Criminal Defense Attorney, Camden County, NJ

When you've been accused of a crime in Camden County, NJ, it can have far-reaching impacts on your future, as well as that of your family. A conviction even for minor disorderly persons offenses can come with fines and jail time that may disrupt your life significantly. For indictable offenses, the penalties can be much worse and even farther reaching.

If you've recently been arrested and charged with one or more crimes, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions—not the least of which is fear and uncertainty about the future. What do these charges mean for you and your family? How will your job be affected? What will be the penalties if you are convicted? If you are a single parent, who will care for your children if jail time is involved?

As with everything, knowledge is power. As a NJ defense attorney with many years of experience, Joseph D. Lento understands the ramifications of criminal charges in New Jersey and the inner workings of the court systems. The Lento Law Firm has compiled the following information so you can better understand what to expect when you're facing criminal charges in Camden County, New Jersey—and even more importantly, so you can make informed choices as you prepare for what's ahead.

What's at Stake When You're Charged with a Crime in Camden County, NJ

Even before your case goes to trial, simply being charged with a crime can have a significant impact on your life and that of your family. Although recent reforms in the state have virtually eliminated bail requirements for all cases, you may face certain restrictions and have your freedoms limited in certain ways while you await trial. Some of these measures help assure the courts that you are reliable to show up for trial, while others may be put in place as protections for others. The list of possible provisions is long, but here are just a few examples:

  • Restrictions on travel.
  • Restrictions on whom you can associate with, or where you can socialize.
  • Established curfew.
  • Requirement to remain gainfully employed.
  • Requirement to attend treatment or educational programs.
  • Restrictions on alcohol intake.
  • Restrictions on possessing a firearm.
  • Regular check-ins with a designated law enforcement agency.
  • Placed in custody with a designated person.
  • Restraining orders. (If your alleged offense involves conflict with a loved one, the judge may issue a restraining order forbidding you from seeing or being near that person pending your trial—or even as part of your sentencing.)

Ramifications if You Are Convicted of a Crime

If your criminal charges result in a conviction, the fallout for you and your family will be amplified even further. Depending on the situation, a conviction can result in:

  • Fines, probation, and/or jail time, depending on your sentencing.
  • Financial difficulties. You can't earn a living while incarcerated, but even if you aren't jailed, the complications from a conviction may cost you your job—affecting your ability to provide for your family.
  • Limited career prospects. Even if you keep your job, your career advancement prospects may be affected by your criminal record. It may also affect your ability to work at certain jobs.
  • Custody implications. A criminal conviction may weigh against you in any custody dispute regarding your children—and if the alleged crime involved your children, you could simply lose custody.

Disorderly Persons Offenses (Misdemeanors) versus Indictable Offenses (Felonies) in New Jersey

Before you can understand what to expect with your criminal charges, it helps to know what types of crimes you've been accused of—particularly, whether you're facing misdemeanor or felony-level charges. This can get a little confusing in New Jersey because unlike most states, New Jersey doesn't use the terms “misdemeanor” or “felony” in its criminal code. Instead, misdemeanor-level crimes are called disorderly persons offenses, and felonies are referred to as indictable offenses. Despite the differences in terminology, these two classifications behave similarly as in other states, with similar penalties and ramifications. Let's explore these crimes in a bit more detail.

Disorderly Persons Offenses in New Jersey

In New Jersey, disorderly persons offenses are equivalent to misdemeanors—“minor” crimes that call for lesser fines, probation, and possibly some time in jail. If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense in Camden County, you will be summoned to appear in one of the county's 34 Municipal Courts. The specific Municipal Court to hear your case will be jurisdictional, based on whether the alleged offense took place in Bellmawr, Cherry Hill Township, Collingswood, Audubon, etc.

Common examples of New Jersey disorderly persons offenses include:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment
  • Shoplifting
  • Simple assault
  • Marijuana possession (less than 50 grams)
  • Resisting arrest
  • Bad check writing

If you are convicted of a disorderly persons offense, depending on the specific offense and circumstances, you could be facing fines up to $1000 and jail time of up to six months. However, it's quite common for Camden County judges to hand down lesser sentences like probation rather than jail time for these types of offenses. The chances of a lesser sentence go up considerably when you have a skilled NJ defense attorney representing your interests.

