Defending Your Driving Privileges at License Hearings in Haddon Heights, New Jersey
For many people, driving privileges are critical to get to work, run important errands, take your kids to school, and more. The suspension of your driver’s license can seriously affect your life, even if it is for a relatively short period of time, and N.J.S.A. 39:3-10a requires that you pay a fee to have your license restored. If you receive notice that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is suspending your driver’s license, you should act fast by contacting a license suspension attorney at the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC. We regularly fight for clients to keep their driving privileges or to limit a suspension as much as possible. Call today for more information.
License Suspension Hearing Requests
The MVC may want to suspend your driver’s license for different reasons. If you are facing charges of driving while under the influence (DWI), it probably comes as no surprise that your license may be in jeopardy. However, in many situations, unsuspecting people open their mail to find a Scheduled Suspension Notice. Different things can trigger this type of suspension, including accumulating too many points on your driving record or failing to pay required MVC surcharges.
No matter what reason the MVC cites, you should never ignore a suspension notice. If you fail to take action, there will be little you can do to fight the license suspension. Instead, contact our law firm with the information you received about the impending suspension.
The notice should tell you what date your suspension will start and the length of the overall suspension. If you do not respond in any way, the suspension will occur as stated in the notice. The other option is to request a hearing with the MVC to challenge your suspension. This request must be in writing and you must submit the request within a certain time frame. The MVC has the right to deny your request, so you should always include a compelling reason why you deserve a hearing. You do not want to risk a denial due to missing the deadline or for another reason since a denial means the suspension will occur as stated in your notice. You should always seek the assistance of an experienced MVC hearings lawyer who knows how to successfully request and obtain a hearing on your behalf.
The Hearing Process
Obtaining the proposed suspension hearing is only the first step in challenging your license suspension, however. Once you have a hearing scheduled, the MVC will halt the suspension until that date. You will then have to appear before an MVC representative or an administrative law judge. If you fail to appear at your scheduled hearing without good cause, you can face additional penalties.
The hearing is your opportunity to present facts that you believe should reduce or eliminate the suspension term. This can be more difficult than you would imagine, as many people go into the MVC and argue their case, only to have the suspension continue. It is highly important to have a skilled attorney accompany you who understands how to successfully fight against license suspensions at MVC hearings.
The representative will ask questions of your attorney, and your attorney will have the chance to present counter-arguments to the suspension. This may seem like an informal process, as the hearing does not take place in court and there is no judge or jury. However, the decision rendered at the hearing can have a huge impact on your future, so you should take this hearing process extremely seriously.
Your attorney can help your case in many ways, including:
- Seeking lesser consequences, such as attending a Driver’s Improvement Program, instead of a suspension
- Demonstrating that you need your license to work
- Demonstrating that others depend on your license, such as your children or elderly or sick relatives you care for
- Showing the hardship that a license suspension would cause
- Providing an explanation for the issue that led to the suspension to show it does not warrant a suspension
After listening to your attorney, the representative or administrative judge will issue a decision, which can include reducing the length of your suspension, terminating the suspension altogether, or allowing the suspension to proceed.
Many people believe there is simply no point in trying to fight a license suspension or that they do not need a lawyer to fight the suspension. Both of these are mistakes. First, many people successfully challenge license suspension at MVC hearings. Second, while you always have the right to handle the process yourself, most drivers do not understand the intricate process of MVC hearings. The right attorney can help ensure the following:
- That you meet the deadline for a hearing request
- That you provide a sound reason why you deserve a hearing
- That you present evidence and arguments why the MVC should cancel or reduce your license suspension
Keeping your license can save you a lot of time, energy, and money. It is worth it to consult with a lawyer about your license suspension hearing. You should do so as soon as you possibly can, however, to prevent missing the deadline.
Driving on a Suspended License
If you already have a suspended license, you should never, under any circumstances, drive anyway. You may think it is harmless and that you will never get caught. However, know that driving on a suspended license is a clear violation of New Jersey law and a violation that authorities take very seriously. If an officer pulls you over, they can arrest you on the spot, and you can face serious charges. For a first conviction, you may face a $500 fine and an additional license suspension of six months. The consequences increase for multiple offenses and include possible jail time.
Call Our Haddon Heights DWI Defense Lawyer Right Away for Help
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, our experienced license suspension attorney knows there are many ways to fight the loss of your license. Whether you received a notice in the mail, face DWI charges, or face charges of driving while suspended, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Contact us online or dial (856) 310-9800 to set up your consultation with our DWI attorneys.
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“I want to thank Mr. Portella for taking my case. What an amazing law office and attorney. He is very professional and got all of my charges dismissed. If I ever need an attorney again, Mr. Portella will be the one I call. Thank you again! -A.M.”