What is a Municipal Ordinance in NJ

Hackensack Municipal Ordinance Lawyer

Need Lawyer Local Ordinance Violation NJ

Any town may enact rules that impact the town, also known as town ordinances. Most often, towns pass laws that involve the peace and enjoyment, property, and civility of its citizens. However, local governments in New Jersey have very few ways to raise revenue. Filing a violation of a local ordinance against a resident or visitor to the town is one easy way to generate money for town operations. If you violate an ordinance or receive a municipal ordinance violation in New Jersey, you will receive a court notice and must answer the complaint by going to municipal court. Here’s what you need to know about municipal ordinance violations in New Jersey. Please feel free to contact our firm to speak with an experienced defense attorney about how an ordinance may be applied in your case. You can reach us anytime by calling 201-556-1570.

Is a Municipal Ordinance Violation a Criminal Offense in New Jersey?

Violating a town ordinance is not considered a crime or disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. Under NJ Law, a crime is also known as a felony or indictable offense. Crimes are punishable by state prison terms and/or probation and are heard in Superior Court. Crimes will also show up on a criminal background check and may impact your employment and other opportunities. Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses also show up on a criminal background check and are considered “quasi-criminal.” They are not felonies but can impact your future and are punishable by a county jail sentence and possible term of probation. If you have a case involving an ordinance violation or a disorderly persons offense, you will be required to attend municipal court in the town where you allegedly committed the violation.

Examples of NJ Town Ordinances

Common examples of municipal ordinance violations include:

  • Disturbing the peace
  • Building code violations
  • Unkempt property (long grass or junk on the lawn)
  • Littering
  • Public intoxication; and
  • Urinating in public

For example, many seaside towns have enacted ordinances that are designed to provide a better quality of life. Seaside Heights has a new ordinance that makes it a violation to rent to anyone under 18. It used to be that Landlord or homeowner could rent to anyone 18 and over, but that person would not have to be on the premises. Typically, parents would sign the rental agreement for their children to stay overnight during such events as proms or graduation and the parent would not have on stay on site. Now, however, the parent or person who signed the rental must be on the premises and that person is liable for the drug use, noise, damage or underage drinking of the occupants. The fine is a minimum of $1000 for each act resulting in a violation and up to 30 days in jail.

Another example of a municipal violation is consumption of alcohol by a minor in a public place or car. It may be illegal in some towns for minors to consume alcohol in public: on the street at the beach, or in the park. In Seaside Borough and many other towns at the Jersey Shore, if you drink in public as a minor you can be fined a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $1200 and also face jail time. Underage drinking is also considered a criminal offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-15.

As an adult homeowner, your town may have a law against letting your grass grow too long. In many cases, the town will have someone cut your grass and then charge you the fee. The town can even levy a lien against your property. In some cases, failure to stop the violation can cause fines to continue to accrue and compound, making it difficult to get yourself out of a situation.

Received a Ticket for Violating a Town Ordinance, Now What?

If you are issued an ordinance violation, you should always follow the court notice and show up as instructed. You will be directed to the municipal court where the violation allegedly occurred. Under New Jersey Title 40:49-5, you can be ordered to pay substantial penalties and fines as much as $2000 for a violation of a local ordinance. In some cases, you can spend up to 90 days in jail for a violation and be ordered to perform community service. Any potential loss of your liberty is not to be taken lightly.

Can a Municipal Ordinance ever be a Positive Outcome?

Yes. In some cases, your attorney may be able get your charges downgraded from a disorderly persons offense, which is technically a criminal offense, to an ordinance violation, which is not a criminal conviction on your record. You may have to pay a fine, similar to any other ticket, but this is a much better outcome than having something on your criminal record to will appear on a background check. Our skilled New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at The Tormey Law Firm often help clients facing charges for disorderly conduct and other criminal offenses have their charges reduced to ordinances. This can protect your future from the hindrance of a criminal record and is often a great way to avoid having to say you have been convicted of a criminal offense when asked on an application for work or school.

Contact Municipal Violation Lawyers serving Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, & New Brunswick

If you have been charged with criminal offense or accused of violating a municipal ordinance in New Jersey, you need to discuss your options with a knowledgeable attorney. Call us at 201-556-1570 and rely on our experience in getting you through the process. We have successfully represented countless clients in municipal courts throughout New Jersey, including in Hackensack, New Brunswick, Morristown, Newark, Wayne, and Paramus. Here are a few of our results involved downgraded charges in New Jersey courts:


  • No promises, just a Pro!

  • Excellent Lawyer... Helped me in every step off my Case..

  • Great work

  • Best lawyer!!

  • FRO removal success!!

  • Easy to work with, straightforward

  • Kept my license

  • Father of client

  • Excellent Attorney , Charges Dismissed as promised

  • Helped every step of the way

  • Avoid mandatory jail time on shoplifting charges


  • 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.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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