We are a mobile society. That is something East Coast states have recognized since the founding of the country. It is truer today than it was 200 years ago. All you have to do is walk through a packed parking lot and scan the license plates. Most might be from New Jersey, but many will be from other states – perhaps even Canada.

Do you ever wonder if any of those plates are fake? Do you think it’s that big of a deal? For a group of individuals in Pennsylvania, and perhaps even some here in this state, this is a serious question as the state plans to level charges that the suspects participated in a scheme to rent license plates. What is less clear is whether charges will be brought against those who rented the plates. Considering that Pennsylvania is a New Jersey neighbor, some residents here might have reason to be concerned. Read on to see why.

In New Jersey, a motor vehicle offense such as displaying a fictitious license plate, one that is not properly registered to the vehicle it’s on or is forged, is a violation of traffic law. It is not an indictable offense, but that does not mean the consequences for the person convicted of such a charge are something to take lightly.

For one thing, motor vehicle offenses, by legal precedent, count as being “quasi-criminal in nature.” What that means is that some cases are handled by a Superior Court judge, rather than in the lower Municipal Court.

In matters involving alleged fictitious license plate, those convicted can expect a fine or jail sentence. The maximum fine possible is $500. A possible term of incarceration could run 60 days.

Perhaps of more importance is the potential damage such a conviction could cause to your reputation and your future.