Municipal court charges can result in a lengthy license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, and even possible jail time. In criminal matters, the court has jurisdiction to impose penalties of up to six months in jail, a $1,000.00 fine, court costs, restitution, violent crime compensation penalties, probation and/or alcohol and drug counseling and testing. Each offense has separate penalties. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Every town and city in New Jersey has a Municipal Court. The Municipal Court Judge has the power to hear disorderly persons offenses contained in the criminal code such as harassment, simple assault and shoplifting. The Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over all Motor Vehicle offenses such as Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Suspended, speeding, careless driving, and no insurance.
The Municipal Court may also have trials on certain criminal offenses such as possession of small amounts of marijuana. Numerous other offenses may be heard in this court, such as violation of Township Ordinances, Health, and Safety Violations.
You must cooperate with your municipal court lawyer. Everything you tell your attorney is completely confidential – it will not be revealed to the prosecutor, court, or anyone else you wish it not to be revealed to.
It is very important that you provide your attorney with copies of the ticket or summons and all other documents you received from the police or the court. You will be required to provide names, addresses, and phone numbers of possible witnesses and a detailed narrative of what happened.
Witnesses can be subpoenaed when appropriate. Under court rules in serious cases, the prosecutor and police have a responsibility to provide your attorney with copies of all reports, certificates pertaining to the offense, and names of the state’s witnesses. If you have an alibi or your own witnesses, you must notify your attorney who will be required to provide the prosecutor with his information.
You must appear on the date scheduled for your hearing. If you are unable to appear, you must call the court or show good cause why the matter should be adjourned. If you do not appear, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.
On the date of your hearing, you should appear promptly at the time scheduled. You are required to notify the court clerk when you arrive at the court. Wear neat, conservative, clean clothes. Bring your witnesses and all papers relating to your case. Bring cash or checks to pay fines, court costs, and restitution. The court will require all or substantial payment of fines on the night of the hearing.
If you will be pleading guilty, the court will require you to admit the offense. The court may ask you questions regarding the facts which took place on the date of the offense. You should be prepared to tell the judge as many mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances as you can think of. When you plead guilty, you have admitted that you violated the law and all that remains is for the judge to fix the penalty.
If you are pleading not guilty, a trial will be scheduled. The prosecutor will be required to present his or her witnesses under oath and offer evidence. To convict you, the state must prove all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will be permitted to cross-examine the police and other state witnesses. You should bring photographs, witnesses, and any other evidence on your behalf. You should carefully discuss this with your attorney. You may testify, but you are not required to testify. If you disagree with the judge’s final decision, you have 20 days to appeal. The appeal papers are detailed and you will need to have an attorney prepare the Appeal Petition and brief.
Attorney Hebbon has years of experience representing clients in Municipal Courts throughout the State of New Jersey. Her goal is always to protect her clients’ rights and obtain the best results possible.
At Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, we provide effective representation in all municipal court matters including:
Somerset municipal court lawyer, Kisha M. Hebbon, vigorously defends New Jersey residents facing municipal court charges. Dont’ delay, call us today to discuss your case at 732-873-6464 or contact us online.
We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains.