What Types Of Cases Do You Typically Handle In Municipal Court?
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These are usually disorderly persons or petty disorderly person’s offenses and motor vehicle violations. There are also some township ordinance cases; these mainly have to do with housing violations. Typically, what happens in a municipal court case is that your attorney will request an adjournment of the initial court date and enter a not guilty plea on your behalf – that’s why you hire an attorney in these cases. Your attorney would typically obtain the discovery at this point, which is mainly the police report. Then they can evaluate the case, go see the prosecutor and enter into some type of plea bargain. Most municipal court cases are not tried, because typically if the judge has to believe either the police officer or the defendant, they’re probably going to believe the police officer. The theory is that the police officer has no reason not to tell the truth.
In New Jersey, you would usually end up getting a downgrade of the charges. There are a number of no point violations and that’s typically the kind of plea bargain you want to enter into. There’s a new DWI statute in which for a first-time offender depending on the level of the Breathalyzer reading they will permit you to drive with an interlock device even after a DWI. The interlock device will stay in the car anywhere from three months to six months to a year. Each time you get into the vehicle you have to breathe into the interlock device and as long as there’s no alcohol then you’ll be able to start your vehicle. With marijuana getting less stringent there’s also a whole new area of law in trying to determine whether or not someone’s under the influence of marijuana or any other drug when they’re driving a motor vehicle.
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