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Woodbridge NJ Traffic Ticket Lawyers

December 18, 2023

Fighting Traffic Tickets in Woodbridge, NJ: Your Legal Options

Getting pulled over is never fun. And seeing that ticket—with a big fine attached—is enough to ruin anyone’s day. I feel you. But don’t stress too hard. There are things you can do to fight back against traffic tickets in Woodbridge. I put this guide together to walk you through it.

Understanding the Charges

There are all kinds of moving violations you can be charged with in New Jersey. Common ones include speeding, careless driving, failing to stop at a light or sign, tailgating, making an improper turn, and more.

The officer writes the specific charge on the ticket. Make sure to check it closely so you understand what you’re being accused of. The statute numbers—like 39:4-98—tell you the exact law they say you violated.

These charges can carry fines over $100 in New Jersey. Plus court fees. And if you rack up enough points, your insurance will go up too. So it’s worth understanding your options to fight back.

Checking for Mistakes

Before doing anything else, double check the ticket for any factual errors:

  • Is your name, address, license plate number correct?
  • Is the make/model and color of your car right?
  • Does the date, time, and location match when/where they pulled you over?
  • Is the officer’s badge number, police department, and signature correct?

If any key details are inaccurate, that could get the ticket thrown out completely. No fine or points against your license.

You can also check for common technical errors like:

  • Missing or vague description of the charges
  • No citation to the specific traffic law violated
  • Failure to sign the ticket
  • Ticket issued in the wrong county

Sloppy paperwork by the officer works in your favor. If the ticket has major technical flaws, submit a not guilty plea and fight to get it dismissed.

Deciding How to Plead

You typically have 15 days after receiving a traffic ticket to enter a plea. The options:

Guilty Plea – You admit fault and pay the fines. You’ll get points on your license. And your insurance rates may increase.

Not Guilty Plea – Fight the charges in court. If you win, the ticket is dismissed. No fines, fees or points against you.

No Contest Plea – You don’t admit guilt but pay smaller fines/fees. Less points usually added to your license.

I don’t recommend pleading guilty unless there’s slam-dunk evidence against you and the fines aren’t too high. Better to plead not guilty and make the cop prove their case.

But for minor violations, no contest can make sense if the fines/fees are lower. Just compare your options.

Fighting Tickets in Woodbridge Municipal Court

If you plead not guilty, your case gets scheduled for a hearing at Woodbridge Municipal Court. It’s on the lower level of town hall at 1 Main Street in Woodbridge proper.

Now here are your options to fight back:

Request Discovery – After pleading not guilty, you can request the evidence against you through discovery. This includes documents like calibration records for the radar/laser gun. Technical manuals. The officer’s training history. Radio recordings. Dash cam video if available.

If you find technical problems with their equipment or catch inconsistencies in the evidence, that creates major doubts about the ticket’s validity.

Subpoena Witnesses – You can also subpoena eyewitnesses to testify on your behalf. Like passengers in your car when pulled over. Their testimony contradicting the officer’s version of events can change the judge’s mind.

Cross Examine the Officer – When you have your court date, the ticketing officer must show up and testify about what happened. You can cross examine them on the stand—questioning the accuracy of their statements.

If you poke holes in the officer’s story, it weakens their credibility overall. And judges know cops sometimes embellish or flat-out lie. So highlighting contradictions and doubtful claims can shift things in your favor.

Present Your Own Evidence – Bring any evidence you have that contradicts the charges. Like GPS records showing your actual speed. Cell phone logs proving the time/place you were driving. Even dash cam or body cam video if you somehow have it. Evidence backing up your side of the story can override the officer’s account.

Negotiate Lesser Charges – Before your final court date, the prosecutor may offer plea deals to avoid trial. Like reducing the offense to a lesser moving violation. Or even a non-moving violation like “obstructed view” that doesn’t add points to your license.

If the deal knocks out points and cuts fines, it may be worth taking instead of risking conviction on the original charges after trial.

Working with a Local Traffic Lawyer

While you can fight traffic tickets on your own, hiring a lawyer improves your chances. An experienced Woodbridge traffic attorney knows all the technical errors to look for. They can negotiate strongly with prosecutors too.

Some lawyers offer flat fees to contest the whole case. Others work on contingency—only getting paid if they beat your ticket. Compare pricing models as you shop around.

I’d recommend checking reviews for lawyers on Avvo and Google to find ones with a strong record.

And many offer free consultations to discuss your case. So take advantage to ask questions and see if it’s a good fit. Having an expert in your corner can make all the difference.

Avoiding Future Traffic Stops

While fighting individual tickets is important, the best approach is avoiding getting pulled over to begin with. Here are some quick tips:

  • Obey the speed limit – leave early so you’re not rushed
  • Allow plenty distance between cars
  • Come to complete stops at signs/lights
  • Use turn signals for every lane change
  • Avoid distractions like cell phones
  • Make sure all car lights work properly
  • Confirm your registration is up to date

Following traffic laws to a T makes it much less likely cops notice you at all. And stopping any risky driving behavior keeps them from having a reason to pull you over. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to tickets.

Don’t Give Up!

Dealing with traffic tickets is a pain. I know. But staying calm and knowing your options gives you a fighting chance.

Hopefully this guide gave you a game plan to contest fines, avoid points on your license, and ultimately beat tickets in Woodbridge Municipal Court. And maybe even avoid getting pulled over again anytime soon!

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