Criminal Defense Attorney, Hunterdon County, NJ

You've just been arrested or charged with a crime in Hunterdon County, NJ. What does it mean for you? For your family? For your job? For your future? What happens if you're convicted of a crime? How does having a criminal record affect you?

If you're facing criminal charges, these and other questions are likely flooding your mind. Indeed, from the moment of your arrest, you may experience significant disruptions to your life and that of your family—even more so if you're convicted. What can you expect? How can you prepare? Most importantly, what can you do to minimize the damage?

Joseph D. Lento is a New Jersey criminal defense attorney who has many years of experience defending clients in Hunterdon County courtrooms. The Lento Law Firm provides the following helpful information so you can have a better understanding of what it means to be charged with a crime, what the ramifications are, where you'll appear in court, and what can be done to improve your odds of a favorable outcome.

Being Charged with a Crime in Hunterdon County, NJ

From the time of your arrest until your trial, you need to be prepared for some possible changes to your everyday routine—even beyond the inconvenience of the arrest itself. The good news is that in almost all cases, there is no longer any bail requirement in New Jersey thanks to recent criminal reforms. But even so, your release is conditional, which means the judge may place certain “conditions” and restrictions on you pending your trial date. For example:

  • You may be placed in the temporary custody of a friend, family member, or other designated individual.
  • Your ability to travel may be restricted—especially out of state.
  • You may be required to remain at your current job until the trial or to be actively seeking employment if unemployed.
  • You may be given a curfew.
  • You may be required to check in with a law enforcement officer regularly.
  • If you're alleged crime involved violence against someone else, the judge may issue a restraining order against you forbidding contact with that person.

There are times when the judge will release you on your own recognizance without any further restrictions, and if so, your normal life may resume temporarily until your trial. On the other hand, if you're deemed a flight risk, the judge may still assign bail in certain cases or possibly keep you in custody until trial. A skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney can negotiate on your behalf to keep any conditional restrictions at a minimum.

What to Expect if You Are Convicted

If your criminal charges in Hunterdon County, NJ result in a conviction, the impacts may be much farther reaching. First, you will have to deal with sentencing, which can include any combination of probation, fines, community service, and time in jail or prison. But the ramifications of conviction go even further. You should be prepared for any/all of the following:

  • Financial difficulties for yourself and your family. You obviously can't make a living for your family if you're incarcerated—but even if you avoid jail time, the complications of being charged and convicted of a crime may jeopardize your job.
  • Limited career prospects. Even after completing your sentence, a conviction may affect your career opportunities because of your criminal record. You may be prohibited from working certain types of jobs, and some employers won't hire you if a conviction shows up on your criminal background check.
  • Limits on where you can live. For certain types of crimes (e.g., sex crimes, where you're placed on a sex offender registry), you may not be allowed to live in certain places or neighborhoods, or near schools or other places of business. In other cases, a criminal record may cause your rental application to be declined.
  • Loss of custody of your children. If you are a single parent and are convicted of a crime, your children may go into foster care while you do your time in jail, and even if your children are co-parented, you may lose custody rights while in prison. A conviction may also be used against you in custody disputes.

Types of Crimes in New Jersey

New Jersey doesn't classify crimes as “misdemeanors” and “felonies” the way most other states do. Instead, it classifies crimes as either disorderly persons offenses or indictable offenses.

What Are Disorderly Persons Offenses in New Jersey?

Disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey are essentially the same thing as misdemeanors in other states. These so-called “minor” offenses generally call for lighter sentences and carry less weight than more serious crimes. Examples of disorderly persons offenses include:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Shoplifting (under $200)
  • Simple assault
  • Resisting arrest
  • Writing bad checks
  • Harassment
  • Marijuana possession (less than 50 grams)

If you're charged with a disorderly persons offense somewhere in Hunterdon County, you will be summoned to the Municipal Court for the jurisdiction where your alleged crime occurred, whether that's in Highbridge, Tewksbury, Franklin Township, or another city or town. Sentences for disorderly persons offenses are generally mild, usually consisting of some combination of probation, community service, and/or fines—especially for first-time offenders. However, in certain circumstances, you could face fines up to $1000 and no more than six months in jail. Again, having an experienced attorney can go a long way toward mitigating the penalties of conviction—and if circumstances warrant, your attorney may even be able to have some or all of the charges dismissed.

What Are Indictable Offenses in New Jersey?

New Jersey is one of only a few states in which prosecutors must obtain a grand jury indictment before charging you with any crime at the felony level. For this reason, felonies in New Jersey are appropriately called indictable offenses. Here are just a few common examples of indictable offenses in New Jersey:

  • Marijuana possession (more than 50 grams)
  • Unlawful possession of a weapon
  • Aggravated assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Burglary
  • Lewdness
  • Forgery
  • Kidnapping
  • Drug distribution
  • Sexual assault/rape
  • Manslaughter
  • Homicide

Indictable offenses are charged as Fourth, Third, Second, and First Degree crimes, each carrying progressively harsher sentences. For example, a Fourth Degree offense carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines, while a First Degree offense could result in life imprisonment and fines up to $200,000.

