Municipal court defendants who want to keep their guilty pleas to traffic offenses from being used against them in personal injury suits cannot wait until after their pleas are entered to ask for civil reservations, the New Jersey Supreme Court held March 19.

The court’s decision in Maida v. Kuskin disagreed with an Appellate Division ruling that allowed a civil reservation even though the defendant did not raise the issue until after he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it.

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