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Insurance and NJ No-Point Ticket option

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Comments

  • k_anilk_anil Posts: 2
    No, the third party is not required to be attended.

    We admit no fault, the procecutor said that he will take two points and we pay more fine, we agreed and the case is closed.
  • Did you win this case? I have a similar issue like yours. Few weeks ago I got a ticket for careless driving. I was making a right turn to a parking lot and accidently drove into the grass curve and hit the stop side. My car was stopped working. I called the police since I damaged the public property. The police came after he recorded everything and gave me a ticket for careless driving.

    I went to court plead not guilty. The prosecuter has offered if I plead guilty the points would remove and pay $89. Now I have to go to a trial. Should I accept the offer or go to a trial? Can someone help me?
  • Will the charge also be reduced to something other than "careless driving"?

    In any case, that sounds like an easy call - you are probably guilty (most of us are in these cases), and if you can get out of it for $89 and no points (and no trial... I mean, what would your defense be?), that seems the easiest option to just get it over with with minimal pain.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    $89 and no points? Take that deal pronto.
  • wnfe7twnfe7t Posts: 4
    edited December 2011
    For background, I'm 28yr old female, had my license for 11 years and not a single ticket for nearly 10 years, so totally clean record. I have been driving to work - northern NJ to midtown Manhattan - for the last 5+ years without incident, which I think is fairly remarkable of itself. My insurance costs are low considering and I get the safe driver discount etc.

    I had the misfortune of working yesterday (12/26), and was basically the only person in the office. I was driving into the Lincoln Tunnel in the morning as I always do, but unlike every other morning there were very few cars on the road at all. After passing through the ezpass lane, I drove to the right tube and the police car blocking the left tube veered out and almost hit my car, so I swerved to the right to avoid him. He took out his megaphone just before I was about to drive into the tunnel, called me to stop and back up. He stopped me, asked for license and registration.

    I asked him why he was stopping me as I hadn't a clue what would warrant this (which was clearly a mistake in hindsight). He told me I was speeding through the ez pass and left with my information. When the officer returned, I saw that the ticket was written up for speeding 25mph in a 5mph zone! I was under the impression if a person goes too fast through ez pass, they send warning and collect the money. I've never gotten a letter like this before and ez pass gets plently of money from me.

    The ticket doesn't say points on it, so after looking it over, I went over to the cop and asked him how much $ and how many points this is. He said he didn't know, I'd have to call the Municipal Building but they were closed for the day. Then I asked him if he even knows its 5mph, I was under the impression it was 15mph through ez pass as I do the drive every day. Needless to say, it wasn't a polite exchange, and he left with some snide comment like, "It's not Christmas today!"

    I looked this morning, and it actually does say its 5mph thru the ez pass in a small sign by the toll, and I looked up the fines. 20mph over the limit would give me 4 points and $200 fine, when 19mph is same points but $105 fine. Its hard to fathom such a punishment for driving a max of 25mph in the 1st place! I don't think I was even driving as high as 25mph, but the ticket has speed measurement device checked.

    I also noticed that the officer wrote my old address on the ticket, rather than my new one on the back of my license, and I'm not sure if this makes any difference.

    From the other posts on this forum, it seems that if I go to court and plead not guilty, it should be simple to knock this down to 2 points with hefty fines. I also spoke to a lawyer in Weehawken who said of all his years working in the area, no one has called him about being stopped for speeding through ez pass before. He was very confident he could knock off all the points, but it would cost big fines, and his fee is $350. I tried to see if there was any way he could charge me significantly less if he only gets down to 2 points instead of zero, but he didn't go for that.

    I'm in the process of applying for life insurance and don't want a ding to my record. I also don't want any points for an auto insurance hike.

    What's the best way to proceed with this?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    there is no right answer here, in my opinion. Its all how you feel you should proceed. Personally, I'd go to court without a lawyer in this case.

    PS, I'm not sure why this would affect life insurance. (??)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • wnfe7twnfe7t Posts: 4
    edited December 2011
    I'm not sure exactly myself, but when I met with the life insurance broker it was one of the few questions he asked - driving record - and he indicated it would get us preferred, cheaper coverage.

    I actually spoke to EZ Pass yesterday to ask them if I'd ever had any speeding warnings going through the tolls, and they said I didn't have any. When I asked to get that in writing, all of the folks I spoke with refused to put it in writing. Even better, when I asked how fast they clocked me going thru the toll on 12/26, they said 22 mph when the officer wrote down 25 mph. It doesn't look like I can get this documented either but I have a manager looking into it who is supposed to call me back. Its just frustrating that I have the information that could help in court, but no way to prove it.

    Have you heard of anyone before getting pulled over for speeding thru the toll lane?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    No I haven't. I think the officer was bored and cranky.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I agree. Sounds like officer attitude. He was probably pissed off that he got duty the day after Christmas and took it out on you.

    I also have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for speeding through an EZPass lane. I know where you got the 15mph from - that's the Parkway and Turnpike EZPass. Almost anywhere else they pot it at 5.

