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Notice of Proposed Suspension:  What Do I Do?

When the Motor Vehicle Commission seeks to suspend someone’s driving privilege, it first sends out a Notice of Proposed Suspension.  If you receive a Notice of Proposed Suspension, you must take action, or the suspension will take effect.  You must respond in writing in a timely manner, and should consult with an attorney.  The process is as follows.

Tens of thousands of New Jersey motorists this year will open their mail and find an envelope addressed to the from the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).  This envelope may contain a nastygram known simply as NOTICE OF PROPOSED SUSPENSION.  The Notice advises the motorist (1) that the MVC intends to suspend the motorist’s driving privilege; (2) the grounds for the proposed suspension; and (3) the effective date of the proposed suspension.

If you receive a NOTICE OF PROPOSED SUSPENSION, then you must not stick your head in the sand like the ostrich.  You must take immediate action.

The first action may be to consult Howes & Howes.  We take the step of responding in writing.  In writing, we request a hearing and state the basis for the hearing.  The hearing request is sent to the MVC via certified mail so that we can prove that the MVC received it.  If a notice is sent in, then the suspension does not happen on the date proposed in the NOTICE OF PROPOSED SUSPENSION.  If you do nothing, the suspension will take effect.

The MVC then responds by setting a date for a pre-hearing conference.  The Pre-Hearing Conference takes place in one of MVC’s Regional Service Centers.  The Pre-Hearing Conference is a meeting with an MVC representative.  You and your lawyer (if you choose to have legal representation) meet with the representative in an informal setting.  You review your history and the proposed suspension together.  The representative will then make an offer.  You can choose to accept their offer, or you can request a full hearing.

If you request a full hearing, it will happen on another date several months down the road.  The hearing happens before an Administrative Law Judge.  Prior to the hearing, the MVC will provide you with any and all information pertaining to your history and the proposed suspension.  When you appear at the hearing, you and your attorney will have a chance to negotiate with yet another representative of the MVC before the hearing.

It is usually in your best interest and worth the expense to request a hearing.  It is worth the call to Howes & Howes.

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