Do I Have to Appear in NJ Municipal Court During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Currently, New Jersey courthouses and court facilities are open only to attorneys, litigants, and public members with scheduled proceedings or appointments.

Do I Have to Appear in NJ Municipal Court During The COVID-19 Pandemic? The New Jersey judiciary continues to issue orders and other directives setting out measures to address how COVID-19’s restrictions may impact court access for you and the public at large and answer questions regarding basic services, jury duty, and emergency services like Domestic violence temporary restraining orders (TROs), and applications to prevent an illegal lockout from a landlord.

As stated on the NJ Courts website, a small number of judges and court staff work on-site each day, but the rest continue to work remotely to ensure safe distancing can be maintained. This will help reduce public exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic and enable NJ Municipal courts to hear scheduled appearances in virtual court sessions still using Zoom video conferencing.

What About Mandatory Court Appearances in NJ Municipal Court?

For matters with a mandatory court appearances (i.e., DWI/DUI, narcotics possession, criminal and/or Domestic Violence), individuals will receive a notice in the mail with court date information.

Do I Have to Appear in Court for a Traffic Violation Physically? What About Plea By Mail?

COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing have meant that certain defendants can choose to handle their cases through a new Judiciary Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) program or by mail. The plea by mail must be undertaken in writing and must be done on Court-approved forms or format.

Some traffic violations require a court appearance, thus negating the online and written option. Working from home, homeschooling, or being a caregiver to elderly parents, you might feel pressured to plead guilty and move on with your life. Unfortunately, the most significant impact of pleading guilty and choosing not to understand your rights is moving violation points on your driver’s license. The accumulation of too many points can result in mandatory surcharges and a suspension of your driver’s license. Thus, making it more practical to fight traffic tickets in court, especially if you dispute the facts of the traffic event.

You should always know your rights and options when confronting a speeding ticket or other traffic infraction, so it makes sense to consult an attorney for advice and guidance. If you or someone you know has questions about the plea by mail option, has been charged with a serious traffic offense, or wishes to contest a notice you received regarding payable offenses, you need to speak to an experienced municipal trial lawyer.

Attorney Edward Cooper, Esq. utilizes his extensive experience practicing in towns such as Linden, Cranford, Garwood, and Roselle Park, to more effectively advocate for his clients who face prosecution in these jurisdictions and ensure his clients’ cases are properly handled by the courts, whether in-person or remotely.  His practice does its part by continuously staying up-to-date on best practice standards for virtual court proceedings, online dispute resolution programs, and plea-by-mail.

Do I Need a Really Lawyer If I Can Do Plea By Mail in NJ Municipal Court?

Do I Need a Really Lawyer If I Can Do Plea By Mail in NJ Municipal Court?The online dispute resolution program only allows the defendant and prosecutor to make one offer, which significantly contrasts with the typical negotiation and compromise process between the defendant and the state. Unfortunately, if a defendant pleads guilty through the online portal, there is great uncertainty about what penalties they will face as a result. It could be that an experienced lawyer advocating for your rights could have negotiated a more favorable deal with prosecutors had they examined the case in a remote court hearing.

Edward S. Cooper, Esq. has been successfully helping clients to navigate through these tenuous waters for over two decades. He combines a compassionate and client-centered approach with an aggressive form of advocacy while working to obtain the most desirable outcome for his clients. Overall, Mr. Cooper understands that each situation is unique, requiring a tailored strategy to the individual and their specific needs.

Contact our Experienced Linden, NJ Trial Lawyers to Discuss Your Options

Edward S. Cooper, Esq, has been practicing law with integrity and a commitment to his clients and their families in New Jersey for over 25 years. He has served as a dedicated legal advocate in various legal matters, helping his clients through what is often a complex and overwhelming process. As a seasoned family and criminal lawyer, he helps families move forward with confidence.

The resonating quality in all of Mr. Cooper’s work shows in the unparalleled level of support that he provides clients in Rahway, Clark, Elizabeth, Union Township, Edison, and throughout Union, Essex, and Middlesex Counties and his ability to achieve successful resolutions.

Contact us online or at our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625 today for a confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.