts will usually allow people to plea bargain their ticket to a lower offense, such as a 2 point violation for what should have been a 4 pointer or a no point violation for what was going to be a 2 pointer. If you have the time, give it a shot. You certainly don't have anything to lose.

    Even if you avoid getting any points on your driver's license, since the police were involved, there is a good chance that your insurance company will know that you were involved in an accident. As a result, it may increase your rates. It definitely will if you file a claim with them to have your vehicle repaired.

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  • Thank you Car_man!

    Glad to hear that your brother didn't get injured as well. I haven't been able to get a good night's rest since the accident AND I already made my sister cry after the fact.

    I'll see how it goes next Monday though. What if I voluntarily enroll in defensive driving? Perhaps that will help my insurance and reduction in points?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    well, I can tell you that I've been through the NJ court system twice. Now, what I can start with is, in the beginning, when you are asked if you plead guilty or not guilty, you MUST plead not guilty. That is the only way you will get to strike a plea bargain with the prosecutor. I made the mistake the first time of going there with the intention of pleading guilty but wanting to strike a plea. It doesn't work that way. If you plead guilty, you don't even get a chance to speak (unless the judge is feeling particularly chatty that day). Even when you do plead Not Guilty, you may not get to speak. You are sent out into the hallway to wait your turn to speak with the prosecutor. So this is what I did the 2nd time I went to court. And, even this time, like I said, I didn't get to speak. He called me in, looked at the tickets, and told me what he'd reduce them to. That was it.

    IF you can get a reduction, that's great, because, as you may already know, Careless Driving is only a 2 point ticket to begin with (Wreckless is the one you gotta watch out for). So maybe you can get a non-point offense and just pay a fine. If that oppurtunity presents itself, jump on it, regardless of the cost of the fine.

    As far as defensive driving, it does reduce the points on your license, but it does nothing for your insurance points. And you can only use it once every 3 years (or is it 5?), so you might want to consider whether this is the best time to pull that card. I guess it couldn't hurt, but its not necessarily going to help matters.

    good luck.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • You're very welcome, valent2. Some states will reduce the number of points that are on your driver's license if you sign up for a driving course. I have first hand experience with this, I had to take one many moons ago to make up for the heavy foot that I had in my youth.

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  • I received a non-point ticket for "obstructing the passage of vehicles" in NJ. On my ticket it has my previous address (the one on the front of my liscense as opposed to the "new address" sticker on the back). I have read that if the information on the ticket is incorrect the ticket can be thrown out. Would this count as wrong information on the ticket? Or, should I be happy that I got a non-point offense and just pay the fine? In addition, will my insurance company tack on a surcharge for this non-point offense? I checked with them and customer service had no clue and told me I had to wait until the renewal of my policy was underwritten to find out.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    a non-point offense definitely should not change your insurance. That would be like getting an insurance hike or insurance surcharge for a parking ticket. I can tell you for a fact it won't result in a surcharge (since that is state driven).

    I believe you'd still have to go to court to show the information was wrong, so I don't think its worth it. If the ticket is cheap enough, I'd just pay it and move on.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    I'm also guessing that by "wrong information," they're referring to things like wrong license # recorded - where you could reasonably argue that they got the wrong guy, or that they have the wrong address on file, so you weren't properly notified of the court date.

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  • I did take Defensive driving 2 yrs back, to clear up a ticket (texas).. This year I got another one. I have already applied for DD and got the drivers record. Thought of taking defnsive driving online, and went back to the same website where i took DD last time. Do I have to take DD every year (if I have to clear a ticket that year) or can i do it one time, and use that certificate again and again ?

    Pardon my ignorance, for this is my second time i am doing DD>
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    gotta check your state rules. I know, for instance, here in Jersey, I have to take a course each time. However, I'm only permitted to take a course to reduce points once every 3 years.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • miked4miked4 Posts: 1
    I'm a NJ resident and just got a speeding ticket in Delaware and immediately paid the ticket. To my surprise I got a notice that I was hit with 5 points (yes, I was going FAST)! I currently do not own my own car, and thus don't have my own insurance, but I was planning on buying a car this summer. Now I'm worried what kind of impact this will have on my insurance rate. I've had a perfect record up until this and I obviously should've asked the officer how many points I would get, but I forgot. Any idea what kind of impact this will have? Does it matter if the ticket was in DE? Anything I can do to get the points reduced AFTER I've already pleaded guilty? Thanks.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    where did the notice come from? NJ DMV?

