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How to avoid getting points on my license after a speeding ticket?

Paramus, NJ |

I had gotten a speeding ticket recently (17 mph over the speed limit). I had a PBA card which I could not locate until after the ticket was issued.

The officer advised me to go to court and tell the judge about the misplaced PBA card. He claimed I would get the lowest fine and no points on my license. Is that true?

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Attorney answers 3


When you go to municipal court, the municipal prosecutor will also look at your most recent driver's abstract to see your driving record. He may be able to amend the charge depending on the circumstances of your case to something called unsafe driving, which carries with it a fine, court costs, and a surcharge but NO POINTS for a first or second offense. If this is a third offense, then you will be assessed points for unsafe driving.

If you are unable to plea to unsafe driving based on your record, then you should consult with a local attorney whose practice includes handling speeding and other traffic tickets so they can assess the facts of your case and determine what can be done for you depending on the facts.

Having a PBA card might make a difference, but your driving record will likely carry more weight in determining what you can plea down to, if anything. It would still be in your best interest to schedule a consultation with an attorney just to be on the safe side. Hope things work out for you.

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I think you misunderstood the officer. The judge cannot change the charge; that is what the prosecutor does. You are facing four points. Many courts will not downgrade a 4 point ticket without the involvement of an attorney. The downgrade would be to 39:4-97.2 (unsafe operation). If you have not received that downgrade before, it will be around $400. That's if you can get the downgrade on a 4 pointer.

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


You are eligible for a zero-point ticket if you are not a provisional driver and you have not utilized the 4:97.2 statute twice in the last five years. The rule of thumb is that you can get a 2-point reduction on your own, but usually you will need an attorney to get a 4-point reduction (if that is allowed at all).

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