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What Are New Jersey Traffic Court Records?

New Jersey traffic court records are legal documents and case files created from the proceedings of the traffic courts in New Jersey. These include records related to moving and non-moving violations, parking violations, and equipment violations under the New Jersey Vehicle Code.

Are New Jersey Traffic Court Records Public Records?

As with all other states, New Jersey traffic court records are within the purview of a government agency required to disclose the records they generate. Consequently, under New Jersey's public records law, they may be accessed and viewed by members of the public, except where restricted from public access by a judge or the law.

How Do I Find New Jersey Traffic Court Records?

Traffic court records are maintained by Municipal Courts in New Jersey. Within the state’s jurisdictions, the public may access physical court records by approaching the custodian of such records, the municipal court clerk's office. To view or obtain physical traffic court records from any court, the applicant may visit the court clerk's office where the case was filed and the records were created. The applicant may be able to look through the records free of charge if they do not request a copy. Copying of court records may attract fees.

Publicly available records are accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:

  • The name of someone involved, providing it is not a juvenile
  • The assumed location of the record in question, such as a city, county, or state name

Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.

What Information is Required To Obtain New Jersey Traffic Court Records?

Persons interested in obtaining New Jersey traffic court records must provide the information required to facilitate the search, such as the first and last name of the person whose traffic court records are requested. Depending on the type of record needed, whether abbreviated or a complete abstract, the inquirer may also be required to provide a valid means of identification to verify their identity. If and where applicable, payment of court fees can also be a prerequisite for obtaining court records in New Jersey.

Are all Traffic Violations Handled The Same Way in New Jersey?

While the fines and penalties differ for New Jersey traffic violations and infractions, which are typically indicated on the ticket, the process for handling a citation is executed in the similar manner, regardless of the type or severity of the citation. So, while the penalties associated with not wearing a seatbelt will most likely be less than those for a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), the process for responding to both citations and the subsequent processes will be the same.

Can New Jersey Traffic Records Be Sealed or Expunged?

In New Jersey, moving traffic violations are typically not eligible to be expunged from your record unless you were not convicted of the charge or had the charge dismissed. Non-moving violations, such as parking and equipment violations, may be expunged in all states. However, the specifics of this would be determined by the jurisdiction where the offense occurs and the offender’s history. 

How Does One End Up in a New Jersey State Traffic Court?

A motorist may end up in a New Jersey state traffic court if, after receiving a traffic ticket from a ticketing officer, they indicate on the ticket that a court appearance is required. This usually occurs when the offense is considered more serious than a minor traffic violation.

You may also end up in traffic court if the ticketing officer indicates no court appearance is required on the ticket, but you choose to contest the ticket by pleading not guilty and requesting a trial. A court appearance will be required to enter the plea, as it must be done in person.

Getting a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey

A New Jersey Uniform Traffic Citation Ticket is usually a computer-generated long-form issued by law enforcement officers for traffic violations. This represents a sworn statement from the officer describing the observed violation. It is issued by a state, county, or municipal police or sheriff department officer and will be completed by the officer. It will show the bio-data of the offender, including full name, date of birth, social security number, physical & mailing addresses (if different), and details of the license and vehicle involved. The nature of the charge being cited will also be listed, along with the location of the alleged offense and the date and time. The statute or ordinance the offender is accused of violating will also be included on the ticket, the county where the violation occurred and the ID and address of the court, which the offender will need to appear before.

The ticket will also show the due date for a response and whether a court appearance will be required. The ticketing or arresting officer may include his Officer Identification number and might include details of the incident in his own words. If the fine to be paid is not listed on the ticket, then you will need to contact the county court listed to ascertain the amount. Upon getting a citation you will be expected to sign before receiving your copy. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt, but rather an acknowledgment of the offenses you have been charged for.

New Jersey traffic tickets come with financial repercussions. These could come to include penalty fines and court fees. The offender also faces the possibility of points being added to their driving record, which may lead to suspension or revocation of their license by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). Fines vary by the violation (determined by presiding laws and statutes) and sometimes by the court, so a fine for speeding above the designated limit will differ from a fine for a DUI. The ticket may also include information on contesting the charge.

Apart from fines, based on the nature of the cited violation and the outcome, additional penalties can also be incurred. The offender's license type and driving record history may also affect these penalties. A specific number of penalty points, based on the violation, will be added to the record of a convicted driver. Accumulating a certain number of points over any period, usually up to 12 points, will result in a suspension of your license. Receiving 6 or more points within 3 years will result in a surcharge you may have to pay annually for 3 years.

Traffic violations are classified as moving and non-moving violations. Moving violations are traffic laws violated by a vehicle in motion, while Non-moving violations tend to relate to parking or faulty violations. Non-moving violations also can occur when the car is moving but are differentiated by the treatment of the courts and New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), as non-moving violations are not reported to the MVC and will not appear on your driving record.

What to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?

Upon receiving a traffic ticket in New Jersey, motorists may opt to do any of the following:

  • Pay Ticket
  • Contest Ticket

If you choose to pay the traffic ticket, it may be considered the equivalent of pleading guilty to the citation. This may imply that you have consented to accept responsibility for the violation and agreed to all associated penalties, including all fines, fees, and surcharges arising from this plea. It may also translate to waiving your right to challenge the ticket in court, and it may appear as a conviction on your record.

If a court appearance is not required, the ticket can be paid in person at the court clerk's office, via mail, or online. If you choose to do this, you will need the ticket citation number, your driver's license, and proof of insurance. Different courts may require different forms of payment, so verify with the particular court before proceeding to make the payment.

If a court appearance is required, the first appearance (arraignment) will be where you will enter your GUILTY plea before the judge and acquiesce to pay off your fines and associated charges. Your ticket cannot be paid off beforehand if a court appearance is required. This will be seen as a conviction and will result in points being added to your driving record.

Contesting a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey

When a motorist chooses to plead NOT GUILTY, they are typically considered exercising their right to face a judge and contest their ticket.

Motorists may choose to appear in court on the due date indicated on your ticket to inform the judge of your plea and have a hearing (arraignment). It is then most likely a future date will be set for your trial. Some courts, however, do prefer that you send a notification of your intention to contest the ticket within 3 days of your court date. The court clerk will then either schedule a new date for your hearing or tell you to appear on the set date. Failure to appear on your court date, without proper notice will result in a Failure to Appear notice being issued against you. This could result in more fines and penalties and even a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.

You will have to prepare your defense and should consider professional representation.

What to Expect in New Jersey Traffic Court

On completion of the trial, if you are found NOT GUILTY by the court, then all charges will be dropped, and there will be no fines, penalties, or points added to your driving record. However, you will be liable for court costs.

On completion of the trial, if you are found GUILTY, you will be instructed on your penalties by the court, and these could include fines and other penalties (depending on the severity of the charge), and points will be added to your driving record. You will also be liable for court costs.

There is a possibility of reaching an agreement (plea bargain) with the prosecutor (usually an Assistant District Attorney), which might prevent points from being added to your driving record. It will involve pleading guilty to lesser charges and usually occurs on the first court date (arraignment) but must be done before the trial date.

How to Prepare for Traffic Court in New Jersey

To prepare for traffic court in New Jersey, motorists are advised to review their citations thoroughly to understand the violation they're charged with. It may also help to research the traffic laws relevant to the alleged offense, as understanding the statutes related to the violation may help in formulating a defense. Also, collect any evidence pertinent to the case and contact or engage the services of a traffic attorney for counsel or representation in court.

New Jersey Traffic Court Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!