When Speeding Tickets Result in a Court Appearance in New Jersey

Website Provided by HG.org

People speed every day because they are late for work, school or a doctorís appointment. Speeding may be part of their daily routine. However, speeding puts drivers at risk of being pulled over by a New Jersey law enforcement officer. Anyone in violation of the speeding laws can receive a ticket for this offense. While most tickets do not require a mandatory court appearance in New Jersey, some do.

New Jersey Speeding Laws

Like other states, New Jersey has various speeding laws for different types of situations. The laws vary due to different safety concerns in different areas. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour in a school zone while in recess, when drivers can clearly see children from the roadways or during school entrance or exit times. The speed limit is also 25 miles per hour in residential and business districts. A 35 mile per hour speed limit is imposed in suburban residential or business districts. All other locations are 50 miles per hour unless they are subject to the 65 miles per hour law.

Speed limits are designed for optimal conditions, such as light traffic and clear weather. Drivers are required to adjust their speed in certain situations, such as approaching hill crests, approaching and crossing intersections or railroad crossings, driving around curves or when traveling on narrow roadways. If it is raining or snowing or otherwise involves inclement weather, drivers must reduce their speeds. If other hazards are present, such as traffic or the presence of pedestrians, motorists should adjust their speed.

Mandatory Court Appearances

There are some speeding and traffic ticket situations which result in mandatory court appearances. This includes the following situations:

Excessive Speeding

If a person is charged with speeding 40 miles per hour or more above the speed limit, his or her court appearance is mandatory.

Construction Zone Speeding

If a person speeds 20 miles per hour or more over the limit in a construction zone or safe corridor, a court appearance is mandatory.

Drunk Driving Related Offenses

If a person is arrested for suspected impaired driving, he or she will also have to go to court for this offense. Sometimes drunk drivers speed or are impaired and do not realize that they are speeding or committing other traffic violations. Mandatory court dates are specified on the ticket.

Voluntary Appearance

In other situations involving speeding, a person has the option to either pay the ticket or to contest it by going to the traffic hearing. If a person decides to pay the ticket and not go to court, he or she is pleading guilty to the offense. If the person wants to contest the ticket, he or she can appear at court and plead not guilty. The court date is usually printed on the traffic citation.


At the traffic hearing, the law enforcement officer who issued the citation is required to be present at the hearing. If the officer is not present but has a legitimate reason for not being at the hearing, the case can be continued until a later date. At the hearing, each party presents testimony and evidence to support his or her version of the events. The judge then determines whether or not to find the defendant guilty. The judge determines the penalties that the defendant will face.

Penalties for Traffic Violations

If the defendant pleads not guilty, the judge decides which penalties to impose on the defendant. These can include jail time, fines, license suspension or points being added to a personís driving record. The judge will consider what penalties to impose based on the driverís speed, driving record and unique circumstances involving the offense. The defendant has 20 days to appeal the decision and punishment against him or her.

The state also imposes points based on the excessive speed. If the defendant was traveling between one and 14 miles per hour over the speed limit, two points are added to his or her driving record. If the defendant was speeding 15 to 29 miles per hour over the speed limit, four points are added. 5 points are added to the defendantís driving record if the defendant was traveling 30 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. If a defendant receives 12 or more points, his or her license is automatically suspended.

Contact a New Jersey Traffic Ticket Lawyer

If you would like assistance fighting your traffic ticket, contact an experienced New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer.

Copyright HG.org

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

Find a Lawyer

Find a Local Lawyer