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20.10.07 0815
The 7 - Random - In Court On Tues. For No Insurance or Registration
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Torchslasher
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#1 Posted on 28.8.05 2038.34
Reposted on: 28.8.12 2038.44
So, I got pulled over a couple weeks ago after a CZW show by an officer. I don't know why I got pulled over because in New Jersey we don't have stickers on the license plate anymore to denote a registered vehicle. I wasn't speeding (or at least not enough to get pulled over).

Nevertheless I was told to give over my license and registration. That's when I discovered my registration hadn't been renewed since May of 2005. Worse than that, my insurance card hadn't been good since October of 2004. The officer was kind enough to give me a chance to go through the rest of the glove compartment, but I could provide no proof of insurance. I got two tickets that night. As soon as I got home, I found the current insurance card, and I got the registration renewed that next Monday.

I was told that I would have to go to court because of the lack of insurance, and the officer said that if I showed proof of both insurance and registration, I could probably get the fines lowered. The officer also told me that he could and should have my car towed, but he was going to just go further down the street and I can take it from there (i.e. I could drive home but I shouldn't drive until I get the registration and insurance updated).

In the span of three days, I have received no less than four pieces of mail from law firms that have heard that I have the "no insurance" court date upcoming. One letter even surmised that I will get a fine of somewhere between 300 and 1000 dollars and I might have to do community service. I don't believe this, as I've never had to go to court for any reason (other than jury duty), and again the officer said that my proof of insurance will be enough that I won't get the "book thrown at me" if you wheeeell.

My question for the W's- Have any of you had this happen to you? What can I expect? Should I bring a book or something with me? The time on the ticket says 8:30am, but something tells me that I'll be there for a while before they get to me.

Before I get blasted, I am planning on calling the court tomorrow morning and asking these types of questions. I just thought perhaps somebody on here could tell me what I should be looking forward to.

(edited by Torchslasher on 28.8.05 1840)

(edited by Torchslasher on 28.8.05 1841)
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AWArulz
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#2 Posted on 28.8.05 2118.40
Reposted on: 28.8.12 2119.02
Bring your paperwork, bring a book and be patient. Say "your Honor" a lot and say you're sorry, it has never happened before and will never happen again.

Suffer, take your lumps and usually the judge will cut you some slack.

You could try calling the Jurisdiction office (whataver the court you're going to is) and see if you can dismissed with fees only since you now have registration and prof of insurance.That works in some jurisdictions.

dunkndollaz
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#3 Posted on 28.8.05 2138.03
Reposted on: 28.8.12 2138.28
    Originally posted by Torchslasher
    So, I got pulled over a couple weeks ago after a CZW show by an officer. I don't know why I got pulled over because in New Jersey we don't have stickers on the license plate anymore to denote a registered vehicle. I wasn't speeding (or at least not enough to get pulled over).




I live in NJ and I have stickers on my plates - they came with the renewed registration.

As for your court appearance, you should have a chance to speak / plea bargain with the Assistant DA handling the case prior to it being actually heard. Yes sirs and No sirs go a long way.
too-old-now
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#4 Posted on 29.8.05 0156.03
Reposted on: 29.8.12 0156.33
This happened to my brother a couple of years ago, but he never mentioned getting lots of mail (and he was only one month late on the registration).

After killing your morning, you'll get a chance to meet an assistant in the DA's office, show them your paperwork proving you had insurance, he or she will tell you okay the fines for having an unregistered vehicle are x, you can plead no contest to that only and be done with it. I don't know about NJ, but you might be able to pay a general fine and get no points on your license for driving an unregistered vehicle (any infraction usually raises your insurance rates).

Driving without insurance is what they're after, and since you can prove you had coverage they'll treat you a lot better. Be polite, apologetic, and prepared.

Look at it this way, instead of being bored, this is an opportunity to do some serious people watching - guess who tried to sober up for the occasion, etc. The only thing that comes close to court for people watching is an emergency room, but an ER too often has a cloud of sadness.
redsoxnation
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#5 Posted on 29.8.05 0722.36
Reposted on: 29.8.12 0722.41
Got pulled over last week for a "broken brake light", mainly due to the fact I was doing 20 in a 25 mph speed trap and the cop sitting behind me didn't like going beneath the speed limit (when the first thing he says when he pulls me over wasn't the light but Do You Always Do 20 on that road, it meant he was pissed that he had to sit behind someone). Unfortunately, it was a company car and they forgot to put in the new insurance info. So, now I get the joy of sitting in traffic court all to show the judge the car was insured and thus throw the ticket out.
David Adams
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#6 Posted on 29.8.05 0728.03
Reposted on: 29.8.12 0728.13
    Originally posted by dunkndollaz
    I live in NJ and I have stickers on my plates - they came with the renewed registration.

