Municipal Court FAQ

1. Can I plead “not guilty” in advance of my first court date?

 

If you intend to plead “not guilty” then you should contact the court before the court appearance date indicated on the summons and your first appearance will not be necessary. A not guilty plea for driving while under the influence requires a court appearance.

 

2. How can I pay my fine?

 

You may pay a fine with cash, check, or money order.

 

3. What if I fail to make payments?

 

Failure to pay fines results in warrant and driving license revocation.

 

4. If the judge suspends my driving privileges as part of my sentence can I obtain a temporary license for travel to and from work?

 

No

 

5. Can I be represented by a public defender?

 

Yes. In order to have a public defender assigned to your case you must first satisfy the criteria established by the Income Eligibility Guidelines and the potential penalties for the offense(s) for which you are charged must include the possibility of incarceration, a significant fine or the loss of your driving privileges.

 

6. Will I have to pay any money to a public defender if one is assigned to me?

 

Yes. You must pay $200.00 toward the services of the public defender assigned to your case.

 

7. If I represent myself can I discuss my case directly with the prosecutor before the case is heard before the judge?

 

Upon arriving at the Municipal Court you should identify the prosecutor as soon as possible and wait your turn in line in order to discuss your case with him or her.

 

8. Can I make payments?

 

You will be expected to pay the full balance of your fine on the day the judge determines your penalty. Under certain limited circumstances the judge may approve a payment plan but you will have to demonstrate a compelling inability to pay the fine in full.

 

9. Why did the judge not mention points being assessed against my driver’s license?

 

Points are assessed by the Division of Motor Vehicles not the Municipal Court Judge.

 

10. How can I obtain a copy of my driver’s abstract?

 

You can call the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles at 609-292-7500 or write to “New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, Abstract Unit, 225 E. State Street, 6th E Fl., Trenton, New Jersey, 08666.” There is a $10.00 fee

 

11. How do I go about signing a criminal or traffic complaint against somebody?

 

First, you will need to know the name and address of the person you wish to charge. Second, you must know the specific charge(s) you intend to file. Municipal Court clerical staff cannot provide this information for you and are prohibited from rendering any form of legal advice. You may reuest to review a copy of the New Jersey criminal code or motor vehicle statutes, as the case may be.

 

12. Is there a fee to file a complaint?

 

No.

 

13. The motor vehicle violation that I was charged with is not listed on the back of the summons.

 

Please contact the Municipal Court Office

 

14. Can I pay the fine prior to the date on the summons?

 

Yes. Unless the “court appearance required” box is checked. If this box is check, you must make an appearance.