Last post on Dec 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM
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#705 of 725 Re: New Jersey Traffic Trial for 'Careless Driving', Jury or Court? [budguy]
Dec 09, 2011 (7:36 am)
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?
#706 of 725 Re: New Jersey Traffic Trial for 'Careless Driving', Jury or Court? [summer32]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Dec 09, 2011 (8:10 am)
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.
#707 of 725 Re: New Jersey Traffic Trial for 'Careless Driving', Jury or Court? [kirstie_h]
Dec 09, 2011 (2:33 pm)
$89 and no points? Take that deal pronto.
#708 of 725 EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice
Dec 27, 2011 (11:59 am)
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?
#709 of 725 Re: EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice [wnfe7t]
Dec 27, 2011 (8:56 pm)
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. (??)
#710 of 725 Re: EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice [qbrozen]
Dec 28, 2011 (5:33 am)
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?
#711 of 725 Re: EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice [wnfe7t]
Dec 28, 2011 (7:37 am)
No I haven't. I think the officer was bored and cranky.
#712 of 725 Re: EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice [qbrozen]
Dec 28, 2011 (9:02 am)
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.
#713 of 725 Re: EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice [fezo]
Dec 28, 2011 (11:05 am)
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.
#714 of 725 Re: EZ pass ticket in Weehawken - advice [wnfe7t]
Dec 28, 2011 (12:38 pm)
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.