Legal Question in DUI Law in New Jersey

statute of limitations

In 1988 I was arrested for a DUI in New Jersey. I was

subsequently convicted, lost my license and fined. Shortly after

that I got divorced and left the state. Unfortunately due to finances

at the time, I did not pay off the fine.

Today out of the blue I received a threatening letter from some

DMV subcontractor in New Jersey stating that I owed over $4000

in fines, insurance surcharges of $1K per year, plus penalties. At

the time, I don't even recall the insurance surcharge being part of

the penalty.

I am now an upstanding business person with no other arrests, but

like a lot of people, do not have a spare $4K to my name. What's

your advice on the best way to handle this? If I do nothing can

they really come after me in a different state 16 years after the fact?

PS - I have no intention of ever moving back to NJ.

Asked on 12/22/04, 1:54 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Ronald Aronds Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC

Re: statute of limitations

Yes, they can come after you after all these years to collect the fines you owe. The only time a statute of limitations would apply would be if they did not prosecute you in a timely manner. My advice as to how to handle this is to contact the people who wrote to you and work out some type of payment schedule that you can afford. Otherwise, due to interstate agreements, you could very well find your California driver's license being suspended.

Sincerely yours, -Ronald Aronds, Esq.-

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Answered on 12/22/04, 1:56 pm
Alan Albin Alan S. Albin, Attorney at Law

Re: statute of limitations

You do not indicate that you do not actually owe the fines, just that you do not want to pay the fines. Without getting and paying a lawyer to thoroughly review the records, which would be expensive, I have no reason to tell you that you do or do not actually owe the money.

You must either challenge the fines in the appropriate manner, i.e., with a lawyer, which will probably end up being as expensive as the fines themselves; try to challenge them yourself, which is usually ineffectual; pay the fines; or attempt to negotiate a settlement with the contractor. This is assuming there are no outstanding bench warrants and the only issue is how much money you will need to pay.

An "upstanding business person" pays their legitimate debts. Assuming that you actually do owe the money that is being claimed, then you need to act accordingly. This may involve trying to get the contractor to agree to some kind of a payment plan.

It's your call.

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Answered on 12/23/04, 6:10 pm

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