Attorney for a Case in Central Municipal Court of Atlantic County

Table of Contents

    Just because a case is in municipal court does not make it any less serious than a case at other levels of court.  Generally, municipal court does hear cases for lower-level offenses and ordinance violations, but it is also where serious charges are initially handled before moving to other levels.

    Our attorneys are experienced handling cases of various levels of severity and various stages of trial.  It is important to have a lawyer with you for many types of charges since jail is a possibility even for low level offenses.

    For a free case review, call our attorneys for a case in municipal court at Lombardo Law Group at (609) 418-4537.

    What Happens at Municipal Court in Atlantic County?

    Municipal court is busy since it is the court that most cases go through in New Jersey.  Here, judges hear cases for low-level crimes and offenses as well as preliminary hearings for more serious crimes.  Municipal court also houses traffic court.

    Low-Level Charges in Municipal Court

    NJ splits its crimes into three levels: serious felonies are called “indictable offenses,” mid-level misdemeanors are called “disorderly persons offenses,” and low-level summary offenses or infractions are called “petty disorderly persons offenses.”  If you were charged with a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense, it is likely that your trial or plea will be handled at municipal court.

    Municipal court also handles traffic ticket cases.  Petty disorderly persons offenses are approximately the same level of severity as a traffic ticket, so this is not surprising.

    Additionally, local violations – ordinance violations – are handled here as well.  This can be anything from a fine for noncompliance with building codes, bulkhead requirements, trash dumping, or other infractions handled by the local government.

    Trial for Low- and Mid-Level Offenses

    Trials for traffic offenses, ordinance violations, and petty disorderly persons offenses are usually handled at municipal court.  Just because these offenses seem low-level does not mean that they are not worth hiring a lawyer for.  Losing a trial for a serious traffic violation can mean points on your license, and some low-level offenses still carry the possibility of high fines and up to 30 days in jail.

    Mid-level offenses, the disorderly persons offenses that other states would call “misdemeanors,” are still quite serious.  This covers crimes like theft, assault, and more.  These cases are initially tried in municipal court before a judge – as you have no right to a trial by jury for these offenses.  However, you can often appeal them for a de novo decision at the county court where a judge will review the record and potentially decide the case differently.

    Initial Appearances for Felonies/Indictable Crimes

    Serious crimes are called “indictable crimes,” but other states call them “felonies.”  These crimes can result in jail time and are usually tried at the county-level court before a jury (unless you request a bench trial).  As such, the municipal court only handles the preliminary stages of these cases before holding them over for the upper court.

    At municipal court, you might get your arraignment, where you find out what charges you are facing and get a chance to enter a not-guilty plea.

    If your case goes up from the municipal court to the district court, but then the felonies all get dropped for whatever reason, it will come back down to municipal court.

    What Does a Lawyer Do in Municipal Court in Atlantic County?

    Because there are many levels of crime that pass through municipal courts in Atlantic County, there are different things our lawyers can do:

    Challenge Traffic Tickets and Fight DWIs

    A traffic ticket could lose you your license, especially since serious driving offenses like reckless driving, DWI, and breath test refusals are all still considered “traffic offenses.”  These cases are all handled in municipal court in most cases, so our lawyers can defend you here.

    Put on Trials for Low-Level Crimes

    As mentioned, “disorderly persons offenses” are misdemeanors, which covers a wide array of different cases.  These can result in up to 6 months in jail, so these charges are often quite serious.  But they are handled at municipal court.

    This means that if you want to challenge charges for theft, DWI, assault, or other misdemeanor charges, our lawyer will be able to defend your case at trial in municipal court.

    File Appeals

    If your case does not go well and you lose in municipal court, that is not the end of your case.  In many cases a trial de novo can be requested at the next court level up from municipal court.  We will notify the municipal court judge of this appeal and request things like the trial transcript to send it up to the appeals court.

    We will also file with the county court.

    File for Expungement

    Many expungements, especially for old marijuana offenses, are handled at the municipal court level.

    Help You with Bench Warrants

    If a bench warrant was issued for a case before the municipal court, our lawyers can help you fight it.  In most cases, bench warrants are issued for your arrest if you fail to appear at a court date.  This could be for a disorderly persons offenses or even a series of unpaid tickets.  Our lawyers can contact the court and attempt to schedule a new hearing where you can address your case, ideally without you getting arrested in the process.

    Arraignments and Bail

    If your arraignment happens at municipal court and your not-guilty plea is entered there, your initial bail will often be set there as well.  We can represent you in your bail hearing and attempt to get you released on your own recognizance (ROR) so that you do not need to pay anything to stay free while you await trial.  We can also help argue for reductions if the judge does want to ask for a bond or cash bail.

    Call Our Municipal Court Lawyers for Help in Atlantic City

    If you need help, call (609) 418-4537 for a free case assessment with Lombardo Law Group’s attorneys for a case in municipal court.

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    Three Convenient Locations

    Haddonfield (Main Office)
    25 Chestnut Street, Ste 2
    Haddonfield New Jersey 08033
    (856) 281-9600
    (877) 340-0609
    Hammonton Office
    Hammonton, New Jersey
    (609) 561-8100
    (877) 340-0609
    Atlantic City Office
    1014 Atlantic Avenue
    Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
    (609) 318-6196
    (877) 340-0609
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