Hopatcong Criminal Attorneys
The Borough of Hopatcong may be the place you call home, maybe you were visiting, or perhaps you had a run-in with the law while simply traveling through the Sussex County area. Whatever the case may be, you would be in good company if you found yourself charged with a DWI, disorderly conduct, simple assault, drug possession, aggravated assault, or unlawful possession of a weapon. Hopatcong processes a multitude of criminal cases each and every year, including those disorderly persons offenses sent to Hopatcong Municipal Court and felony charges handled in the Sussex County Superior Court’s Criminal Division to be heard and decided. Restraining orders are also commonly filed in Hopatcong, at which point you may be served with a temporary restraining order that could be made permanent after a hearing in the Sussex County Superior Court’s Family Division.
With extensive experience challenging criminal allegations, traffic offenses, and restraining orders throughout New Jersey, The Tormey Law Firm is highly equipped to offer your best defense in Hopatcong and throughout Sussex County, New Jersey. To discuss your particular charges, ask the questions you need answers to, and get dedicated legal counsel, contact us at 973-755-1695 today. You can also reach out online for a free consultation.
Criminal Charge in Hopatcong, New Jersey
If you were charged with an offense and have been ordered to appear in Hopatcong Municipal Court, you need to know what to expect. First, if your case is in the Hopatcong Municipal Court, your case will be held in the Municipal Building located at 111 River Styx Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843. Generally, Court sessions are held on Mondays at 6:00p.m. and on either the third or fourth Monday of each month at 1:30p.m. The Hopatcong Municipal Court is a shared Court with Stanhope Borough. The Court’s hours of operation are 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Monday through Friday. The Municipal Court Judge is the Honorable Gerard Smith, the Prosecutor is Anthony Arbore, Esq., and the Court Administrator is Erin Geiger. In addition, if you need to contact the Court, the Violations number is 973-770-1200, option 5.
Basics of a Criminal Complaint Issued in the Borough of Hopatcong
You may hear things like probable cause, incident reports, complaints and more. What does this mean and how does it impact your case? Complaints may be commenced by citizens or police officers alleging that a defendant committed a crime or violated the law. Complaints are filed in the Municipal Court and can be categorized as being a warrant complaint or a summons complaint. Probable cause must be established implying a crime was committed by the defendant in order for the warrant to be issued. An incident report is later filed reflecting whether an arrest was made and if/when a complaint was filed. Summons complaints, on the other hand, suggest that a defendant is summoned or required to appear in Court.
Trajectory of a Hopatcong Criminal Case
After a complaint is filed in Hopatcong, it will be either forwarded to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office or the Hopatcong Municipal Court. Felonies coupled with misdemeanor offenses are heard in the Sussex County Superior Court, whereas, misdemeanors (or disorderly persons offenses) are heard in the local Municipal Court. Consequently, once a matter is screened by the Prosecutor’s Office, it may be pursued at the Superior Court level, dismissed, or remanded to the Municipal Court. Depending on the offense, an individual may be held in jail or released prior to trial. If you have been charged with an indictable offense, a crime of the first, second, third, or fourth degree, the Prosecutor has the option to move for detention, meaning they are requesting that the court hold you in jail while your case is being decided. This is also true for misdemeanor offenses like simple assault when the charges are connected to domestic violence. Visit the following link to learn more about Domestic Violence Detention Hearings in Sussex County NJ.
Hopatcong Municipal Court Criminal Process
Cases that are remanded to the Municipal Court are either handled there or in a special remand court. Municipal Courts will handle cases surrounding disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, municipal ordinance violations and traffic violations. When a Municipal Court hears a criminal case, the judge ensures proper procedures are followed within the Courtroom and acts as “the jury” in a sense through making ultimate decisions on the matter/imposing a sentence on a defendant. Municipal Court proceedings do not grant the defendant the right to a jury trial.
Your Complaint will indicate whether you are required to appear in Court and the date of the hearing. Court appearances are required for criminal matters. If you cannot make the hearing date, you may request an adjournment, which may or may not be granted prior to the hearing depending on the circumstances. Similarly, during your Court appearance, your case may be postponed when requested depending on the need or reason for such. For example, if you have not secured counsel you may request that your matter is postponed until doing so.
When you get to your hearing date you may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty to an offense, you are asked a series of questions on the record by the judge to substantiate a finding of guilt. If you plead not guilty, you will have a hearing that may be that day or another day where there are witnesses, evidence and information presented to the Court by the defense and the prosecution. The Judge will then decide on the matter and subsequently impose a sentence including: jail time, fines, etc. if found guilty, or other ways to dispose of the matter, including dismissal if the Judge finds you are not guilty of the charge(s) at hand.
After this, if applicable, you will then be required to fulfill the requirements of your sentence. For example, if you are required to pay a fine then you can either pay the fine that date or request a time payment plan if you cannot afford to render payment for your fines that date. The payment plan is either granted or denied by the Judge. If you fail to make payments, fail to adhere to requirements by the Court, or fail to appear at a Court hearing, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
Appealing a Municipal Court Finding in Hopatcong NJ
If you are found guilty and sentenced in a Municipal Court but find that facts or law do not support a Judge’s decision, then you may file for an appeal within 20 days from the date you have been found guilty. An appeal would be heard at the Superior Court. For example, if you are appealing the decision in your Hopatcong Municipal Court, your appeal would be in the Sussex County Superior Court, located at 43-47 High Street, Newton, New Jersey 07860. The Court’s phone number is 862-397-5700.
When filing a Municipal appeal, there are specific guidelines that must be followed. First, a defendant must request a transcript of the Court hearing, an original and a copy. Next, a Notice of Appeal must be submitted to the Municipal Court Administrator and the Prosecutor within the Court proscribed timelines. After that, a Certification of Timely Filing must be submitted attesting that the required documents were properly sent to the necessary parties. Finally, the Notice of Appeal and the Certification of Timely Filing must be sent to the Criminal Division Manager at the Sussex County Superior Court within the appropriate timeline. If you miss any of the steps or fail to served the proper parties, the appeal will not be heard. In addition, there is also a filing fee that is required.
About the Borough of Hopatcong, New Jersey
Hopatcong Borough is located in Sussex County and was last documented by the 2010 Census to have approximately 15, 147 individuals living there. The area is mainly served by County Routes 605 and 607 and is in close proximity to Morris County. Hopatcong borders Lake Hopatcong and is over 12 square miles. It is known for its vicinity to surrounding ponds and lakes in the area. To learn more about the Borough, visit Hopatcong’s official website.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyers in Hopatcong, NJ for Help with Your Case
If you retain counsel for Hopatcong criminal charges, the next step may be for your attorney to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor. It is important to have seasoned experts handle this process for you because seasoned criminal defense lawyers can review the facts of your case and any underlying mitigating or aggravating circumstances. This negotiation phase may warrant a dismissal of all or some of the charges at hand, settle your case, downgrade your charge(s) to something less, or otherwise reach a successful outcome. Our attorneys don’t simply jump to you making a plea, however. In fact, when it comes to best handling your criminal charges, our team leaves no stone unturned when reviewing your case and representing you.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Hopatcong Municipal Court or Sussex County Superior Court, call The Tormey Law Firm today for top-notch and professional legal assistance. The Tormey Law Firm is experienced and ready to assist you in handling your Hopatcong and Sussex County criminal charges. Call us today at 973-755-1695 for a free consultation.