Car accident attorneys in New Jersey

Because of the choices to be made over the extent of car insurance coverage and the right to sue, the need for legal advice both before buying and in the event of an accident can be important. The New Jersey State Bar Association therefore offers a lawyer referral service ( to help you find advice from attorneys with the relevant expertise. The State Bar also requires practitioners to offer some pro bono services. You may also find some attorneys will offer a short period of consultation at low or no fees. Remember your right to sue has been fixed by the decisions you made when you bought your insurance cover. If you cut corners on the premium rate you were prepared to pay, you could well find you are unable to make any claim, no matter how seriously injured you are.

The need for legal advice is also important if you run into trouble with the criminal law. Picking up tickets or convictions for moving violations can have a dramatic effect on your car insurance rate. It can make economic sense to pay an experienced attorney to fight every ticket to ensure you maintain a clean driving safety record. This is particularly important if you are at risk of being charged with driving under the influence. New Jersey operates under the national blood alcohol concentration level. If you are found with a BAC of 0.08% or above, the penalties can be severe.

Alcohol or drug BAC of 0.08% or 0.09%
The penalties fall under four headings:

• you can lose your license for three months;
• there are fines, fees and surcharges;
• you can go to jail for up to 30 days; and
• limited community service is required.

Alcohol or drug BAC of 0.10% or higher
The penalties fall under four headings:

• you can lose your license for between 7 and 12 months;
• there are fines, fees and surcharges;
• there’s a prison term of up to 30 days; and
• you can be subject to community service and have to fit an ignition interlock device.

Repeated offenses

If you commit a second offense within ten years, you lose your license for two years, pay heavier fines, face longer jail terms, and will be subject to longer use of the ignition interlock device. Should you be convicted of three offenses within ten years, you lose your license for ten years and can go to jail for up to six months.

Other related offenses

If you are driving with an open container of alcohol or in possession of drugs without a medical prescription, fines and community service will be added. Should you continue driving when your license is suspended, this can lead to a further suspension of the license for two years, and a prison term of up to 90 days.

Almost zero tolerance

Anyone under the age of 21 with a BAC of 0.01% or higher loses his or her license, is required to go through an alcohol and road safety course, do community service, and pay a fine.

What is the ignition interlock device?

As the driver, you blow into the device. If you have a BAC of 0.05% or higher, the vehicle will not start. On the first offense, the device is fitted for between six and twelve months. This is extended to between one and three years on the second offense. If you fail to have the device fitted when ordered to do so, your right to drive will be suspended for one year.

Read also:

Car safety in New Jersey
Driving schools in New Jersey
Car insurance in New Jersey