Criminal Defense Attorney, Morris County, NJ

For many of us, it's our worst nightmare – you find yourself arrested or charged with a crime, and you don't know where to turn or what to do. This could happen anywhere, but if you're reading this, then it may have happened to you in Morris County, NJ. Depending on the charge, you may have many questions about what could happen to you, how long the process will take before things are resolved, and, most importantly, who can help you figure things out.

This is not something you want to deal with by yourself. The criminal justice system in Morris County is made up of prosecutors and judges who are experienced at what they do, and if you've been charged with a crime, it is not their job to help find you innocent. You need someone with experience on your side, someone who can help you defend yourself against the charges and make sure that the prosecutors and court system follow the rules that have been set up to provide defendants with a fair trial. You also need someone who can spot the holes in the prosecution's case and negotiate on your behalf to reduce or drop charges where that is appropriate.

This page won't answer all of your questions about your case, but it will give you some idea of how the criminal justice system operates in Morris County. If you have specific questions about your particular case, the best way to start to get some answers is to contact an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney who can learn about your situation and explain to you what your potential defenses are and how the process will operate.

Joseph D. Lento has experience defending clients against criminal charges in New Jersey and can help you understand your case and will work with you to build the best defense possible. The information below will give you some idea of how crimes are prosecuted in Morris County, what you may be able to expect in terms of where your case will be tried, and what the process will be like. After you've had a chance to review this, feel free to contact Joseph Lento and the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 or through our contact form today to learn more about how we can help.

What Happens if You are Charged With a Crime in Morris County, NJ

Of course, being charged with a crime in Morris County means you can expect there to be some changes in your everyday life. Fortunately, having to stay in jail until the trial is probably not one of them since, in most cases, there is no longer any bail requirement in New Jersey (though bail laws are ones that frequently change).

That said, judges in Morris County are free to place certain conditions or restrictions on you after you've been released, which can remain in place until your trial date or until your case is dismissed. These can include the following:

  • A friend, family member, or other designated person may be given temporary custody of you, meaning they are responsible for your whereabouts and to make sure you return for court dates.
  • You may be restricted from traveling, particularly outside of New Jersey or the US.
  • The judge may require you to stay employed at your current job or to look for work if you're not currently employed.
  • You may be required to be at home during certain hours.
  • You may have to check in from time to time with a law enforcement official.
  • If you've been charged with a crime of violence against someone else, the judge may issue a restraining order preventing you from having contact with that person.

In some cases, you'll be released with none of these conditions – that's called being “released on your own recognizance.” When that happens, you should not experience any unusual restrictions on your everyday life, except, of course, to make sure you attend court-ordered hearings and your trial if your case goes to trial. In other cases, if the judge decides you are a flight risk and other legal conditions are met, the court may assign bail or even decide to keep you in custody until trial. It helps to have a skilled and knowledgeable New Jersey attorney such as Joseph Lento representing you in these cases, to negotiate on your behalf so that any restrictions on your everyday life are kept at a minimum.

What to Expect if You Are Convicted

Things change significantly, of course, if you are convicted of your criminal charges in Morris County, NJ. Depending on the conviction, your sentence can include any or all of probation, fines, community service, or jail time. That alone may seem like more than enough, but the long-term effects of a criminal conviction can include some or all of the following:

  • Financial burdens. Jail does not pay well, and if you are incarcerated, you're unlikely to be able to provide for yourself or for your family. Even if your conviction does not result in a jail sentence, your employer may decide that it no longer wants to keep you on as an employee. That can lead to...
  • Difficulties in finding a job. Many employers aren't interested in hiring someone with a criminal record, and depending on your conviction, you may not be able to work in certain fields that require certification or licensing.
  • Restrictions on where you live. After being convicted of some crimes, such as those involving sexual offenses, you may not be allowed to live in certain areas, such as near schools or community centers for young people. In other instances, just the fact that you have a criminal conviction could make it more difficult for you to rent a home or borrow money to buy one.
  • You may lose custody of your children. If you are a single parent and are required to serve jail time, your children may be placed in foster care during your sentence. If you share parenting duties with a former spouse, you may also lose your right to care for your children and may have to go to court to recover that right after you leave jail. And, of course, having a criminal conviction is not helpful when you're trying to restore custody.

