Monday, March 4, 2013
Reckless Driving Is Reason for Revoking License in NJ
Municipal court judges are authorized, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, the reckless driving statute, to “revoke the license of any person to drive a motor vehicle, when such person shall have been guilty of such willful violation of any of the provisions of the motor vehicle code as shall, in the discretion of the judge, justify such revocation.” Although the argument has been made that this leaves municipal court judges with discretion to arbitrarily revoke driving privileges. The New Jersey Appellate court has set forth guidelines for revocation which are used to defend the decisions of municipal court judges regarding license revocation. The municipal judge should consider “the nature and circumstances of the defendant’s conduct, including whether the conduct posed a high risk of danger to the public or caused physical harm or property damage; the defendant’s driving record, including the defendant’s driving record, including the defendant’s age and length of time as a licensed driver, and the number, seriousness, and frequency of prior infractions; whether the defendant was infraction-free for a substantial period before the most recent violation or whether the nature and extent of the defendant’s driving record indicates that there is a substantial risk that he or she will commit another violation; whether the defendant’s conduct was the result of circumstances unlikely to recur; whether a license suspension would cause excessive hardship to the defendant and/or dependents; and the need for personal deterrence. Any other relevant factor clearly identified by the court may be considered as well. It is not necessarily the number of factors that apply but the weight to be attributed to a factor or factors. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. Reckless driving charges in New Jersey should not be taken lightly.If you face reckless driving, DUI/DWI, CDS in a motor vehicle or other serious offenses in municipal court, you should consult an experienced criminal law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on municipal court matters or other criminal law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.