Successful Outcome for Client Charged with Fourth Cell Phone Ticket in New Jersey

June 8, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Cell Phone Ticket Blog 

Just recently, the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf represented a client that was being charged with their fourth cell phone violation in New Jersey. As a fourth offense, pursuant to New Jersey’s hands free driving law, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3, the client faced a fine of between $600.00 and $800.00 dollars, the assessment of 3 motor vehicle points, and up to 90 days of driver’s license suspension. Read More »

Can New Jersey Courts Court Prior Cell Phone Violations Against You?

August 28, 2015 · Posted in Cell Phone Ticket Blog 

In July of 2013, New Jersey’s cell phone statute, N.J.S.A. 39:7-97.3, was revised to provide for increased penalties, including a fine of between $200.00 and $400.00 for a first offense, a fine of between $400.00 and $600.00 for a second offense, and a fine of between $600.00 and $800.00 for a third offense. In addition, for a third or subsequent offense, the court can assess three motor vehicle points and suspend your license for up to 90 days.

The cell phone statute does contain a “step down” provision. Pursuant to the statute, if a second cell phone offense occurs more than ten years after a first cell phone violation, for sentencing purposes, the court must treat the second conviction as a first offense. Likewise, if a third violation occurs more than ten years after a second violation, the court must treat the third conviction as a second offense. Read More »

New Cell Phone Law Takes Effect in New Jersey

July 2, 2014 · Posted in Blog, Cell Phone Ticket Blog, Traffic Law Blog 

Effective July 1, 2014, revisions to New Jersey’s cell phone law, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3, will result in enhanced penalties for cell phone tickets.  These enhanced penalties include increased fines, the imposition of motor vehicle points, and possible driving privilege suspensions.

The increased penalties are the result of information demonstrating that driver distractions were a major factor in 1.4 million motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey from 2004 through 2013.  Driver distraction represented about half of all crashes that occurred during that time period. Read More »

What are the Defenses to a Charge of Improper Use of a Cell Phone While Driving in New Jersey?

December 29, 2013 · Posted in Blog, Cell Phone Ticket Blog 

If you received a ticket for improper use of a cell phone while driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3, you should know that there are several defenses available to that charge. Pursuant to the cell phone statute, the use of a cell phone by an operator of a motor vehicle shall be unlawful “except where the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone or the electronic communication device is used hands-free.” The statute defines “use” to “include, but not be limited to, talking or listening to another person, text messaging, or sending an electronic message . . .” Perhaps most importantly, the statute expressly permits “the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.”
Read More »

I Received a Cell Phone Ticket in New Jersey. Should I Pay it or Fight it?

December 23, 2013 · Posted in Blog, Cell Phone Ticket Blog 

Clients often ask the attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf whether or not cell phone violation is worth fighting.  The answers to this question is: it depends.  New Jersey’s cell phone law is provided for in the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Act 39:4-97.3 “Use of hands-free wireless telephone in moving vehicle.”  The offense is considered a non-moving violation and so does not currently carry any points. Whether or not you should fight such a ticket, however, depends on how it will affect your employment. Read More »

Potential Stiffer Fines and Penalties for Violating the Hands-Free Cell Phone Law

April 15, 2013 · Posted in Blog, Cell Phone Ticket Blog 

In the near future, New Jersey may have the toughest hands-free cell phone law in the nation.  Just last month, on March 21, 2013, the New Jersey Legislature voted to increase penalties for texting and talking while driving in New Jersey.  The bill had cleared the Senate in a unanimous vote last summer.  The bill returned to the Senate for final approval.

Targeting texting drivers has become a national goal.  According to the Ad Council, a texting driver is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver.  Driver inattention contributed to 178 fatalities in New Jersey during 2011.  On the interstates, almost half of the traffic fatalities reported in New Jersey during 2011 were linked to driver distraction.

Effective March 1, 2008, New Jersey mandated the use of hands-free cell phone devise while driving. In 2012, more than 81,000 guilty pleas were entered for this offense.  Under the current law, any driver caught violating the law is subject to a $100.00 fine.  No points are added to the license.

Under the proposed legislation, the penalties are even stiffer – especially for repeat offenders.   First time offenders would be subject to a minimum fine of $200.00 and a maximum fine of $400.00.  Second time offenders would face a fine between $400.00 and $600.00.  Third and subsequent offenders would be subject to a fine between $600.00 and $800.00.  Additionally, for third and subsequent offenses, three points would be assigned to the violator’s driver’s license and the violator could face up to a 90-day license suspension.  In addition to the fines and penalties, the bill directs, the bill directs the Motor Vehicle Commission to create an educational program to alert the public of the dangers of talking and texting while driving.

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