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Can a police officer issue a new ticket after the fact?

Caldwell, NJ |

I was ticketed for going through a stop sign (39:4-120.9) and I'm prepared to prove that there was no stop sign there. If judge throws ticket out, can police officer just write me a new ticket for "careless driving" rather than specifying that I went through a stop sign that was not there?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    The Officer has thirty days (after an alleged offense) to issue a careless driving ticket (N.J.S. 39:5-3). Even if he could get around the thirty-day time-constraint, if there was no sign present, this would tend to negate a careless driving ticket.


  2. The careless driving is a 2 point ticket issued to you likely because you allegedly committed the underlying act of driving through a stop sign. I would advise you speak to an attorney who handles traffic tickets before undertaking the task of going through a trial in Municipal Court against the prosecutor. Even if you ultimately don't retain anyone, you should at least be advised by someone who handles these kinds of cases on a regular basis. Good luck in Court.

    DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State where this charge is filed. I am an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey. Consult a local attorney if your case arises outside the State of New Jersey. If you found this answer to be HELPFUL then you can vote that this answer was helpful. If you found this answer to be the BEST ANSWER of all those presented, then you can vote that this answer was the best answer presented. Also, please be advised that any response to any comments made by the asker do not create an attonrey client relationship.


  3. Depends. If the statute has run, no. If it has not, yes. The statute runs 30 days


  4. If you're wondering if the officer will write a ticket AFTER the judge (hopefully) throws out the one ticket you currently have - I would be shocked and amazed. The purpose of judgment is to provide a sense of resolution to the matter. The court system would cave in on itself if officers routinely wrote new tickets to replace the ones dismissed by a judge. If such a scenario happens, contact an attorney immediately.

    Having said that, it is fairly common for officers to participate in plea negotiations (with the prosecutor, defendant, and defense counsel) prior to trial, at which point the charges against the defendant could potentially change. Hypothetically, upon presenting proof to the prosecutor that no stop sign exists, the prosecutor (and the officer) will either agree to dismiss the charge (you would still have court costs to pay), or offer you a plea deal.

    Of course, all defendants have an absolute right to a trial, during which the defense can present its evidence in the hopes of a dismissal of the charges. It's been my experience in municipal court that the judge will insist all defendants speak with the prosecutor prior to trial. So even if a defendant thinks he is ready to win the case, the defense must present its evidence to the prosecutor during settlement negotiations. I wish you the best of luck.

    Disclaimer: For a free consultation contact me directly at 973-519-0196 or adam.lefkowitz.esq@gmail.com. If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. Answering questions on avvo.com does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain your own counsel. Information and answers posted to this website are for general informational purposes only.


  5. A new ticket must issue within 30 days of the event. But the Court can amend the charge to fit the facts to some degree. It would be difficult to do with this type of ticket.

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