a. In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, a person convicted under the provisions of this chapter of theft or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle shall be subject:
(1) For the first offense, to a penalty of $500, and the court, in its discretion, may suspend, revoke, or postpone the person's driving privileges for a period not to exceed one year;
(2) For a second offense, to a penalty of $750, and the court, in its discretion, may suspend, revoke, or postpone the person's driving privileges for a period not to exceed two years; and
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to a penalty of $1,000, and the court, in its discretion, may suspend, revoke, or postpone the person's driving privileges for a period not to exceed 10 years.
In deciding the duration of any suspension, revocation, or postponement of the person's driving privileges pursuant to paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection, the court shall consider the circumstances of the theft or unlawful taking of the motor vehicle and whether the loss of driving privileges will result in extreme hardship and alternative means of transportation are not readily available.
b. The suspension or postponement of the person's license to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed. In the case of any person who at the time of the imposition of sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized pursuant to this section, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period as fixed by the court not to exceed one year for a first offense, two years for a second offense, or 10 years for a third offense calculated from the day after the day the person reaches the age of 17 years. If the driving privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this Title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any conviction or adjudication of delinquency for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this Title, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed pursuant to this section shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension, or postponement.
Upon conviction the court shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver's licenses of the person and forward the license or licenses to the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall forward a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the chief administrator. That report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S.39:3-40 . A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S.39:3-40 . If the person is the holder of a driver's license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the person's non-resident driving privileges in this State.
c. All penalties provided for in this section shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c. 396 ( C.2C:46-4 ), and shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:64-6 as if the collected monies were the proceeds of property forfeited pursuant to the provisions of chapter 64. However, the distributed monies are to be used for law enforcement activities related to auto theft.
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