The New Jersey Court Rules allows a defendant in a traffic case to plead guilty to a violation and seek a civil reservation. A civil reservation allows the defendant to plead guilty to a traffic violation but the plea will not be used as evidence in a civil suit. This request must be raised at the time the guilty plea is accepted or at the conclusion of trial. That means, that if you are involved in a car accident and receive a careless driving summons, pleading guilty to the summons can be used to establish liability in a subsequent civil case if a civil reservation is not granted. Just paying the fine may have collateral consequences which you should know about before going to Court.
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