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Can Someone Avoid Jail Time For Driving On A Suspended License?

That depends on whether it is a first or subsequent offense and whether it is the criminal offense. If it is the criminal offense the answer that has repeatedly come from the appellate courts in New Jersey has been that the jail time cannot be avoided. The legislature was clear. The penalty for conviction is 180 days incarceration without parole. The alternatives to straight jail time that are discussed in other articles on this subject, such as SLAP, are not available. It is up in the air as to whether weekend jail is allowable, but even if it is, we are talking about doing 180 days over the course of 90 weekends, which is almost two years. That is a long time to be going to jail on the weekends, but if it helps you keep your job maybe that is something that you might be willing to do.

There is some case laws that suggest that may not be available, but it is not settled yet. It is certainly something that we would argue and ask for, but it may not be possible to avoid the whole 180 days in the county jail consecutively on those charges for the fourth degree criminal offense. The legislature made it pretty clear what they wanted, and the courts have been very strict in interpreting the legislature’s intentions. If you think it seems a little bit ridiculous that these cases are criminal while DWI is not, you wouldn’t be the first person to make that point.

With the other regular traffic offense of driving while suspended, even when it is enhanced, is there a way to avoid jail time?

Technically there is no way to avoid the jail time, but if you can get into SLAP, that can count as your jail time. You might also be able to do weekend jail or day reporting if the county you were convicted in allows it. Unfortunately, you do not get to choose whether or not that is going to happen. If the county where you are convicted has day reporting you may be able to get that but some counties don’t have it and there’s nothing you can do about that. An experienced attorney like those at this office may be able to help you to get sentenced to an alternative to straight jail time.

How Do You Assist Your Clients In Driving On Suspended License Offenses?

In any case, the question is whether the State can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but in a Driving While Suspended case almost always can, so the question becomes how we can minimize the consequences for you.

It is about being creative in how we argue to the prosecutor and the judge about how we think the sentence should be crafted, so that it is not as harsh, onerous and not as difficult to deal with for the average person who has the same obligations as the rest of us in terms of job, and family. Mostly this is not about how can we defend these, although we obviously look for a defense before anything else, it is about how can we be creative and helpful to the person in convincing the court to craft the sentence in a way that is fair to everyone and serves the interests of justice, but also does not ruin lives.

Additional Information Regarding Driving On A Suspended License In New Jersey

My best advice is really very simple: don’t do it. If you have no transportation to get anywhere, I understand that it can be awful for you. New Jersey is really hard. There are people who drive for work or people who work in the auto industry, or maybe they work at a car dealership. I have had people like that, and that is terrible, because they cannot even move the cars around the dealership lot. It is very difficult, but the only advice I can give is just don’t do it. If you do, and you get caught, call a lawyer immediately.

For more information on Avoiding Jail Time In New Jersey, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (609) 236-8414 today.

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