    There's not one correct way to do this. I think I'd try to go it alone and when court comes around approach the prosecutor yourself and say you want to plead guilty to a non-moving violation. There are a bunch of them. Any one will do. Obstructing traffic, failure to observe sign...... They may well buy that and let it go and will almost certainly bargain off 2 points.

    If you are nervous about this approach or if the extra $350 is worth it to you pay the lawyer but I'm betting you can accomplish what you want without him.
  • Thanks fezo and gbrozen for the advice. I'll try to go it alone and get as much evidence as my camera and ez pass allows.

    If anyone else has good advice or has fought a speeding ticket for ez pass toll lane, please add a thread.

    Otherwise, I'll just update post-court date, which is looking like mid-end January.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,218
    Personally, I'd try & get the ticket thrown out or downgraded based on the officer's errors. First, he didn't get the right address from your license and second he mis-reported the speed on the ticket. That he made more than one error demonstrates that the officer didn't appear to be providing an acceptable level of competence. That he inflated the speed by more than 10% IMO shows intentional ill-will/malicious intent; I can't see any circumstance in which his radar gun would be that far off.

    Let us know how it turns out.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    I'd tread real lightly here. You can obtain that information and bring with you, but I would NOT start "fighting" anything unless backed into a corner. By just showing up and pleading not guilty, they are going to offer you an alternative. If you go in there on the offensive, you may just piss folks off and they will be much less willing to give you any kind of break. You may just be digging your own grave showing them you have other proof that you were, in fact, speeding through.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I would agree with that, especially since one of the things the prosecutor will do is make sure the deal is OK with the cop who wrote the ticket. Even if the cop is a hard [non-permissible content removed] he'll usually sign off on it since the prosecutor is womeone he has to deal with all the time. The court itself just wants the money.
  • actgactg Posts: 1
    One suggestion: if the prosecutor does not give you the deal you want, plead not guilty and and tell the prosecutor you want to ask the judge to reschedule your court date "to give you time to investigate your case and obtain legal representation." Judges seem to grant this as a matter of course, and this way you can hire the lawyer only if you need to. Just make sure you don't say anything incriminating to the prosecutor.
  • mach_sixmach_six Posts: 7
    edited January 2012
    NJ has the 3 strikes rule where they will let you off with no points tickets 3 times. After that it's pretty much nothing you can do except a lawyer to lower the points perhaps.

    If this is your first in over 10 years, plead not guilty and just be real with them. I know they're lenient on non repeat offenders but it depends on the judges too so it's a gamble.

    I got a ticket in East Hanover and I could have just make some BS since it was my first ticket in over 10 years of driving because teh judge was lenient with the toher cases before mine and through some out. The other ticket I got in Clifton, the prosecutor just no point because I am still under the 3 tickets. I didn't even have to argue then but I had to with teh one in East Hanover but I wasn't talking to the prosecutor directly but to another cop or someone when I was making my plea.

    To play it safe, I'd just take teh no points tickets and pay the extra. It'll probably end up cost you $500. It's really just another tax levied on us...
  • wnfe7twnfe7t Posts: 4
    Just to update, I was able to push off the court date to the end of February, so that's at least some good news. Going to go without a lawyer and hope the prosecutor has a good deal. If not, I plan to take the advice of actg and ask the judge to reschedule the date so I can gather evidence and get an attorney.

    I'll update again afterward. Thanks!
  • lms1220lms1220 Posts: 1
    I got a ticket on Wednesday on the turnpike. The state police officer said I was going 91 in a 65, but because I slowed down once he got behind me he wrote 79 in a 65 on the ticket. I have a NY license, currently attending school in Maryland, 2.5 hours away from where the ticket was issued (Mt. Laurel). Ive read that the points do not transfer to my NY license, but I don't want my insurance to increase. Would it be better for me to plead guilty and pay or to go to court and try to fight for a 0 point violation? And if I do go to court, what are the chances that I will be offered a 0 point but higher fine plea?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    If the points don't transfer, your insurance won't go up.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • do I need to let them know of any traffic violations when they ask for them if I didn't incur any points? I was cited for using a handheld device (complete BS, btw) and failure to stay right early this year. The cell phone violation didn't come with points but the ticket for failure to stay right did. I managed to get the 2 point penalty reduced to 0 after negotiating a plea with the prosecutor (albeit at a hefty price). It would seem logical that I wouldn't have to report it since the whole point of paying a couple hundred bucks in court to have the points taken away is to not have it affect your insurance, but I can't say for sure. These online quotes don't give you any kind of option to report a moving violation that you didn't incur points on, so it assumes that any ticket that normally comes with a point penalty was indeed assessed and gets reflected in the quote you recieve.

    I suppose what I'm asking is if it's okay to shop around for quotes under the pretense of having a 5 year good driver discount if none of my tickets hurt me point wise? I know insurance companies double check on this kind of thing anyway, I just want to be prepared when talking to different agents when I'm ready to settle on a plan. FWIW, I live in New Jersey.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    They only care about points. So as long as the end result was no points, you are good to go.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

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