A few decades ago, receiving a speeding ticket was not a major issue for New Jersey drivers. While demerit points were issued for certain speeding infractions, those who were cited rarely lost their driving privileges, and there was little financial repercussion other than paying the fine and a reasonable court cost. However, this is no longer the case. Court costs and fines have increased significantly, and many drivers are required to attend education classes for training regarding the results of excessive speed on the highways. These reasons alone are enough for any driver who is concerned about their driving history to fight speeding charges.
Driving record impact
A conviction for driving beyond the speed limit can establish a negative driving history. While it is not necessarily a criminal law issue like driving under the influence, the demerit points can establish a poor history of decision-making on the road. Subsequent tickets can make matters even worse when a prior conviction exists, and a subsequent DUI conviction can actually encourage the judge to assess penalties above the recommended minimums.
Insurance policy impact
A poor driving history record is bad enough for those willing to pay the fine and admit guilt, but the upward insurance premium rate adjustment is an additional problem that will continue over time. Demerit points are held on the record permanently, but they can be reduced by completing a defensive driving program or a driving improvement program that is acceptable to the state of New Jersey. Point reductions are limited depending on the program type. However, the problem even with completing these programs is that insurance companies can still use the record to justify higher liability insurance rates for some drivers.
Never accept the idea that a speeding citation is not a serious legal matter. Convictions generate continual driving activity records that can have a long-term impact. It may be helpful retain a New Jersey attorney who understands how to get the penalties from a speeding ticket reduced or eliminated.