I was stopped today for "Fail to stop at stop sign" in NJ. It is 2 points and 85$ fine. I am not worried about the fine but the point on the record is not good as it will increase my auto insurance. I totally feel that I did wrong thing and broke the law and learn my lesson and will not do again. It was my first ticket, I never had any ticket in past also.
I was going to meet my previous employer and cop was sitting in his car parked next to the stop sign. And I didn't even notice the stop sign, as I never been to that road before. Then he came from the back and stopped us on the next block, I admitted that I did mistake but was not done purposely and I did not notice the stop sign. He took the license and next thing he came with a ticket. I was very nervous as this was first time in my life a cop stopped me.
(1) Now what I can do so that I don't get the point (?), I am willing to negotiate for some non moving violation with more fine.
(2) If I plead non-guilty then I will need to present the case in front of the judge, knowing the fact that I really didn’t stop at the stop sign, how I can justify my action of not stopping, to convince the judge/public prosecutor to drop/reduce the charge? is it possible to reduce the charge on the ground of first offense and not having any past record of traffic violation? Do I need a lawyer for that or I can do it by myself?
(3) How much a lawyer could cost?
(4) Is it also possible that judge can give me more points like careless driving besides the fail to stop at stop light? If that will happen then I will end up with more fine and points? Or judge doesn’t add the points during hearing, whatever happens on the road was final, they don’t add the points later?
(5) One last thing, do I need to be physically present during the court date, or my brother can attend the date on behalf of me? As I work in Boston, this is a new job and it will be tough to get the day off. Or only a lawyer can only present my case and if lawyer is there then my appearance is not required?
Thank you for reading my post and your replies.