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Will I Go to Jail for Running a Red Light in New Jersey?

Running a red light can be dangerous for many reasons. It can cause a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian accident, and more. Depending on your circumstances, you can face harsh repercussions if you are found guilty of running a red light. Reach out to a Bergen County traffic ticket attorney for help with your red light ticket.

Can I Make a Right Turn on Red?

In New Jersey, drivers are allowed to make a right turn while the traffic light is red unless otherwise stated. If you are approaching a red light you must make a complete stop and look both ways as with any intersection. Keep in mind that because the light is red you do not have the right of way, so exercise caution. Before making your turn, check if there is a sign posted that states no right turn on a red light. Some intersections prohibit it entirely, and some state that it is allowed during certain times of the day.

In some states in the U.S., it is legal to make a left turn when the light is red, depending on if the road is one-way. New Jersey is one of eight states that completely prohibits left turns when the light is red.

What Are the Penalties for Running a Red Light?

In New Jersey, running a red light is a moving violation. Potential penalties you may face if caught running a red light include the following.

  • Fines ranging from $50 to $200
    • Fines may be doubled if the crime was committed in a construction zone
  • Up to 15 days in jail
  • Potentially 2 points added to your driving record

What is an Unsafe Operation Plea?

For New Jersey drivers you have the option to plead for a no-point ticket. With this option, you are pleading guilty to the unsafe operation of your vehicle. The penalties for this plea are as follows.

First offense:

  • Fines of $50 to $150
  • Surcharge of $250

Second offense:

  • Fines of $100 to $250
  • Surcharge of $250

Third offense:

  • Fines of $200 to $500
  • Surcharge of $250
  • 4 points

People like this choice over facing other charges because you can avoid points on your license for the first two offenses. If you receive a red light ticket but you already have points on your license and can’t afford to get more, this may be a good option for you. However, for a third offense, you will accumulate points on your license. You can only use this option two times in a period of 5 years.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me After Running a Red Light?

Attorneys can be helpful after you receive a moving violation ticket. If you are from out of state, your lawyer can appear in court on your behalf to represent you. Additionally, your attorney will have an extensive knowledge of the law and can guide you through the legal process. They can defend you in court and advocate for a judge to reduce your points or dismiss your ticket altogether.

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