What Happens When I Go to Municipal Court?
The legal process can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never been in a courtroom in your life. But what happens when you have to go to court for a traffic matter? Do you need an attorney? Is this something you have to show up for? What does the process involve? Relax. We’re here to help you out.
When you go to court to deal with a traffic violation, a minor criminal-type offense such as a simple assault, or a municipal ordinance like a building code violation, you will have to deal with Municipal Court. Unlike Superior Court, which handles serious criminal cases, Municipal Court deals with cases that occur within the boundaries of the municipality.
So let’s say you receive a traffic violation. You’ll see a box somewhere on that ticket that says “Court Appearance Required” box. If that box isn’t checked, then you can take care of the ticket without stepping into the court. However, if that box is checked, be prepared to go to court.
When going to court, remember to dress nice and always listen to instructions fro court staff and from the judge. All proceedings are recorded so stay silent until it’s time to speak. You don’t need an attorney present in a Municipal Court matter, but if the matter is a criminal offense it may be wise to have one present.
You’ll have the option to either plead guilty or not guilty – if you plead not guilty, a trial may be held that very same day. You can appeal the judge’s decision if you desire, though an appeal must be within 20 days of your conviction.
To learn more about the New Jersey Municipal Court system, click here.
If you need an attorney for a municipal court appearance, we’re ready to help you out. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.