Types of Crimes in New Jersey

New Jersey has two types of crimes: disorderly persons offenses, which are similar to misdemeanors in other states, and indictable offenses, which are similar to other states' felonies.

What Is a Disorderly Persons Offense in New Jersey?

As noted, disorderly persons offenses are similar to misdemeanors, which tend to be lower-level crimes. Sentences for these types of offenses tend to be shorter than for more serious ones and have less of a bad effect in the long term. Some common disorderly persons offenses include:

  • Shoplifting (under $200)
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Writing bad checks
  • Harassment
  • Simple assault
  • Resisting arrest

Disorderly persons offenses in Morris County are handled by the Municipal Court in the town or borough where you were charged, whether that's in Parsippany, Riverdale, Madison, Florham Park, or another city or town. As noted, 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. Some offenses, however, include possible fines of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail. Again, if you have an experienced attorney helping to defend you, it could help to reduce the penalties of a conviction—and possibly, depending on the situation, your attorney may even be able to have some, or all, of the charges dismissed.

What Is an Indictable Offense in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a prosecutor needs to obtain an indictment from a grand jury before charging you with any crime at the indictable offense (or felony) level. This is why New Jersey calls these more serious crimes “indictable offenses.” Some examples of indictable offenses are:

  • Unlawful possession of a weapon
  • Aggravated assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Marijuana possession (more than 6 ounces)
  • Burglary
  • Drug distribution
  • Lewdness
  • Forgery
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault/rape
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter

There are four levels of indictable offenses in New Jersey, with Fourth Degree being the least serious and First Degree being the most serious (with Third Degree and Second Degree lying in between). A Fourth Degree offense can result in a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, while a First Degree offense can mean life in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.

Courts in Morris County, New Jersey

New Jersey courts include Municipal, Superior, and Appellate courts, each one dealing with different types of cases. Here are the courts you may be dealing with if charged with a crime in Morris County.

Municipal Courts in Morris County

Municipal Courts handle almost all the minor offenses in New Jersey. These range from traffic tickets to disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors). The Municipal Courts don't hold jury trials; instead, the cases are decided by a judge, who also determines the sentence if there is a conviction. The more serious Indictable Offenses are not tried by the Municipal Courts, but these courts may hold some of the preliminary pre-trial conferences and hearings, and these judges may decide whether the case should go to trial.

Morris County has 39 Municipal Court locations (note that some towns or boroughs may share the same court location):

