If you’ve received a citation for a minor offense, or have been accused of committing a crime, you might be wondering: What to Expect in NJ Municipal Courts? Municipal courts are governed by three principles: Integrity, Independence, and Fairness. Though these courts handle minor offenses, they don’t hear cases involving more serious crimes. For these reasons, it’s important to seek legal counsel before appearing in court. So the NJ Municipal Courts has initiated the NJMCDirect Official Website for traffic ticket payment online comfortably without queuing before the court.
Do you Know What Happens at Municipal Court of New Jersey?
New Jersey Municipal Courts are governed by the principles of Independence, Fairness and Integrity
The five-hundred-and-fifty-five municipal courts of New Jersey hear cases ranging from traffic violations to disorderly persons to violations of municipal ordinances. Generally, these courts do not consider new evidence or have juries. They decide cases based on how they were handled in lower courts. Although the NJBA report focuses on bias against police, the issues that are arising in New Jersey aren’t unique to New Jersey. The U.S. Department of Justice, after the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, issued a report that found that excessive fines and arrest warrants were used to enforce court fees and jailed people who missed payments.
They do not hear cases involving more serious crimes
Most people in New Jersey first encounter the judicial system through the Municipal Court system. Municipal courts sit in larger towns and cities, and typically have jurisdiction over all criminal cases that occur within the city limits. More serious cases, such as theft or shoplifting, are handled by Superior Courts. Upon conviction, you could face mandatory time in the state prison or a permanent criminal record. Here are some things to know before filing a case.
They handle family court matters
New Jersey’s municipal courts are governed by the principles of fairness, independence, and integrity. The Family Court handles disputes concerning children, spouses, and domestic partners. Some of the cases heard by the Family Court are divorce, adoption, child abuse, and juvenile delinquency. A judge can also decide to keep court proceedings closed to the public. In addition, the Tax Court handles tax-related cases, including reviews of county taxation decisions.
They require a court appearance
In New Jersey, the Municipal Court hears cases involving violations of the state’s motor vehicle code, minor crimes, and municipal ordinances. Although these courts do not have a jury, their judges can decide on a punishment based on the facts and circumstances of the case. In some cases, a person may be sentenced to jail time or have their driver’s license suspended if they fail to appear.
They handle motions to suppress evidence
Many people are unfamiliar with how a motion to suppress evidence in NJ Municipal Courts works. The process is fairly simple: a defendant files a Notice of Appeal and then the Law Division of the Municipal Court will set a schedule for the appeal. This schedule will include the dates for the legal briefs to be submitted and the date for the appeal hearing to be conducted. The appeal hearing will be conducted “on the record,” which means that it will be based on the municipal court’s records. For this reason, it is best to retain an experienced motion to suppress evidence attorney.
They accept private citizen complaints
Private citizen complaints in NJ Municipal Courts are a great way for citizens to air their concerns and get public officials’ attention. While many people are worried about the floodgates of complaints that can be filed against public officials, the Working Group on Private Citizen Complaints argues that this type of complaint has a vital role to play. The new rules will ensure that these complaints are given greater scrutiny and protection.
They may involve negotiations with the municipal prosecutor
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you may be facing negotiations with the municipal prosecutor. The prosecutor is a third-party representative who has the right to order jail time. In some cases, however, the judge can order jail time for a lesser offense. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an attorney before entering into any negotiations.