Municipal Court Defense

Our attorneys earn their reputation every day by navigating a clear, results-driven legal path for our clients.

Municipal Court Defense

In New Jersey, individuals charged with certain offenses and violations will appear before a judge in one of the state’s 531 Municipal Courts. These specialized courts have limited jurisdiction to hear specifically designated criminal charges and infractions within a set geographic area. Many of these cases involve motor vehicles – including driving while intoxicated (DWI)  –  or what are referred to as “disorderly persons” offenses.

Many people who face charges in Municipal Court mistakenly assume that because they aren’t being prosecuted before a Criminal Division judge, the charges are “minor,” as are the potential consequences. Such a cavalier attitude can be a grave and consequential error. While it is true most felonies in New Jersey are heard in the Criminal Division, a conviction in Municipal Court, especially for DWI, can come with severe, costly, and life-altering penalties.

A History of Positive Outcomes in New Jersey Municipal Court Defense Representation

That is why you shouldn’t take such charges lightly and why the attorneys in Ansell Grimm & Aaron’s Municipal Court Defense practice group don’t either.

Our attorneys routinely appear in Municipal Courts throughout New Jersey, aggressively defending our clients in the full range of matters these courts have jurisdiction over. Many of our lawyers have appeared in Municipal Court as prosecutors or public defenders prior to joining the firm. This experience provides valuable insights and perspectives into how judges and prosecutors think and make decisions. This, in turn, allows us to develop defense strategies most likely to lead to an acquittal, dismissal, diversion to the conditional dismissal program, or other optimal result.

Additionally, our attorneys have established and nurtured positive working relationships with municipal prosecutors and local and state law enforcement agencies involved in prosecuting Municipal Court cases, facilitating our ability to negotiate favorable outcomes. We have a long track record of success in these matters, including those involving daunting charges or high-profile defendants.

Handling All New Jersey Municipal Court Matters

Perhaps the most common matters that come before New Jersey Municipal Courts are traffic violations such as:

  • Driving without insurance.
  • Driving with a suspended license.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Reckless and careless driving.
  • Speeding.
  • All other moving violations.

“Disorderly persons” offenses heard in Municipal Court include:

  • Simple assault.
  • Harassment.
  • Disorderly conduct.
  • Trespassing.
  • All other non-felony offenses.

Municipal Court DWI Convictions Come With Severe Penalties

Municipal Courts are also responsible for addressing a wide range of other matters, including DWI cases, where the penalties are particularly consequential, even for a first offense. If you are convicted of a first-time DWI in Municipal Court (with a BAC of between 0.08% and 0.10%), the penalties can include:

  • A fine of $250-$400.
  • Imprisonment for up to 30 days.
  • Driver’s license forfeiture until an ignition interlock device is installed for three months.
  • A minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years.

Second or subsequent convictions, or DWIs that result in serious injuries or death, come with even more severe penalties. In addition to these costly and burdensome penalties, a DWI conviction will stay on your driving record forever, with no chance of expunging or sealing the conviction.

All Ansell Municipal Court defense attorneys are available 24 hours each day, seven days per week, to serve our clients’ needs. If you are facing Municipal Court charges, please contact Mitchell Ansell, chair of the firm’s Municipal Court practice group, to arrange a confidential initial consultation.

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