Losing your license is a terrible inconvenience. You drive to work, to get groceries or pick up your kids from school. It is hard to survive without a license in New Jersey.

New Jersey has a particularly tough policy on license suspension. You can lose your driver’s license by:

  • Drunk driving
  • Driving recklessly
  • Leaving your vehicle on a public highway
  • Driving without insurance or not having proof of insurance
  • Failure to pay traffic tickets
  • Not paying child support
  • Failure to reply to notice from the Motor Vehicle Commission
  • Accruing 12 points on your license

Some of these traffic violations are more serious than others, but regardless of why you lost your license, driving on a suspended license is an even worse idea. You face additional time with a suspended license, fines and could even go to jail.

Suspended driving penalties can include jail

If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license, you are fined $500 and may have your license suspended for another six months. For a second-time conviction of driving while suspended, you must pay $750 and face another six months of a license suspension. You also must go to jail for one to five days. The penalties increase from here.

If you are in an accident where someone is injured while driving on a suspended license, you can be sentenced to 45 days in prison, whether the accident was your fault or not. There are also no exceptions for license suspensions. In New Jersey, you cannot apply for work permit or any limited driving privileges, when your license is suspended.

A charge does not mean a conviction

The best way to avoid these penalties is to refrain from driving with a suspended license. However, if you drive on a suspended license and get pulled over, do not just accept your punishment. An experienced criminal defense attorney can uncover evidence that may get your charges dismissed or the penalties lessened.