Municipal court is the one place where your rights will be trampled on if you don’t have a lawyer or if you don’t hire an experienced lawyer. I have always said that municipal court is so skewed in favor of the prosecution, justice is hardly ever served.
Most municipal courts require you to talk to the prosecutor directly if you don’t have a lawyer. That’s crazy! Everything you say can be used against you when you talk to the prosecutor, who will sometimes have these discussions in the presence of the police officer who is charging you with a crime. How is that fair?
You need to protect yourself, from yourself. Often, people who defend themselves run the risk of running off at the mouth in an attempt to lobby for their own cause. In doing so, they often make a bad impression on the prosecutor and adds fuel to the fire. The urgency to impart your side of the story will backfire. You need a "buffer" between you and the prosecution and the judge. That buffer is me.
Don’t go to court without the right lawyer-I was a prosecutor for 20 years and now as a defense lawyer I have successfully advocated for drivers who were facing jail time for suspended license violations and drunk driving offenses by negotiating outcomes that completely eliminated incarceration. My mission is to reduce the charges and penalties or even get the charges dismissed. Very often a complete dismissal of the criminal charge is a suitable solution depending upon your circumstances. A "conditional dismissal" in municipal court does have unforeseen consequences and its best to consult an attorney to help you decide.
Do yourself a favor and hire a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the municipal court system so that you get a fair shake. It’s worth the phone call to (732) 455-5018 for a free consultation. I can help.