    Back when I was going to college in NY (i'm also from jersey), I received 2 tickets there. Paid both via mail and neither found their way back to my jersey driving record. Go figure. Maybe they are just more efficient these days.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Posts: 38,515
    I'm sorry to hear about your ticket, miked4. I hate getting them. As qbrozen, I also was wondering whether the statement claiming that you received five points on your license came from. Today most states do share information about speeding tickets with each other, however the last time that I heard about how points work in New Jersey any out of state ticket counted only as two points, the minimum, regardless of how fast you were going when you got the ticket out of state. Perhaps this rule has changed. Are there any New Jersey residents out there who can shed a little more light on this situation?

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  • erik14erik14 Posts: 1
    Ok guys, not sure if anyone can help, but here goes.

    Today driving home for lunch i got pulled over for doing 56 in a 40. Now, i won't try to defend myself, because lets face it, i was speeding. the thing is not only do i have to pay a $105 fine but i'll also get 4 points on my license. My insurance premiums will basically double because of this. How can i minimize the damage to my driving record and my insurance rates? any advice would help.

    Thanks.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    Well, you can contact one of those traffic law centers if they have them in your state. It will certainly cost you a lot more than the fine, but they will try to plead it down to a charge that carries no points.

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    agree with host.

    even if you can get it down to 49 in a 40, it will knock it down to 2 points, which makes a pretty big difference.

    Most insurance companies I've dealt with won't bat an eye at a 2-point ticket.

    I do think you could do this on your own just by going to court and pleading not guilty so you can talk to the prosecutor. That alone will usually allow you to plead to a lower-point offense.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • hey i have a pretty bad driving record.. i previously had 8 points a year ago november.. which is long past a year ago but never had any points deducted in court. i just got pulled over doing 86 in a 50.. i know im a moron, and from looking online thats a 5 point ticket, which would make me up to 13 points. but since i went a year with no moving violations i should have 3 points deducted right? so that would make me at 10 points? when does NJ take your liscense at 12 points? and my last question is how would i go about getting that bumped down in court, to say maybe a 2 pointer? or 3? i really cant afford to lose my liscense :-(

    thanks so much in advance (this is starting to make me worry)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,517
    yes, one year of point-free driving results in 3 points being removed from you license.

    Unfortunately, that is the least of your worries. Tickets stay on your insurance record for 3 years. So, as far as insurance in concerned, you will have 13. I can't imagine what that will do to your rates or your surcharges from the state.

    For such a big ticket, you are better off lawyering up.

    And, yes, you should be worried.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • thanks for the advice, ill def try to get some help when i go to court for it.. im not really worried about it as far as insurence goes.. as long as i still actually have my liscense ill do whatever i have to do :-/
  • newbie05newbie05 Posts: 3
    Hi everyone. I hope someone could give me some advice. I am 23yr old male. This coming august would mark the end of my 3rd year with a license with a clean record. But unfortunately, I just got a speeding ticket on the garden state parkway. It was a 65mph zone. I was going 84mph. 19 miles above the limit. I think it's 4 points, but i'm not sure. It might be 2 points. Is it possible for me to bargain plea it down to nothing and just pay more money up front? And if its 2 points, will insurance companies overlook it? And lastly, if i do a bargain plea, can it backfire? As in, the judge doubling my fines? I am so upset, because I was only going that fast because there was a guy tailgating me. I was just planning to pass the guy to the right of me so I can switch into his lane and let the speedy guy that was tailgating pass me. Someone please help. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Posts: 38,515
    I am sorry to hear about your recent speeding ticket, newbie05. This sounds like a four point ticket to me. While it definitely is a good idea to go to court and try to plea bargain your speeding ticket down to a lesser offense, chances are that you will only be able to get a four point ticked reduced to two points, rather than a no point offense. Still, a reduction of two points is better than nothing. You don't have anything to lose by going to court. You won't even deal with the judge until after you speak with the prosecutor and they aren't going to just double your find out of spite because you want to see if they will work with you. Unfortunately, your insurance company will not overlook a two point ticket. It will likely have a negative impact upon your rates.

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