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Jail Sentence For Driving Without A License

Jail Sentence For Driving Without A License

Armando Carreon was sentenced to both a custodial term and fined for driving without a license (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10). Carreon was initially charged with failure to obey a stop sign (N.J.S.A. 39:4-144) and driving without a license and pled guilty to driving without a license. At sentencing, the municipal court judge found this to be Defendant’s third offense for the same infraction and imposed 10 days in jail. The Defendant sought post conviction relief and the Law Division rejected the Defendant’s argument with regard to the statutory mandate of a fine or incarceration but not both under N.J.S.A. 39:3-10 and Carreon appealed. The NJ Appellate division reversed as the statute allows for “…a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 60 days, but if that person has never been licensed to drive in this State or any other jurisdiction, he shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 and, in addition, the court shall issue an order to the commission requiring the commission to refuse to issue a license to operate a motor vehicle to the person for a period of not less than 180 days.” The appellate judges reasoned that the statute was amended to provide a more harsh penalty for never-licensed drivers and reserving judicial discretion for the harsher option of imprisonment in both situations. Further, in reversing and remanding the matter, the appellate judges held that those sentenced under this statute would be subject to a fine or imprisonment but not both. Driving without a license in NJ carries serious penalties and should not be taken lightly. If you are charged driving without a license in NJ you should seek an experienced attorney immediately to protect your rights. For more information about traffic offenses, driving without a license, DUI, CDS in a motor vehicle or other municipal court charges in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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