Boonton Municipal Court

3333 Route 46, Parsippany, NJ 07054

Phone: 973-263-4290

Boonton Township Municipal Court

155 Powerville Road, Boonton Township, NJ 07005

Phone: 973-402-4006

Butler Borough Municipal Court

91 Newark-Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone: 973-835-1013

Chatham Borough Municipal Court

50 Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940

Phone: 973-593-3026

Chatham Township Municipal Court

50 Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940

Phone: 973-593-3026

Chester Borough Municipal Court

1 Parker Road, Chester, NJ 07930

Phone: 908-879-5100

Chester Township Municipal Court

1 Parker Road, Chester, NJ 07930

Phone: 908-879-5100

Denville Township Municipal Court

1 Saint Mary's Place, Denville, NJ 07834

Phone: 973-625-8300

Dover Municipal Court

37 N. Sussex Street, Dover, NJ 07801

Phone: 973-366-2200

East Hanover Municipal Court

1000 Route 10, Whippany, NJ 07981

Phone: 973-428-2519

Florham Park Municipal Court

111 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park, NJ 07932

Phone: 973-410-5324

Hanover Municipal Court

1000 Route 10, Whippany, NJ 07981

Phone: 973-428-2519

Harding Township Municipal Court

915 Valley Road, Gillette, NJ 07933

Phone: 908-647-8369

Jefferson Township Municipal Court

1033 Weldon Road, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

Phone: 973-208-6129

Kinnelon Borough Municipal Court

130 Kinnelon Road, Kinnelon, NJ 07405

Phone: 973-838-7644

Lincoln Park Municipal Court

34 Chapel Hill Road, Lincoln Park, NJ 07035

Phone: 973-694-6100

Long Hill Township Municipal Court

915 Valley Road, Gillette, NJ 07933

Phone: 908-647-8369

Madison Joint Municipal Court

50 Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940

Phone: 973-593-3026

Mendham Borough Municipal Court

43 Schooleys Mountain Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853

Phone: 908-876-3852

Mendham Township Municipal Court

1 Parker Road, Chester, NJ 07930

Phone: 908-879-5100

Mine Hill Township Municipal Court

65 Mt. Hope Road, Rockaway, NJ 07866

Phone: 973-627-9000

Montville Township Municipal Court

360 Route 202, Suite 2, Montville, NJ 07045

Phone: 973-335-1022

Morris Plains Municipal Court

531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, NJ 07950

Phone: 973-538-4019

Morris Township Municipal Court

50 Kings Road, Madison, NJ 07940

Phone: 973-593-3026

Morristown Municipal Court

200 South St, PO Box 150, Morristown, NJ 07963

Phone: 973-292-6687

Mountain Lakes Municipal Court

1 Saint Mary's Place, Denville, NJ 07834

Phone: 973-625-8300

Mt. Arlington Municipal Court

419 Howard Boulevard, Mt. Arlington, NJ 07856

Phone: 973-398-6832

Mt. Olive Township Municipal Court

204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Budd Lake, NJ 07828

Phone: 973-691-0900

Netcong Borough Municipal Court

204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Budd Lake, NJ 07828

Phone: 973-691-0900

Parsippany Troy Hills Municipal Court

3333 Route 46, Parsippany, NJ 07054

Phone: 973-263-4290

Pequannock Township Municipal Court

530 Newark-Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Phone: 973-835-5700

Randolph Township Municipal Court

502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ 07869

Phone: 973-989-7055

Riverdale Borough Municipal Court

91 Newark-Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale, NJ 07457

Phone: 973-835-1013

Rockaway Borough Municipal Court

3339 Route 46E, Parsippany, NJ 07054

Phone: 973-263-4290

Rockaway Township Municipal Court

65 Mount Hope Road, Rockaway, NJ 07866

Phone: 973-627-9000

Roxbury Township Municipal Court

1715 Route 46W, Ledgewood, NJ 07852

Phone: 973-448-2034

Victory Gardens Municipal Court

37 N. Sussex Street, Dover, NJ 07801

Phone: 973-366-2200

Washington Township Municipal Court

43 Schooleys Mountain Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853

Phone: 908-876-3852

Wharton Borough Municipal Court

419 Howard Boulevard, Mt. Arlington, NJ 07856

Phone: 973-398-6832

Superior Courts in Morris County

The Superior Courts are the ones that try the more serious cases in New Jersey. These are jury trial cases that include indictable offenses as well as some family law and civil matters. There is one Superior Court location in Morris County, located in Morristown:

Morris County Superior Court

Morris County Courthouse

56 Washington Street, Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 862-397-5700

What if I Wish to Appeal a Verdict?

Criminal verdicts are appealed for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from procedural errors made by the court during the trial to insufficiency of the evidence used to convict to problems with jury selection and more. In cases where the defendant believes there were problems with the trial sufficient to overturn the guilty verdict, the case can be appealed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court and then, if applicable, to the New Jersey Supreme Court. These appellate courts don't try the cases again; instead, they will rule on whether the problems with the trial that the defendant brought to their attention are serious enough to overturn the verdict or, sometimes, send the case back to the Superior Court for a new trial.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Morris County, New Jersey

If you've been accused of a crime in Morris County, New Jersey—no matter how minor the offense—it is important that you choose an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney to help defend you and work to achieve the best outcome for your case. Joseph D. Lento has years of experience defending clients in Morris County courtrooms. He understands how the courts, the prosecutors, and the judges work, and he will position your defense for the best possible outcome. Don't take chances with your future; hire an attorney with the experience and dedication to provide you with the best chance of success in your case. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 or through our contact form today to learn more about how we can help.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

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, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York 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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