In order to provide a clear understanding of litigant’s rights, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions
If I wish to simply pay a fine for parking and certain moving offenses, what do I do?
Read the reverse side of the Summons issued to you. You may pay for parking offenses and certain moving violations without the necessity of a Court appearance.
Check the schedule of fines and penalties below for the appropriate amount and make your check payable to the Jefferson Twp. Violations Bureau. The Jefferson Municipal Court now accepts payment by Visa and Mastercard
Be sure to check the Court appearance date on the lower front of the Summons. Your check must reach the Violations Bureau prior to that date.
What do I do if I have received a Summons that requires my Court appearance and I wish to plead guilty at that time?
If your Summons is checked "Court Appearance Required" and you wish to plead guilty, you must: (a) appear on the date indicated on the Summons or, (b) make arrangements to appear on another date prior to the date indicated on the summons.
You will be informed of your rights by the Judge in open Court.
The reason that your appearance is required is usually because the fine or penalty must be set by the Municipal Judge.
If I have received a Summons and I wish to contest the allegations made in the Summons, how should I proceed?
You must contact the Violations Bureau by phone or in writing before the date that appears on the Summons simply indicating that you wish to contest the Summons and enter a plea of not guilty. The Violations Bureau will set a new Court date for you to appear at that time.
Certain infractions may result in the suspension of drivers privileges or a jail term You will be advised of your rights to an attorney at your first appearance.
If I have been charged with a criminal offense, such as a disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense or a violation of a Township Ordinance, what must I do?
If you are charged with a criminal or quasi criminal matter you must appear on the date indicated in the summons. At that time you will be informed of your rights in the Municipal Court. You may wish an opportunity to seek the advice of an attorney or if you are financially disadvantaged, you may qualify for an attorney to be assigned. In any case, you will be directed by the Municipal Judge as to the next step.
If I plead guilty or I am found guilty of any offense (traffic or criminal) and I am not satisfied with the judgment of the Judge finding me guilty or the sentence that he imposed, what can I do?
Any person who is dissatisfied with the finding made by the Court or the sentence that is imposed has the right to appeal to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division. He or she will receive a "Trial De Novo" before a Superior Court Judge based upon the transcript of the hearing had at the Municipal Court level. You must arrange for the cost of the transcript by placing a deposit with the Court and file the appropriate forms provided by the Municipal Violations Bureau. You must accomplish the filing of your appear within twenty (20) days of the date of your conviction and/or sentence in the Municipal Court.
What If I plead guilty or I am found guilty and I don’t have the funds to pay the fine?
You are expected to pay all fines when they are imposed. If the Court finds after inquiry that you do not have the appropriate funds to satisfy the fines and/or costs an Order may be entered requiring payment of at least one half of the fine and costs and a satisfactory payment schedule of weekly payments not to exceed sixty (60) days. The Jefferson Municipal Court now accepts payment by Visa and Mastercard
What if I fail to appear, fail to notify the Court of a new address, fail to pay a fine or costs or otherwise fail to follow the direction in the Summons, by the Court Staff or the Municipal Judge? What is the Municipal Court empowered to do?
If you fail to comply with a Court directive, the Municipal Court may order a Bench Warrant for your arrest, suspend your driver and registration privileges and impose additional sanctions for your noncompliance.