Skip to main content

Careless driving + class or Unsafe Operation?

Elizabeth, NJ |

I have just received a ticket for careless driving because I was speeding on the turnpike. I was debating on whether or not it is prudent to take the careless driving ticket, then take the defensive driving class. Or try to get the ticket amended towards an unsafe operation ticket. This is my first "pull-over/ticket" and I do not want my insurance rates to go up and especially points on my license.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. You should discuss the matter with an experienced New Jersey traffic attorney before you do anything.

    This answer is given merely for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice, contact an attorney in your state to see if working together makes sense.


  2. If it was a careless driving driving ticket, that is a 2 pt ticket, which can be downgraded to no point 97.2 wherein you will pay substanially higher fine. I would try to get the zero point first, before doing a defensive driver program. You will have a better chnce if you retain counsel.

    The previous information is solely for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact an attorney in your area for more specific answers. Responding to your question in no way creates an attorney/client relationship, and none of the specific guarantees of privacy exist. If you have found this information helpful, kindly check the "helpful" box.


  3. I'd go with Unsafe Operation if you're eligible for same.


  4. Good Afternoon. Both will result in zero points, however, when you take a defensive driving class the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will place you on probation for one year. If you receive any tickets within that year, the NJMVC will attempt to administratively suspend your license. If you have any questions feel free to contact my office for a free consultation. Good Luck to you.


  5. No attorney can advise you about what the insurance repercussions. Only your insurance company can provide you with that analysis. If you have not had a ticket before, I would not recommend exercising a downgrade from a 2 point offense. Its going to be expensive and you may have two point forgiveness on your insurance. I also do not like to use unsafe driving on a 2 point offense unless the driver already has points. You may wish you had that downgrade left if you get a 4 point ticket (or two) down the line.

    Law Offices of James A. Abate Jabatelaw.com (732) 412-2364


  6. Good question. The money works out about the same. If you take a private (AAA type) course I do not think there is any probation. The 0 pointer does not affect insurance in NJ. But you need to check with your insurance company before deciding either. (I know the AAA course works for MVC but I do not know about insurance points, my guess is it works there too). You do not need an attorney to get a 97.2 unsafe. It is yours by law for the asking. In Elizabeth an attorney may be able to get another 0 pointer that does not cost $439 and will not use up a 97.2. But the attorney’s fee will be more than the savings. Your call.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics