Secaucus Criminal Defense Attorney
Secaucus NJ Defense Lawyer
William Proetta Criminal Law represents clients who have been charged with crimes and motor vehicle offenses in Secaucus, New Jersey. Our criminal attorneys have been defending clients in Secaucus and Hudson County for the better part of a decade. We traditionally represent clients in Secaucus Municipal Court who have been charged with Theft, Shoplifting, Simple Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Driving While Suspended, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Driving Without Insurance and DWI. These charges can carry serious consequences including probation, community service, mandatory suspension of your license, and even county jail. Our attorneys will challenge the state’s case at every stage along the way, while also working with the prosecution to secure a downgrade or dismissal altogether of your charges. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, then contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 for a free initial consultation with an experienced Secaucus defense lawyer.
Secaucus Municipal Court Information
The Secaucus Municipal Court is located at 1203 Paterson Plank Road, 1st Floor Secaucus, NJ. Hours of Operation for the Secaucus Municipal Court are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Court sessions are held Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m, and 5:30 p.m. and/or Wednesday or Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The phone number for the Municipal Court is (201) 330-2065. The Municipal Court’s fax number is (201) 319-9024. The Honorable James E. Stahl is the Municipal Court Judge and the Municipal Prosecutor is Jeff Rubin. Linda Seufert is the Municipal Court Administrator. For additional information please visit the Secaucus Municipal Court official website.
What Happens When You Have a Case in Secaucus
The process in municipal court can be complicated and most criminal cases are initially filed there. Although the local municipal court only hears low-level criminal offenses that are classified as either disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses, most criminal offenses typically begin as complaints filed by officers from the local police department or New Jersey State Police, or by the alleged victim in the municipal court. Some states refer to disorderly persons offenses as “misdemeanors,” while the more serious indictable offenses are called “felonies.”
Once a criminal complaint occurs, it will either be handled in the Secaucus Municipal Court or the state will transfer the charges to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, with the county prosecutor then deciding whether to take the case before a grand jury. Cases that are handled in municipal court fall into one of these categories: more minor criminal offenses, traffic offenses, municipal ordinance violations, fishing and hunting violations. More serious crimes, such as aggravated assault, robbery, and kidnapping, are known as “indictable offenses” because a grand jury must first issue an indictment against the defendant before the charges can proceed to trial in superior court. If the county prosecutor decides not to pursue an indictment, then the charges may be downgraded and the case sent back to municipal court. Even if the case stays up at the county level, it may be resolved during pre-indictment negotiations or by way of a program like PTI.
If the case heads back down to Secaucus Municipal Court, the local municipal prosecutor pursues the lesser charges against the defendant, makes a plea agreement, or drops the case altogether. There may likewise be a possibility that the defendant can avoid a conviction on their record if they have no prior convictions and have never used a program like conditional discharge before. You may also decide to litigate the case, which means you have the opportunity to present the best possible defense at trial. Before trial, a seasoned criminal attorney may argue to have key evidence excluded based on vulnerabilities and problems. This means that the evidence cannot be used during your prosecution.
Options and Trials in Secaucus Court Cases
Your municipal court case will probably be on the same docket with a number of other cases. When your case is called, you will be presented with three options:
- Request a Postponement: If you do not yet have legal representation, you may request that your case be rescheduled at a later date when you have retained the services of an attorney. You may be able to have your case called earlier in the day if you notify the court staff in advance of your desire to seek a postponement.
- Plead Guilty: If you do not wish to contest the charges against you, you can enter a plea of “guilty.” The judge will explain your rights and then ask questions to make sure that you understand the implications of pleading guilty. Once the judge is satisfied that you understand the consequences, they will hand down a sentence and impose penalties.
- Plead Not Guilty: If you wish to contest the charges and you are prepared to stand trial, you can plead “not guilty.”
All municipal court cases are presided over by a judge in what is known as a “bench trial.” Unlike cases in superior court, cases handled in municipal court are never heard by a jury. The trial proceedings in municipal court can be complex, with the prosecution first presenting evidence and witnesses against you, followed by your own presentation of evidence and witnesses in your defense. Having a criminal attorney who reviews the entirety of the circumstances and builds a solid defense can significantly enhance your potential for a positive outcome. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will issue a ruling and find you either guilty or not guilty. If the judge finds you guilty, they will then hand down a sentence and impose penalties. If not, the case is dismissed.
Town of Secaucus, New Jersey
Secaucus is a middle-class suburban town located in Hudson County. The town is approximately 6 square miles in size and has a population of about 16,200 residents. Apart from its residential area, Secaucus has regions that are highly dedicated to industries. This is mainly due to the fact that Secaucus is located alongside major highways such as the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 3 and provides good railroad transportation for shipping purposes. There is also a great deal of retail areas, consisting of major department stores, restaurants and outlet shops, scattered throughout the town of Secaucus. Together, this is what creates such a high volume of thefts and traffic tickets which keeps the Secaucus Municipal Court very busy.
Defending Your Charges in Secaucus
Being charged with a crime is a serious matter and deserves serious attention. The attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law understand the fear, anxiety and stress that many people normally experience, and we make it our priority to comfort our clients by keeping them well-informed throughout the process while always maintaining a focus on aggressive defense work targeted on achieving the best outcome for you. If you have any additional questions or would like to consult an experienced Secaucus criminal attorney, contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018.