The New Jersey Rules fall under PART VII — RULES GOVERNING PRACTICE IN THE MUNICIPAL COURTS Click Here to View the Rules.
If you receives summons in Municipal Court it is always best practice to hire an Attorney, such as one here at Riviere Advocacy Group LLC.
If you cannot afford to retain an Attorney, you should request to appoint a Public Defender to your case. You must do so in court.
The judge will require that you fill out a form listing your assets and income. The judge will review your application and discuss it with you. If the Judge assigns a Public Defender, he can assess a fee of up to $200.
The Anatomy of Municipal Court Bench Trial
- Your Attorney or the Prosecutor offer pretrial motions. As a result, these motions will deal with some aspect of evidence, or some other issue the prosecution or defense feels is important to their case.
- Attorneys offer the opening statements. The Defense Attorney goes first.
- The prosecutor presents its case including testimony and direct evidence. In addition, the Defense Attorney will raise any objections to the State’s evidence and cross examine the prosecutor’s witnesses.
- Now it your turn, your Defense Attorney presents your case including the testimony of your witnesses, evidence etc.
- The prosecution cross examines your witnesses.
- At the conclusion of the state’s case and your case, your defense attorney may make a motions for judgment of acquittal.
- Further, attorneys given summations (closing statements) to the court. Your Defense Attorney will go first and the prosecutor after that. In each of their summations the attorneys addresses the evidence, or lack thereof, and the facts of the case.
- As a result, the Judge gives his/her decision for guilty or not guilty. Under the Court Rules, the Judge must give the reasons which lead to his/her decision. This is generally done verbally in open court and on the record. Sometimes the Judge reserves their decision for a reasonable period of time to come to a decision
- If convicted, your Defense Attorney and the prosecutor recommend to the Judge the sentence that he/she should impose.
- Further, you can make an appeal of the Judge’s decision.
We have helped many clients in municipal courts. We are well versed about the laws and can help you guided by our past experience. Talk to us now!