    As for your court appearance, you should have a chance to speak / plea bargain with the Assistant DA handling the case prior to it being actually heard. Yes sirs and No sirs go a long way.


Actually NJ is doing away with it after this year. I received my new registration 2 months ago and there were no license plate stickers, but there was a note saying that 05 was the last year for them.

And you are right about being polite and talking to the ADA ahead of time. I have a friend who is a lawyer and he's called ahead for me to try to smooth things over before I even got to the courtroom.
The Guinness.
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#7 Posted on 29.8.05 0830.32
Reposted on: 29.8.12 0830.35
If you havenít already, call your insurance company and have them fax you a proof of coverage letter on their letter head (to accompany your insurance ID cards). This letter should indicate all of the basic company information, the coverage period and (specifically) that there has been no lapse in coverage. This letter, accompanied with your insurance ID cards, should result in a drastically reduced fine or no fine at all for that violation.
ShotGunShep
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#8 Posted on 29.8.05 1017.42
Reposted on: 29.8.12 1017.46
If you have insurance coverage and you can prove it in court, the fine will simply be waived.

However, in many states it is also a crime to not have the proof of insurance with you in your vehicle. But if you haven't been charged with that, no worries.

This happened to me(well not the registration) and it happens to a lot of people. As long as you don't look drunk or cracked out, the cops assume you just forgot your insurance cards and are nice about it because it is common.

When you go into court, you will be called up and you should plead not guilty, the judge will then ask you if you have proof. You answer yes and the court clerk will come up and look at your docs and there should be no fines!

StaggerLee
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#9 Posted on 29.8.05 1046.44
Reposted on: 29.8.12 1046.54
My girlfriend had this happen a few weeks ago. Went into the court and showed it was insured, no problems. The thing you WILL get hammered on though is the registration, since the state wants that CA$H and if you didnt get it to them BEFORE the ticket, they have it now, plus the fine you will be getting.

Like everybody else said, be polite, DRESS NICE, and kiss all the ass possible to avoid a problem with the judge.
jfkfc
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#10 Posted on 29.8.05 1158.04
Reposted on: 29.8.12 1158.04
In NJ also....

I got pulled over for riding the shoulder (for about 30 feet before it became a lane approaching a traffic light, and discovered upon opening the glove compartment when asked for both that I had neither. The car had been registered correctly and was properly insured - I just had cleaned out the car the day before and forgotten to put it back in, so almost the same situation. I don't know if the municipality matters (I was pulled over in Green Brook, Somerset County), but probably not. If I remember right, I brought the correct documents (insurance card, registration) to the hearing, and wound up with about a fine over $100 for driving while not in possession of the correct documenation. If you last renewed your registration in May of this year, its surely still good, and you'd only be on the hook for not having it in the car with you.
Torchslasher
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#11 Posted on 30.8.05 1149.36
Reposted on: 30.8.12 1149.50
First off, thanks for all the suggestions and help. I just got back from the courthouse. I first met with an officer, who told me that they were going to dismiss the Insurance ticket after I showed them proof of insurance. The officer said that I would be charged for the No Registration ticket and told me to plead guilty.

Then...THE WAIT. I sit down and wait for almost four hours (from 8:30 to almost 12:30) before I'm called up before the judge. I did dress reasonably well, and while I don't know if that actually helped, it certainly couldn't have hurt after seeing some of the people in there.

The judge asked if I wanted to waive having a lawyer, which of course I did. He asked me if I had current registration, and I told him that I did. Then, for whatever reason, he dismissed the registration charge as well (could have been the clothing I guess, or more likely because I had gotten my car registered). Either way, I was only charged 33 dollars for court costs per ticket, meaning that I got off with only paying 66 dollars. No points, no telling the insurance company (who would then raise my rates I'm sure). As you can probably tell, I'm ecstatic right about now. In fact, I gotta go to Dominos and get my pizza in a minute because I felt I deserved a treat for getting so lucky.

So people, please remember to keep everything updated with regards to your car. I saw a ton of people get harsh penalties, and apparently in New Jersey a speeding ticket carries a 250 dollar surcharge as well.

Thanks for all the suggestions, and they certainly helped me get off...THIS TIME (there won't be a next time).
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