Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth released bills recently that are aimed at certain municipal court reforms. In the first bill, O’Scanolon is seeking to increase the term of municipal court judges from three to five years. The other bill which he proposed, seeks to permit certain individuals who are charged with criminal offenses, the ability to earn credits toward their fines. A few ways in which they would earn credits include completing court-imposed drug and or alcohol treatment programs. Additionally, the program would allow those defendants to eliminate some of the fines that they would ordinarily have to pay.
O’Scanlon told the Asbury Park Press that this was the beginning of the reforms directed at municipal courts and that the public could expect additional reforms in the future.
The bills are a response to a New Jersey Supreme Court report as well as investigative reporting by the Asbury Park Press that the municipal court system in New Jersey was not operating fairly and was in need of reform.
Municipal Court offenses in the state of New Jersey vary from DWI charges to certain theft and assault offenses. Depending upon the specific charge and the individual’s prior record, an individual can face up to six months in jail for certain municipal court convictions such as disorderly persons convictions. Obviously, the specific facts and circumstances will determine what the penalty for a conviction will be.
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Clark and Clark, LLC is a criminal defense firm that is centrally based in Freehold, New Jersey. The attorneys at Clark and Clark represent individuals who are charged with criminal offenses throughout the state of New Jersey. The attorneys have a track record of success and many years of experience handling both criminal and municipal court matters. A free initial consultation is available.