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Old 12-15-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
231 posts, read 349,446 times
Reputation: 232
Default Pleading Not Guilty in Traffic Court

Hello all. Has anyone had experience pleading not guilty in municipal court to a speeding or similar traffic ticket? With or without a lawyer?

I was pulled over on Cranbury Neck Road in Cranbury and issued a ticket for going 41 in a 25 (4 point ticket). I had just passed Wynnewood Drive, at which point Cranbury Neck Road changes from 25 to 50, though this is not marked by a sign (I contacted Cranbury's Chief of Police and he verified it's 50 after Wynnewood). The cop who pulled me over was parked just within the 50 mph zone and logged me as I accelerated past Wynnewood Drive to meet the new speed limit. It was an obvious speed trap designed to catch people as they accelerate. Unfair, in my opinion.

I pled not guilty to the charge and am awaiting my hearing date. I don't want to get a lawyer as I think I can do this myself. However, I have questions like do I need to file forms to enter my evidence or can I just present it on my hearing date? I believe I need to retain a lawyer within 7 days, if I decide to do so. I know it's just municipal court, but I don't want to get rolled on some procedural point. And let me tell you, nothing enrages a municipal court faster than pleading not guilty! Or at least this one!

Any experience anyone has had with pleading not guilty, even if you had a lawyer, would be appreciated! Or if someone knows a decent traffic lawyer I could discuss my situation with (consulting fee or some such), that would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:46 PM
 
6,205 posts, read 4,629,853 times
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If they're doing stuff like that, the judges already know about it and are perfectly fine with it. The outcome is pre-ordained.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: NJ & NV
3,514 posts, read 5,200,525 times
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As has been mentioned countless times the standard "drill" in NJ is if they write you up for a 4 pointer when you walk into "cash register court" and plead not guilty they offer to knock it down to a 2 point speeding ticket or they offer you a zero point unsafe driving ticket which costs about $480. Usually the cop doesn't even show up and it's not about your driving it's about your money.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:13 AM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
231 posts, read 349,446 times
Reputation: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by captne76 View Post
As has been mentioned countless times the standard "drill" in NJ is if they write you up for a 4 pointer when you walk into "cash register court" and plead not guilty they offer to knock it down to a 2 point speeding ticket or they offer you a zero point unsafe driving ticket which costs about $480. Usually the cop doesn't even show up and it's not about your driving it's about your money.

Yeah, the prosecutor offered me 2 points and I chose not to take it. I pled not guilty. I guess this is very uncommon, which may explain the very nasty attitude the prosecutor and the judge gave me when I did it.

I guess I'll sit in the municipal court for a few weeks and see if anyone else has a trial for traffic matters. I just need to know the procedures.

Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey
3,003 posts, read 7,779,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiru View Post
Yeah, the prosecutor offered me 2 points and I chose not to take it. I pled not guilty. I guess this is very uncommon, which may explain the very nasty attitude the prosecutor and the judge gave me when I did it.

I guess I'll sit in the municipal court for a few weeks and see if anyone else has a trial for traffic matters. I just need to know the procedures.

Thanks!
Your waiting for a court date. If that's true then that means you haven't been to court so how did the prosecutor offer a 2 point deal.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
231 posts, read 349,446 times
Reputation: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by exhdo1 View Post
Your waiting for a court date. If that's true then that means you haven't been to court so how did the prosecutor offer a 2 point deal.
I wasn't sure whether I was pleasing guilty or not guilty until the day of court. So I went to court without notifying them I was going to plead not guilty. I wanted to see what the prosecutor would offer me. I didn't like it and thought I have a good case so I told him I was pleading not guilty. Given it was night court I guess they didn't want to bother calling in the officer so the judge told me he would schedule a meeting for after the New Year.

I don't know why you think I would lie about my situation, but I hope my answer satisfies you!
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:49 AM
 
1,640 posts, read 1,749,898 times
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Ideally what needs to happen is for everybody to plead not guilty and blow the court dockets up, forcing a lot of this crap to stop.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:11 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,674 posts, read 8,437,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiru View Post
Hello all. Has anyone had experience pleading not guilty in municipal court to a speeding or similar traffic ticket? With or without a lawyer?

I was pulled over on Cranbury Neck Road in Cranbury and issued a ticket for going 41 in a 25 (4 point ticket). I had just passed Wynnewood Drive, at which point Cranbury Neck Road changes from 25 to 50, though this is not marked by a sign (I contacted Cranbury's Chief of Police and he verified it's 50 after Wynnewood). The cop who pulled me over was parked just within the 50 mph zone and logged me as I accelerated past Wynnewood Drive to meet the new speed limit. It was an obvious speed trap designed to catch people as they accelerate. Unfair, in my opinion.

I pled not guilty to the charge and am awaiting my hearing date. I don't want to get a lawyer as I think I can do this myself. However, I have questions like do I need to file forms to enter my evidence or can I just present it on my hearing date? I believe I need to retain a lawyer within 7 days, if I decide to do so. I know it's just municipal court, but I don't want to get rolled on some procedural point. And let me tell you, nothing enrages a municipal court faster than pleading not guilty! Or at least this one!

Any experience anyone has had with pleading not guilty, even if you had a lawyer, would be appreciated! Or if someone knows a decent traffic lawyer I could discuss my situation with (consulting fee or some such), that would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
if the new zone you were in was 50, but there's no sign, how is it known that the speed limit is 50 there? not saying you're wrong, but without a posted speed limit sign, you have to assume speed limits for the type of road you're on. if the last posted speed limit sign you saw was 25, then the cop wasn't trapping you...you trapped yourself by accelerating before the 50mph sign.

as for pleading not guilty, you don't need a lawyer, but the standard process is they increase the fine and reduce the points...i love how NJ has legal bribery. lol
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:39 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,674 posts, read 8,437,349 times
Reputation: 3146
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
Ideally what needs to happen is for everybody to plead not guilty and blow the court dockets up, forcing a lot of this crap to stop.
or, go the speed limit?
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:37 AM
 
2,532 posts, read 1,273,842 times
Reputation: 1708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiru View Post
I wasn't sure whether I was pleasing guilty or not guilty until the day of court. So I went to court without notifying them I was going to plead not guilty. I wanted to see what the prosecutor would offer me. I didn't like it and thought I have a good case so I told him I was pleading not guilty. Given it was night court I guess they didn't want to bother calling in the officer so the judge told me he would schedule a meeting for after the New Year.
You're lucky the prosecutor even spoke with you! Even though there is a court date on the summons, you must call the court (number is on the summons, as well) and plead NG, or you are not placed on the calendar. Officers are only called in for trials. The prosecutor is under no obligation to speak with anyone not on the list. He is also not under any obligation to listen to your "good case". He will offer you the same standard deal next time. Take it or leave it. There's a long line behind you.
From your other comments, you appear too smart for your own good. Everyone in municipal court for a traffic ticket has pled not guilty. That's how their cases get on the list! So, the court staff is not upset by that, only by people pestering them with questions such as "What should I do?" and "How should I do it?" It is not their job to provide you with legal or procedural advice. They are clerks, not lawyers. If you're too cheap to hire a lawyer, at least read the court rules. I'm sure that you have already received a dozen letters from lawyers. Call them and see if any will answer your questions. At the least, legal advice from an actual attorney is better that anonymous advice on this board.
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