Although a DUI conviction is what you may think about when you hear license suspension, there are several reasons you could lose driving privileges in New Jersey. They range from not having proof of insurance, outstanding parking tickets and unpaid child support to not appearing in court or paying court fees or fines.
According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, you must surrender your drivers’ license upon its suspension. When the period is over, the Commission sends a Notice of Restoration for the steps necessary for getting a new license.
Penalties for driving without a license
If an officer pulls you over and discovers that you are driving without a license, the penalty depends on whether this is a first or subsequent offense. The fine for first-time offenders is $500 and up to six months additional suspension of your license. The penalty for the second offense increases to $750 and can include jail time as well as additional license suspension.
For the third and subsequent offenses, you may have fines up to $1,000, spend up to 10 days in jail and have up to six months added to the suspension. In situations that include injuries, such as a car crash, you may face 45 to 180 days imprisoned.
Defenses for driving without a license
Proving that you have no valid license is typically an easy hurdle for the prosecution. A few defenses are successful, such as an emergency or having a valid license in another state. Even if the prosecutor meets its burden of proof, you may receive penalties of a lesser charge, depending on the circumstances.