Courts in Hunterdon County, New Jersey

The New Jersey court system follows a fairly simple yet effective structure, one that makes it easy to know which types of courts handle which cases. Let's dive into the types of courts you may encounter if charged with a crime in Hunterdon County.

Municipal Courts in Hunterdon County

Municipal Courts represent the lowest tier in the New Jersey court system, dealing with virtually all minor offenses ranging from traffic tickets to disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors). These courts do not hold jury trials—instead, both prosecution and defense present their case before the Municipal Court Judge, who then renders a decision (and if applicable, pronounces sentence). Municipal Courts do not try indictable offenses (felonies), but they do host the preliminary hearings for these crimes to determine whether they should advance to trial.

Hunterdon County is served by 21 Municipal Court locations:

Bethlehem/Bloomsbury Joint Municipal Court

405 Mine Road, Asbury, NJ 08802

Phone: 908-735-4559

City of Lambertville Municipal Court

Phillip L. Pittore Justice Center

25 South Union Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530

Phone: 609-397-1335

Clinton Municipal Court

1370 Route 31 North, Annandale, NJ 08801

Phone: 908-735-3730

Clinton Township Municipal Court

1370 Route 31 North, Annandale, NJ 08801

Phone: 908-735-3730

Delaware Municipal Court

1070 Route 202, Ringoes, NJ 08551

Phone: 908-782-6855

East Amwell Joint Municipal Court

1070 Route 202, Ringoes, NJ 08551

Phone: 908-782-6855

Flemington Municipal Court

1 Municipal Drive, Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-782-5770

Franklin Township Municipal Court

1070 Route 202, Ringoes, NJ 08551

Phone: 908-782-6855

Glen Gardner Municipal Court

405 Mine Road, Asbury, NJ 08802

Phone: 908-735-4559

Hampton Borough Municipal Court

1 Municipal Drive, Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-782-8818

Kingwood Township Municipal Court

599 Oak Grove Road, Frenchtown, NJ 08825

Phone: 908-996-0799

Lebanon Borough Municipal Court

405 Mine Road, Asbury, NJ 08802

Phone: 908-735-4559

Lebanon Township Municipal Court

60 Water Street, Lebanon, NJ 08833

Phone: 908-832-7684

Milford Municipal Court

599 Oak Grove Road, Frenchtown, NJ 08825

Phone: 908-996-0799

Municipal Court of the Delaware Valley

61 Church Road, PO Box 496, Milford, NJ 08848

Phone: 908-995-9100

Raritan Township/Hampton Borough Joint Municipal Court

1 Municipal Drive, Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-782-8818

Readington Township Municipal Court

509 Route 523, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889

Phone: 908-534-2414

Stockton Municipal Court

1070 Route 202, Ringoes, NJ 08551

Phone: 908-782-6855

Tewksbury Township Municipal Court

60 Water Street, Lebanon, NJ 08833

Phone: 908-832-7684

Union Township Municipal Court

1370 Route 31 North, Annandale, NJ 08801

Phone: 908-735-3730

West Amwell Municipal Court

150 Rocktown Lambertville Road, Lambertville, NJ 08530

Phone: 609-397-2027

Superior Courts in Hunterdon County

Superior Courts are the primary trial courts within the New Jersey court system. They hold jury trials for indictable offenses (felonies), as well as family law and civil cases. If you're charged with an indictable offense in Hunterdon County, your trial will take place at the Superior Court in Flemington:

Hunterdon County Superior Court

Hunterdon County Courthouse

65 Park Avenue, Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-824-9750

What if I Wish to Appeal a Verdict?

If you and your attorney believe you have sufficient reason that your trial was conducted erroneously or your verdict unfair, you have the right to appeal. Your attorney will submit the appeal first to the Appellate Division of Superior Court, and then, if applicable, to the New Jersey Supreme Court. These higher courts do not re-try cases, and no jury or witnesses will be called; they only review cases from the lower courts to ensure due process was served. The judges of the Appellate Division and Supreme Courts will only overturn verdicts or call for corrections if they see a legitimate reason to do so.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Hunterdon County, New Jersey

When you're accused of a crime in Hunterdon County, New Jersey—no matter how minor the offense—your choice of a criminal defense attorney may be crucial to the outcome of your case. Joseph D. Lento has many years of successful experience defending clients in Hunterdon County courtrooms. He understands how these courts, the prosecutors, and the judges work, and he knows how to position your defense for the best possible outcome. Don't take chances with your future; hire an attorney with a proven track record of success. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to learn more about 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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