Plea Bargaining For Repeat Motor Vehicle Offenders Under The Unsafe Driving Statute
N.J. Appellate Division Reverses Recent Decision Interpreting N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2
A subsection of the Careless Driving statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2 is most commonly used for plea bargaining many motor vehicle charges in municipal court, and was created by the New Jersey legislature specifically for that purpose. The first two times a defendant uses this plea bargaining provision, there are no motor vehicle points assessed. The third time an individual uses this part of the statue,
4 motor vehicle points
if the third incident is less than 5 years after the second use
In 2008, the New Jersey Appellate Division interpreted the statute to mean the third use would
always result in the 4 points, regardless of the time that elapsed between the second and third attempts to plea bargain. However, just recently in
Patel v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the Appellate Division reversed itself and returned to the above interpretation! It is again permissible to allow no motor vehicle points to be assessed if 5 years or more have passed after use of the second statute.