New Jersey Municipal Court Attorney
If you have been charged with an offense in municipal court, or you are involved in a civil dispute at the municipal level, this may the first time you have ever encountered the legal system. Although it’s true that municipal courts tend to hear relatively minor matters, such as traffic cases and certain types of civil disputes, municipal court is still court. You’re still engaged in a legal process, and all the same rules of evidence and procedure apply.
Furthermore, even a traffic-related conviction or misdemeanor charge can affect your life. If you are convicted of a drunk driving offense or some other type of careless driving violation, you may find it difficult to get a job or pursue certain career paths. If a municipal court convicts you of assault, trespassing, or shoplifting, you could end up with a criminal record that affects your future for years to come. It is much easier to fight back against these charges up front than to repair the damage of a criminal conviction down the road.
At Rosner Law Offices, P.C., our New Jersey municipal court lawyers believe that every case is important, regardless of its size or the money amounts involved. We understand that a municipal matter can significantly impact a person’s future. When you work with us for your municipal case, you will get the same level of commitment and support as any other client we serve.
Why It’s Important to Go Local
Generally, municipal courts serve the municipality in which they sit, and their jurisdiction is limited to specific types of criminal and civil matters.
In criminal cases, municipal courts have the authority to hear what are known as “disorderly persons” offenses in New Jersey. These offenses include drunk driving cases, shoplifting allegations, and certain types of assault, among other offenses.
On the civil side, New Jersey municipal courts also handle disputes where the damages are under a certain money amount. These cases can include basic contract disputes, hunting law violations, and even conflicts between two neighbors, such as a noise disturbance or a boundary dispute.
Unlike New Jersey superior courts, which serve an entire county, municipal courts are very much intertwined with the community they serve. Municipal courts also tend to move cases quite quickly through the system. If you go into a case unprepared, you may end up with an unfavorable result. For these reasons, it’s important to work with a lawyer who knows the court and who regularly handles cases at that level.
Can’t I Just Represent Myself?
Many people assume they can forego the help of a lawyer in a municipal case. Although you have every right to represent yourself in court, it’s rarely a good idea — something Abraham Lincoln warned about when he said, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
When you go to court without a lawyer, you are actually acting as your own lawyer. This means the court will treat you as it would any other law school-trained attorney. You will be expected to know the rules of the court, as well as the proper procedure for presenting evidence, calling witnesses, and filing documents and paperwork with the court. Even a steady diet of Law and Order reruns is not enough to fully prepare you for the realities of defending your own interests in a municipal courtroom. Fortunately, the experienced lawyers at Rosner can help.
Speak to Our Municipal Court Lawyers Today
Have you been charged with a traffic violation or criminal offense in municipal court? Are you involved in a civil dispute at the municipal level? The municipal court lawyers at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. can help. Call us today to speak to a New Jersey municipal court lawyer about your case. Call 856-692-6500.