New Jersey Municipal Courts May See Major Reforms Coming

Call Experienced NJ Municipal Court Defense Lawyer Travis Tormey for Help

The Municipal Court System in New Jersey may soon have a significant overhaul, if a Supreme Court Committee has its way. After assembling a 31-member group in March of 2017, the committee recently issued a report recommending a series of changes to the way municipal courts operate throughout New Jersey and the heavy fines and fees imposed on low-level criminal and traffic offenders.

Have a Municipal Court Case in New Jersey?

If you have an upcoming case in Municipal Court in New Jersey, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Tormey Law Firm are here to help. Call 201-556-1570 for a free consultation with an attorney who can answer all of your questions. For more information about the potential reforms to the NJ Municipal Court system, read on.

Municipal Courts in New Jersey are responsible for the adjudication of traffic offenses such as DWI, disorderly persons offenses such as marijuana possession less than 50 grams, municipal ordinance violations, and parking tickets issued within their jurisdictions. Currently, there are 515 municipal courts in municipalities throughout the state. Taken together, these courts handle approximately 6 million cases each year, encompassing a vast array of criminal and motor vehicle charges. With cases including domestic violence simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence, and driving with a suspended license heard in NJ municipal courts, the results of these cases spell significant implications for defendants and the State’s bottom line. In fact, Supreme Court’s recent report noted that municipal courts in New Jersey generated over $400 million in 2017 alone.

After reviewing the policies and procedures, fines and fees governing municipal courts in New Jersey now, the Supreme Court Committee issued 49 recommendations for reforms that address many of the system’s current problems. Some of the key recommendations are as follows:

  • Providing alternatives to bench warrants and driver’s license suspensions
  • Limiting the fines imposed for failure to appear in court
  • Protecting defendants who can’t pay the fines imposed from unfair punishments
  • Promoting more judicial oversight
  • More payment plans and alternative sentences such as community service to pay fines

The primary concern of the report is to encourage the State to enact changes that do not allow municipal court administration to prioritize money over justice. Lawmakers and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy have indicated they will be reviewing the report in the coming weeks. Thus far, the NJ Supreme Court had enacted new rules, which take effect on September 1st, that prevent judges from levying exorbitant monetary sanctions on people who failure to appear in municipal court. What else comes from the Supreme Court Committee’s Review of Municipal Court Practices remains to be seen.

Until something else changes, the municipal courts in New Jersey have extreme power to issue punishments that can be devastating to defendants financially, personally, and professionally. Even if the state moves forward with implementing lower fines and fees, people still face serious penalties for criminal misdemeanors, drunk driving charges, and other summonses handled in municipal court. For instance, a disorderly conduct charge can land you in jail for up to 30 days and leave you with a criminal record that impedes your ability to secure a job or other future opportunities for education, employment, and more. Additionally, a first DWI offenses exposes you to mandatory license suspension for between 3 months and 1 year, up to 30 days in jail, motor vehicle surcharges, insurance spikes, and further consequences that are damaging for months if not years to come.

Need a Municipal Court Defense Lawyer in NJ?

If you are required to appear in municipal court for a criminal or DWI charge in New Jersey, you should enlist an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how the municipal court system works and can fight for the best possible outcome. The attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm have successfully resolved thousands of cases in municipal courts in Hackensack, Teaneck, Fort Lee, East Rutherford, Mahwah, Paramus, Newark, Morristown, Jersey City, and communities throughout New Jersey. To find out how we can defend your case and help you minimize or avoid the consequences of a conviction, contact us anytime at (201)-556-1570 for a free consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so an experienced NJ municipal court defense lawyer is available to discuss your charges now.

Testimonials

  • Avoid mandatory jail time on shoplifting charges

  • GREAT – HONEST- ATTORNEY -AND – VERY GOOD

  • Help

  • Did the job he was hired to do

  • Great lawyer

  • Simple assault charge was dropped

  • Top Notch Representation

  • Well worth it.

  • DUI Case Dismissed

  • 2 felony charges dismissed

  • Cameron bury

  • great attorney

  • Hands Down Professional and delivers results!!!

  • DUI case dismissed

  • 125 stars out of 10!!

  • Excellent at getting best outcome

  • Excellent Attorney

  • TRO Dismissal

  • Efficient Excellent attorney.

  • Excellent attorney

  • Travis successfully defended me in an unprecedented Final Restraining Order Trial with ease

  • Kick Ass Attorney!

  • Efficient and professional attorney

  • Great Lawyer And Great Results

  • Top Notch DUI Attorney

  • Client Domestic Violence

  • Restraining Order

  • A real pro in a time of need - DWI Dismissed.

  • The most experienced, patient and affordable attorney

  • Travis Tormey successfully had a False TRO against me dismissed.

  • Underaged Drinking

  • Underaged Drinking

  • DUI Dismissed

  • Saved me from a DUI. HIGHLY recommended

  • Restraining Order

  • Case dismissed with Data Driven Facts

  • Respectful. Attentive. Professional.

  • Trespassing and Under the Influence Disorderly Persons charges

  • If you are reading this- You have reached the right place! Undoubtedly, the BEST Law Firm in New Jersey!

  • Amazing attorney with a heart of gold

  • Exceeded my expectations, Highly Professional Attorney

  • Responsive and knowledgeable.

  • The Tormey law firm was very kind and professional

  • Expungement

  • Travis Tormey is a True Professional Who Kept Me Out of Jail

  • Saved me a whole ton of problems

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • A nightmare case, with a happy ending.

  • Elite NJ Marijuana Attorney! 5 Stars!!

  • An Excellent lawyer!

  • Great lawyer for DUI

  • I highly endorse Travis Tormey.

  • Travis Tormey Law Firm

  • Travis is a Lifesaver

  • Travis J. Tormey - Evaluation

  • Great Lawyer. Got me off exactly what I wanted

  • Consummate Professional!

  • Great Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Good Service

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Exceptional Lawyer

  • Hired to defend me for aggravated assault

  • Hired to defend me in a restraning order

  • Excellent attorney, highly recommend his talents

  • DWI Counsel

  • I highly recommend Mr. Tormey

  • Great attorney

  • Travis Tormey, Esq. - Great Results!

  • Travis Tormey - Excellent Attorney-Kind and Trustworthy

  • Excellent Attorney-Trustworthy and Kind

  • An Outstanding lawyer!!! That will represent you in the correct way!

  • Excellent Attorney! You will not be dissapointed....

  • Travis Tormey Gets Results!

  • tormey

  • Success!!

  • Travis Tormey Review

  • Only Lawyer I Recommend

  • Very Grateful

  • Attorney review of Travis Tormey

  • Excellent

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

The Tormey Law Firm

Areas we serve

Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

  • Hackensack Office

    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

    (201) 556-1570

    view larger map

  • Morristown Office

    55 Madison Avenue Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

    (908) 336-5008

    view larger map

Daily Record Daily Record
CBS Radio CBS Radio
NJ dot com NJ dot com
The Record The Record
AOL News AOL News
Asbury Park Press Asbury Park Press