NJ Warrant and fines
I received a ticket for speeding in NJ on I-78 in early 2007. I live in PA, and was traveling a lot at the time, so I hired an attorney, and they pled the case out for me to a lesser charge with no points. I got something i nthe mail from the court asking for a payment (I was not aware that I was on a payment plan), but i paid (at first). Since all of this happened, I lost my job, my unemployment ran out, and my wife had a baby. I barely have enough money to pay our bills and we're facing bankruptcy. I fanally managed to scrape together enough money to send a check for 1/2 the outstanding ticket amount ($65 of $129). Today, my check was returned to me, as well as another piece of mail from the court stating that a warrant has been issued for my arrest for contempt of court for an unanswered traffic summons (with my original ticket date on it). They now want me to sign something acknowledging guilt and/or askign for a court date, and they want $229. I cannot afford that, no way, no how. I don't understand the ruling, and I don't understand why the bill just went up $100. I don't know what to do, and I can use some advice. I also do not understand why my check was sent back (my check was sent 10 days prior to their letter). Thanks
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: NJ Warrant and fines
I’ll try to add some information that will hopefully be of use to you. The first and easiest is the additional $100. Did the check bounce? That may be the reason for the return. If so, you would automatically be in default of your payment plan and that would accelerate the entire balance becoming due immediately. In addition, the extra $100 appears to be a contempt of court charge. The system does not know the “why” for your payment not being received.
The reason for your original ticket being included is because your original plea deal was predicated on you meeting your side of the bargain, i.e., paying the fine in a timely manner. Your failure to do so (even for good reason) basically nullified the deal. It is possible to go back into court and explain your situation to the judge. S/he may waive the imposition of the additional fines and work out another payment plan for you based on your hardship.
Have you contacted the attorney that represented you in this matter?
Keep in mind that this advice is given based on the small amount bit of information that you have provided in your question. My advice may change based on other information. Further, you should not rely on advice from an attorney who has not been formally retained.
If you would like to consult with me in more detail on this matter, please send an email to my office to arrange for further discussion. Include a note in your email that mentions Law Guru, and there will be no charge for the initial consultation (whether by phone or email).
All the best,
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