The Appellate Division decision in State v. Smith interprets the the U-turn NJ traffic statute, NJSA 39:4-125, . The Court ruled that a NJ traffic violation may result even if the motorist does not make a 180 degree turn. Instead, a traffic ticket may be issued for any attempt to turn a car around and proceed in the opposite direction in an area where a “no U-turn” sign has been conspicuously posed.
In Smith, the motorist made a left turn into a residential/private driveway. He waited there momentarily, backed out, and drove in the opposite direction. This apparently constitutes a violation of N.J.S.A 39:4-125. As a NJ and Essex County traffic defense lawyer, this law and the interpretation of this recent case makes one wonder how the Court would have decided this matter with a different set of facts. For instance, what if the motorist had mistakenly thought that the private driveway was his actual destination, only to realize he had made a mistake. Possibly a “navigation” or “Garmin” defense to the U-turn violation could be raised.
Frequently that State makes it easier to plead guilty to a NJ traffic ticket then to fight it. The cost of legal fees and the time spent waiting for your case to be heard sometimes boils down to a cost/benefit analysis. What ever choice you make, you should consult a New Jersey motor vehicle violation attorney who offers free consultations. I will take the time to explain NJ traffic laws and how they will be applied in your case. If a negotiated plea is the best route, then I will use my knowledge of the NJ Traffic Code to leverage my way into a position of strength. If a trial is necessary, an experienced defense attorney will hold the State to its proofs and conduct a well crafted cross examination. Most importantly, the best NJ attorneys can do all of this for a reasonable fee. Take the time to interview potential counsel. Some are better than others. The more you speak to, the more likely it is that you will find the best NJ lawyer for you.