Lawrence Township Municipal Court – Lawrenceville, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Lawrence Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lawrence Township Municipal Court
Address: “2207 Lawrenceville Road, PO Box 6006, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648”
Phone: 609-844-7159

City: Lawrenceville
County: Mercer
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Lawrence Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Lawrence Township Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Lawrenceville?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Lawrenceville, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Lawrence Township Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Lawrence Township Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Lawrence Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lawrenceville, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Lawrenceville, New Jersey?

Depending on the size of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Lawrence Township Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.