Indictable Offenses in New Jersey

Felony-level crimes are referred to as indictable offenses in New Jersey. The primary reason for this is that New Jersey is one of a handful of states in which prosecutors must obtain a grand jury indictment to charge you with this type of crime. (In other states, felony charges may or may not require a grand jury indictment.) If you are charged with an indictable offense anywhere in Camden County, your case will be tried before a jury at Camden County Superior Court in Camden, NJ.

Indictable crimes are categorized by degree, each with its own guidelines for sentencing as follows:

  • Fourth Degree Offenses—punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
  • Third Degree Offenses—punishable by 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000
  • Second Degree Offenses —punishable by 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000
  • First Degree Offenses—punishable by 10 years to life in prison and fines up to $200,000

Common examples of Fourth Degree Indictable Offenses include:

  • Stalking
  • Criminal mischief
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Lewdness
  • Forgery
  • Marijuana possession (more than 50 grams)

Examples of Third Degree Indictable Offenses may include:

  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Criminal restraint
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Aggravated assault

Examples of Second Degree Indictable Offenses may include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Drug distribution
  • Unlawful firearm possession

Examples of First Degree Indictable Offenses may include:

  • Rape
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Armed robbery

Note that there is often overlap as to how criminal charges are categorized depending on circumstances and severity of the alleged offense. For example, petty shoplifting may be charged as a disorderly persons offense, while shoplifting more than $75,000 worth of goods would likely be charged as a second degree indictable offense. Likewise, distribution of drugs may be charged either as a first degree or second degree offense based on the amount of drugs being trafficked.

Criminal Courts in Camden County, New Jersey

The State of New Jersey has a relatively simple court system structure, one that enables you to know exactly where and how your case will be tried based on the type of charge. Here's a brief overview of the types of New Jersey courts where your case may be handled.

Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts represent the lowest tier in the New Jersey court system. They handle most traffic and vehicle offenses as well as all disorderly person (misdemeanor) offenses. Municipal Courts also serve as the “first stop” for indictable (felony) offenses—where preliminary hearings are held to determine whether to take the case to a jury trial.

Since Municipal Courts only handle cases with possible jail time of six months or less, they do not host jury trials. Instead, your trial will be a bench trial with both sides presenting their cases to a judge, who renders a ruling based on the evidence presented.

There are currently 34 Municipal Courts in Camden County, NJ, some of which operate from the same location and/or under shared services. Location listings are as follows:

