If you’re someone who might be facing charges related to operating a construction vehicle over the speed limit in New Jersey, it’s crucial to understand the laws and regulations you could be up against. In New Jersey, New Jersey Revised Statutes (N.J.R.S.) pertain to motor vehicles and traffic regulation. One such law is Section 39:3-20, which sets the rules for commercial motor vehicle registrations and fees, along with speed limitations for construction vehicles. Here’s a complete resource for what you need to know.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Registrations And Fees
Under N.J.R.S. 39:3-20, commercial motor vehicles, including construction vehicles, are required to register and pay a fee based on their gross weight. The gross weight includes the vehicle or combination of vehicles, along with any load or contents. The registration certificate for these commercial motor vehicles generally expires on the last day of the twelfth calendar month following its issuance, though exceptions can apply. For example, if you own a construction vehicle that has a gross weight of more than 18,000 but less than 50,000 pounds, your fee would be calculated as $53.50 plus $14.50 for each 1,000 pounds over 5,000 pounds.
Speed Limitation For Construction Vehicles
Most importantly for our topic, Section 39:3-20 specifies that construction vehicles with three or more axles and a gross weight between 40,000 to 70,000 pounds cannot be operated at a speed greater than 45 miles per hour when carrying a load exceeding the limitations in another statute, R.S. 39:3-84. If you exceed this speed limit while operating a construction vehicle, you may be subject to penalties.
Penalties For Exceeding Weight And Speed Limits
Operating a vehicle in violation of the weight limits set forth in your vehicle’s registration certificate can lead to hefty fines. If you are caught with a construction vehicle weighing more than the limitations on the certificate, you could face a penalty of $500 plus $100 for each 1,000 pounds over the limit. It’s also important to note that operating a vehicle at a speed greater than 45 MPH when it should not be is another violation you could be charged with. Further, a 39:3-20 offense typically carries 3 points on your driver’s license in New Jersey.
Legal Consequences And Your Next Steps
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re facing traffic offense charges related to exceeding speed limits in a construction vehicle, consult a New Jersey criminal defense law firm specializing in traffic offenses. Penalties can be severe and can include not just fines but also points on your driver’s license, which can lead to higher insurance rates or even license suspension. Legal counsel can help you through the process, possibly leading to reduced charges or alternative penalties.
Possible Defenses Based On NJ Revised Statutes § 39:3-20
Valid Registration And Weight Limit Compliance
One of the strongest defenses could be demonstrating that your vehicle was operating within the weight limit stated on its registration certificate. This could negate the basis for the charge.
Speed Measuring Device Inaccuracy
If you were charged based on a speed measurement, questioning the accuracy of the speed measuring device could cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. An expert witness may be brought in to challenge the reliability of the device.
Necessity Due To Emergency
While this is rare, if you had to exceed 45 mph due to an emergency, this might be used as a defense. However, you would have to provide strong evidence to prove the emergency conditions.
Lack Of Proper Signage
Another possible defense could involve arguing that there were no clear signs stating the speed limits for construction vehicles. However, ignorance of the law is generally not a defense, so this may be less effective unless you can prove that the absence of proper signage misled you into inadvertently breaking the law.
NJ Traffic Offense Attorneys Can Help Limit Your Exposure Under A 39:3-20 Violation
If you are facing charges for operating a construction vehicle in excess of 45 mph in New Jersey, the statute NJ Revised Statutes § 39:3-20 outlines several aspects of commercial vehicle regulation, including speed and weight limitations. Understanding these legal requirements can help in devising your defense strategy. As every case is unique, consulting with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney experienced in traffic offenses can provide you tailored counsel that aligns with the specifics of your case.
Facing a traffic offense charge in NJ can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. The traffic offense lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have unmatched expertise and a commitment to ensuring you receive fair representation. Reach out now by calling (855) 925-4034 or contact us online. Trust us with your case, and let our expertise work for you.