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313 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights NJ 08035
313 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights NJ 08035

Understanding the NO Point Downgrade


Almost everyone’s been there before. Whenever a New Jersey driver is pulled over and issued a ticket, his or her first concern is always “points.”

New Jersey moving violations typically carry anywhere between two (2) to four (4) points; certain more serious offenses carry more, and twelve (12) points on your license at any one time will result in a license suspension. The most immediate consequence of these points, however many, is a potential negative impact on the ticketed driver’s auto insurance costs. What that impact might be varies among  insurance companies.

For those reasons, traffic court lawyers often seek to downgrade their client’s moving violation tickets to a catch-all N.J.S.A 39:4. 97-2 “unsafe driving” violation that carries zero points.   This is a fairly common downgrade in New Jersey’s municipal courts.  The clear downside of the no-points approach is the elevated expense; in addition to  statutory fines and court costs, the motorist who pleads guilty to this offense must pay a state-mandatory surcharge of $250.  Assuming the municipal prosecutor is willing to accept the plea, it’s an expensive price to pay to avoid two (2) points .

Obviously, if you are in jeopardy of losing you licence because of MVC points, accepting a plea that has MVC points is not a good option even if your auto insurance premiums will rise.  There not an automatic increase in automobile insurance premiums just because a motorist gets points.  The type of offense and other factors will determine if your auto insurance premiums will increase.  The criteria varies among insurance companies.  Checking in with your auto insurance company for the details of your policy in this regard is a good idea. Some of our clients have advised us that their insurance company will tell them in advance if a certain ticket conviction will lead to higher insurance premiums.   

You don’t have to figure all of this out by yourself. Contact the municipal court defense lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele online today for a confidential consultation. You can also reach us by telephone at (856) 546-1350.

Post Author: Matt Rooney

is a New Jersey attorney, former Superior Court law clerk, and noted commentator who focuses his practice on family law, municipal court defense, and personal injury matters. He was recognized by SJ Magazine as a 2018 “Top Divorce & Family Attorney."