Audubon Municipal Court

606 West Nicholson Road, Audubon, NJ 08106

Phone: 856-547-0712

Audubon Park Municipal Court

135 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township, NJ 08108

Phone: 856-854-1176

Bellmawr Municipal Court

21 East Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ 08031

Phone: 856-931-1081

Berlin Borough Municipal Court

59 South White Horse Pike, Berlin, NJ 08009

Phone: 856-767-1721

Berlin Township Municipal Court

135 Route 73 South, West Berlin, NJ 08091

Phone: 856-767-2533 ext. 2

Brooklawn Municipal Court

500 White Horse Pike, Oaklyn, NJ 08107

Phone: 856-858-0074

Camden City Municipal Court

520 Market Street, PO Box 95120, Camden, NJ 08101

Phone: 856-757-7000

Fax: 856-541-5326

Cherry Hill Township Municipal Court

820 Mercer Street, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Phone: 856-488-7850

Chesilhurst Municipal Court

201 Grant Avenue, Chesilhurst, NJ 08089

Phone: 856-767-1548

Clementon Municipal Court

101 Gibbsboro Road, Clementon, NJ 08021

Phone: 856-783-6464

Collingswood Municipal Court

30 West Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108

Phone: 856-854-7535

Gibbsboro Municipal Court

49 Kirkwood Road, Gibbsboro, NJ 08026

Phone: 856-783-6655 ext. 104

Gloucester City Municipal Court

313 Monmouth Street, Gloucester City, NJ 08030

Phone: 856-456-3958

Gloucester Township Municipal Court

1261 Chews Landing Road, PO Box 8, Blackwood, NJ 08012

Phone: 856-228-4000

Haddon Heights Municipal Court

606 West Nicholson Road, Audubon, NJ 08106

Phone: 856-547-0712

Haddon Township Municipal Court

135 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township, NJ 08108

Phone: 856-854-1176

Haddonfield Municipal Court

606 West Nicholson Road, Audubon, NJ 08106

Phone: 856-547-0712

Hi-Nella Municipal Court

100 Wykagyl Road, Hi-Nella, NJ 08083

Phone: 856-784-6237

Laurel Springs Municipal Court

135 Broadway, Laurel Springs, NJ 08021

Phone: 856-784-6688

Lawnside Municipal Court

4 Douglas Avenue, Lawnside, NJ 08045

Phone: 856-573-6209

Lindenwold Municipal Court

2001 Egg Harbor Road, Lindenwold, NJ 08021

Phone: 856-783-2121 ext. 437

Magnolia Municipal Court

438 West Evesham Avenue, Magnolia, NJ 08049

Phone: 856-784-7134

Merchantville Municipal Court

1 West Maple Avenue, Merchantville, NJ 08109

Phone: 856-662-7560

Mount Ephraim Municipal Court

Oaklyn Municipal Building

20 West Clinton Avenue, Oaklyn, NJ 08107

Phone: 856-858-0074

Oaklyn Municipal Court

Oaklyn Municipal Building

20 West Clinton Avenue, Oaklyn, NJ 08107

Phone: 856-858-0074

Pennsauken Municipal Court

2400 Bethel Avenue, Pennsauken, NJ 08109

Phone: 856-663-1403

Pine Hill Municipal Court

45 West 7th Avenue, Pine Hill, NJ 08021

Phone: 856-783-2566

Runnemede Municipal Court

24 North Black Horse Pike, Runnemede, NJ 08078

Phone: 856-939-5252

Somerdale Municipal Court

105 Kennedy Blvd, Somerdale, NJ 08083

Phone: 856-783-0958

Stratford Municipal Court

315 Union Avenue, Stratford, NJ 08084

Phone: 856-783-1093

Voorhees Township Municipal Court

2400 Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees, NJ 08043

Phone: 856-429-0770

Waterford Township Municipal Court

2131 Auburn Avenue, Atco, NJ 08004

Phone: 856-768-2300 ext. 270

Winslow Township Municipal Court

125 South Route 73, Braddock, NJ 08037

Phone: 609-567-0700 ext. 4

Woodlynne Municipal Court

200 Cooper Avenue, Woodlynne, NJ 08107

Phone: 856-962-8300 ext. 220

Superior Court

In New Jersey, the Superior Courts are the official trial courts for the state, holding jury trials for both civil and criminal offenses. If you have been charged with an indictable offense that has been referred for trial, your case will be administered at the Superior Court.

The Superior Court for Camden County is located in the county seat of Camden, NJ:

Camden County Superior Court

Camden County Hall of Justice

101 South 5th Street, Camden, NJ 08103

Phone: 856-379-2200

Appeals Court/NJ Supreme Court

If you choose to appeal an adverse decision in Municipal or Superior Court, your attorney may appeal your case to the Appellate Division of Superior Court, and then, if applicable, to the New Jersey Supreme Court. These are courts of review, meaning there is no jury and no witnesses, and you will not appear. Your attorney will argue before the judges on your behalf.

Camden County Criminal Defense Attorney

Considering all that is at stake when accused of a crime, you don't want to take chances with your future. You need a New Jersey attorney with skill and experience in handling NJ criminal defense cases. The Lento Law Firm has an extensive track record of success defending clients against a full range of charges in Camden County courtrooms. Joseph D. Lento understands how the New Jersey court system works, and he works tirelessly to help his clients get the fair outcomes they deserve. If you've been arrested or charged, call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 to see how we can help.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website.  In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County.  In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County,  In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties.  Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law.  The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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