Disorderly Persons Offenses, DWI, Driving While Suspended, Driving Without Insurance, and Other “Minor” Offenses
Municipal court is where minor criminal offenses, serious motor vehicle offenses, and minor motor vehicle offenses are prosecuted and resolved. Quasi-criminal offenses such as municipal ordinances are resolved in municipal court as well.
Criminal offenses in municipal court are designated as disorderly persons offenses (DPs) or petty disorderly persons offenses (PDPs), which designate the level of seriousness and penalty exposure. Despite the inclusion of the term “disorderly” in the name, these designations do not always have to involve disorderly behavior. Such DPs and PDPs may include harassment, disorderly conduct, simple assault, trespassing, loitering to purchase drugs, bad checks, and thefts under $200. While the court system may call such charges “minor”, they are not minor to you, and at Lyons & Associates, P.C. we treat the defense of all criminal offenses as serious.
Municipal courts also hear and resolve motor vehicle offenses, some of which have very serious consequences. For example, driving while intoxicated (DWI, DUI) is one of the most serious motor offenses that a person can be charged with, and DWI arrests and convictions can never be expunged. Other serious motor vehicle offenses, including driving while suspended and driving without insurance, can result in license suspensions that can have a destructive impact on your employment and even your family. Many motor vehicle offenses require license suspension and even potential jail time. Many motor vehicle offenses have points attached to them that cumulatively may result in the suspension of your license.
All municipal court offenses should be considered serious. Regardless of whether people tell you municipal court is for “minor” matters that do not necessitate retaining an attorney, you should never appear in court without first consulting an attorney. Know your rights and know the consequences of a potential criminal or motor vehicle conviction before you step foot in a courtroom.
Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. will vigorously defend those rights and ensure that you get a fair trial and the outcome that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online.