If the “Court Appearance Required” box has not been
checked on the complaint and if the charge is listed on either
the Statewide Violations Bureau Schedule or the Local
Violations Bureau Schedule, you may pay the fine without
appearing in court. The Statewide Violations Bureau
Schedule is a list of state offenses that may be paid without
going to court. The Local Violations Schedule is a list of
municipal ordinances that may be paid without going to
court. You may pay your fine at the court’s payment window,
by mail or by using the Internet at www.NJMCdirect.com. If
you pay without going to court, you will be pleading guilty
and giving up your right to a lawyer and your right to a trial.
The amount of the fine is in the Statewide or Local Violations Bureau Schedules. These schedules are available for review at the Municipal Court office. The Statewide Violations Bureau Schedule is also posted on the Internet at www.njcourtsonline.com.
A plea agreement is a way to settle a case. Plea agreements are negotiated with the prosecutor, an attorney who represents the state. You will be given the opportunity to speak to the prosecutor to try to settle your case. You are not required to speak to the prosecutor. All plea agreements must be approved by the judge. What happens if I plead guilty in court? If you plead guilty in court, the judge will ask questions regarding the offense charged to make sure there are facts to support the guilty plea and to determine that your plea is voluntary. The judge will then make a finding and impose a sentence. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of traffic offenses in court, the penalties listed on the Violations Bureau Schedule do not apply.
If you plead not guilty, the judge will preside over a trial to determine whether you are guilty or not guilty. The trial may be held that day, but in certain circumstances it may be rescheduled. In a trial, theprosecutor first will call the state’s witnesses (witnesses against you). They will answer the prosecutor’s questions and present any other evidence they have. When the prosecutor is finished with each witness, you, or your attorney, will be permitted to ask them questions about their testimony. When the prosecutor’s case is complete, it will be your turn to call witnesses and present evidence on your behalf. You may testify, although you are not required to do so. If you testify, the prosecutor can ask you questions (cross-examine you). After all witnesses and evidence have been presented, the judge will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. If you are found guilty, the judge will impose a sentence.
Yes. For certain offenses, where a court appearance is not required, you can find out the total amount that you must pay if you plead guilty and pay through the Internet at: www.NJMCdirect.com You can obtain more information about the municipal courts and other parts of the New Jersey Judiciary at: www.njcourtsonline.com
You will be required to pay all monetary penalties, as ordered by the judge. Under certain circumstances, the court may permit you to pay over a period of time. You will be given instructions on how to comply with any other parts of your sentence.
If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you may appeal, but if you appeal, you must file the appeal within 20 calendar days of your conviction. You will be required to pay a deposit that will be applied against the cost of preparing a transcript of the trial. You also will be required to pay a $100 filing fee. Please ask the court staff to provide you with a copy of the appeal packet, “How to Appeal a Decision of a Municipal Court.” Information on representing yourself in an appeal is also available at www.njcourtsonline.com, the Judiciary’s Web site.
People who do not come to court when summoned or subpoenaed, make payments as required, or comply with other requirements of their sentences, face additional punishments including fines, drivers’ license suspensions, arrest and jail.
For more information regarding your case, contact the municipal court at the phone number found on the ticket or court notice. You may also find municipal court telephone numbers online at www.njcourtsonline.com or in the blue pages of your telephone book.