How Do I Plead Not Guilty To a Ticket in NJ?

If you live or drive in New Jersey, chances are you may receive a traffic ticket at some point. Whether it’s for speeding, running a red light, or another violation, getting a ticket can be stressful and inconvenient.

But what if you believe that the ticket was unjustified and you want to plead not guilty? Fortunately, New Jersey has a process in place for those who wish to contest their traffic tickets.

In this article, we’ll explore the steps you need to take to plead not guilty and fight your ticket in NJ.

What Does it Mean to Plead Not Guilty in NJ?

When you receive a traffic ticket, you’re essentially being accused of breaking a traffic law. By pleading not guilty, you’re stating that you did not commit the violation and are willing to prove your innocence in court.

It’s important to note that pleading not guilty does not guarantee that your ticket will be dismissed. It simply means that you want the opportunity to present your case and potentially have the charges against you dropped.

Reasons for Pleading Not Guilty

There are a variety of reasons why someone may choose to plead not guilty to a traffic ticket in NJ. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Believing they did not commit the violation: This is perhaps the most obvious reason for pleading not guilty. If you truly believe that you did not break any traffic laws, then it’s important to fight the ticket and clear your name.
  • Disputing the evidence: In some cases, the evidence presented by law enforcement may be faulty or insufficient. Pleading not guilty allows you to challenge this evidence and possibly get the charges dismissed.
  • Mitigating the consequences: Depending on the violation, pleading not guilty may result in a reduced fine or no points on your driving record. This can save you money in the long run and prevent any negative impact on your insurance rates.

Now that we understand the reasons why someone might choose to plead not guilty, let’s take a look at how to do it in New Jersey.

Steps for Pleading Not Guilty in NJ

  1. Respond to the ticket: To plead not guilty, you must first respond to the ticket within 30 days of receiving it. Failure to do so will result in a default guilty judgment and you may face additional penalties.
  2. Request a court date: After responding to the ticket, you must request a court date for your case to be heard. You can do this by mail or in person at the municipal court listed on your ticket.
  3. Prepare your defense: Once you have a court date, it’s important to gather any evidence or witnesses that can support your case. This may include photographs, videos, or witness statements.
  4. Attend your court hearing: On the scheduled date, you will appear before a judge to plead not guilty and present your case. It’s important to arrive on time and dress appropriately for court.
  5. Await the verdict: After hearing both sides, the judge will make a ruling on your case. If they find you not guilty, then the charges will be dismissed.

If found guilty, you may face fines and points on your driving record.

FAQs – People Also Ask

How do I plea down a speeding ticket in NJ?

The best way to plea down a speeding ticket in New Jersey is to hire a traffic ticket lawyer. A qualified attorney can provide you with the legal assistance needed to plead your case and potentially reduce or even dismiss the charges against you.

Can I pay for my ticket and not go to court in NJ?

In most cases, paying a ticket in New Jersey will still require you to appear before the court. Failure to do so if your ticket requires that you go to court could result in additional fines or penalties being assessed against you.

What happens if I don’t attend my NJ Traffic Court hearing?

If you fail to appear for your traffic court hearing in New Jersey, the judge may default, enter a conviction against you, and impose the maximum penalty under the law.

Is it worth fighting a speeding ticket in NJ?

Fighting a speeding ticket in New Jersey may be worth it as you can potentially reduce or dismiss the charges against you. However, it is essential to note that this process can be time-consuming and costly. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal counsel if you choose to fight the ticket.

Can the police give you a ticket without pulling you over in NJ?

The police can give you a ticket without pulling you over in New Jersey if they reasonably suspect a crime or infraction has occurred. However, it is essential to note that this evidence must meet the same legal standards as needed for an officer to make a traffic stop.

Can a careless driving ticket be reduced in NJ?

Yes, a careless driving ticket may be reduced in New Jersey if you can defend yourself against the charge.

How many times can you plead unsafe driving in NJ?

You can only plead unsafe driving in New Jersey once. If you are found guilty of the infraction, a point will be added to your license, and any further violations may result in harsher penalties.


Pleading not guilty to a ticket issued in New Jersey can be complicated, but understanding the steps involved can make it much more manageable.

By gathering all the necessary documents, submitting an entry of not guilty, attending court hearings as needed, and seeking legal counsel if necessary, you can effectively defend yourself against the charges.

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