West Deptford, NJ Attorney for a Case in Municipal Court

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    If you have gotten into legal trouble in New Jersey, your case might end up in one of the many municipal courts. A litany of cases are heard in municipal courts, including minor criminal offenses, traffic violations, and DUIs and DWIS, among others. Municipal courts tend to hear cases involving more minor offenses, but the penalties might still be harsh.

    While many cases heard in municipal court are not the most serious, you should still consult with an attorney about your situation. Penalties often include fines, but jail time is also possible, depending on the circumstances. Even if you believe you can handle your case alone, talk to a lawyer about it before your court date. Your case might be more complicated than you realize.

    Contact our West Deptford, NJ lawyers for a case in municipal court for a free case assessment by calling the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.

    Cases Commonly Heard in Municipal Court in West Deptford, NJ

    In New Jersey, municipal courts operate at the local level, hearing a wide variety of offenses and complaints. Generally, cases in municipal court are less severe than those heard in Superior Court. The Mantua Township Joint Municipal Court serves West Deptford and several surrounding areas and townships.

    Traffic Offenses

    Municipal courts may hear cases involving traffic offenses and moving violations. If you have been pulled over for a traffic violation and want to fight the citation, you would go to municipal court. This may include red light violations, running stop signs, speeding tickets, failing to signal turns, and other common traffic violations.

    Traffic violations tend to be penalized with fines and points against your license. Jail time tends to be unusual, barring very special or shocking circumstances. However, you should contact an attorney immediately if the violations are connected to more serious issues. For example, suppose you allegedly ran a stop sign before striking another car and seriously injuring the driver. In that case, your case might involve more serious criminal charges and be heard in a different court.

    Violations of Local Ordinances

    Municipal courts also hear cases involving alleged violations of local ordinances. These are also somewhat less serious offenses and rarely result in penalties as severe as jail time. For example, cases involving noise complaints or minor disputes between neighbors might make their way to municipal court. Parking issues, such as where you can and cannot park on local streets, might also be heard in municipal court.

    Many of these violations are met with citations or a summons in the mail. The authorities do not usually arrest people for violating a local ordinance. As such, you should check any paperwork you have received from the authorities to see if there is a required court date. Ask our West Deptford, NJ attorneys for cases in municipal court for help if you are unsure what to do.

    Disorderly Persons Offenses

    Perhaps what the municipal court system is most known for is hearing disorderly persons offenses. While many other states use the terms “felony” and “misdemeanor,” New Jersey is unique. Instead, this state refers to more serious offenses as “indictable crimes” or simply “crimes.’ Meanwhile, less severe offenses are called “disorderly persons offenses.” Even more minor offenses that might be met with citations are called “petty disorderly persons offenses.” These relatively minor offenses all wind up in municipal court.

    There are numerous disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses on the books. For example, under NJSA § 2C:12-1(a), simple assault may be charged as a disorderly persons offense. While assault might sound like a severe criminal offense – sometimes it is – simple assault often is not. In fact, if simple assault results from a fight entered by mutual consent, it becomes a petty disorderly persons offense.

    Shoplifting is another offense often heard in municipal court. This is a rather common offense, often committed by young people and teens for fun. Shoplifting may be charged as a disorderly persons offense if the total value stolen is less than $200. For example, stealing a bit of makeup or a video game would likely be a disorderly persons offense.

    DUIs and DWIs

    Traffic violations are not the only driving-related offenses heard in municipal court. Cases involving DUIs or DWIs are also heard here. These are arguably some of the more serious offenses heard in municipal court and are handled accordingly. If you are from West Deptford and you are facing DUI charges, your case might not necessarily be heard in the court that serves West Deptford. Instead, DUIs and DWIs may be heard in the courts that serve the area where the offenses allegedly occurred.

    Do I Need a Lawyer for a Case in Municipal Court in West Deptford?

    When facing charges or violations in municipal court, the penalties tend to be less serious, and many defendants do not feel the need to take the situation seriously. While it is true that many cases in municipal court do not result in jail time, it is not outside the realm of possibilities. On top of that, the fines that most people face can be quite high. As such, you should have a lawyer help you.

    A common problem in municipal court is defendants failing to appear. This is unfortunately not an unusual problem in cases where charges or violations are relatively minor when compared to indicatable crimes. If you miss your court date in municipal court, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If this happens, it would be wise to have a lawyer help you deal with the warrant, hopefully avoid arrest, and reschedule the court date.

    Get Help Now from Our West Deptford, NJ Attorneys for a Case in Municipal Court

    Contact our West Deptford, NJ lawyers for a case in municipal court for a free case assessment by calling the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.

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