Municipal Court Self-Help

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Traffic and Parking Tickets

NJMC Direct Ticket System

Use the Traffic Ticket System to:

  • Find a traffic or parking ticket.
  • Pay fines or time payments.
  • Plead not guilty to a traffic or parking ticket.
  • Request a different court date.

Find a ticket

To find a ticket in the system, you will need:

The system can tell you the violation number, the court date, and the name of the court.

If you do not have the ticket, you can call the municipal court in the city or town where you got the ticket. If you do not know where the ticket was written, you can call 609-421-6100 .

Court staff can help you find your ticket using your driver’s license number.

Pay a ticket

If the ticket does not require a court appearance, you can look up the amount due on the Violations Bureau Schedule and pay the fine with a credit card. If you pay the fine, that means you are pleading guilty to the violation.

Plead not guilty

If you want to plead not guilty to the violation, check the box. After indicating you want to plead not guilty, you should complete a Plea by Mail form and upload it on Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS). The judge will hear the case on your scheduled court date.

Request a different court date

You can ask for a different court date if you cannot attend on the assigned date. Court staff will send a new court date using your provided contact information.

Other Municipal Complaints

NJMC Direct Municipal Complaints

Use the Municipal Complaint System to:

  • Find your non-traffic or parking municipal court case.
  • Pay fines or time payments.
  • Plead non-guilty to a municipal court case.
  • Request a different court date.

Find your municipal court case

Enter the case information from the complaint to find your case in the system.

The system will tell you the violation and the court date. You must appear in court.

Make time payments

You can make time payments with a credit card. You can request a time payment schedule on your court date if you don’t have one.

Plead not guilty

If you want to plead not guilty to the violation, check the box. After indicating you want to plead not guilty, you should complete a Plea by Mail form and upload it on Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS). You can go to the municipal court on your scheduled date to have your case heard by a judge.

Request a different court date

You can ask for a different court date if you cannot attend on the assigned date. Court staff will send a new court date using your provided contact information.

Preparing for Municipal Court Appearance

Many traffic and parking tickets are resolved without going to court. However, certain tickets and all municipal cases require a court appearance.

Do you need to go to court?

You do not need to appear in court if:

  • The “Court Appearance Required” box on your ticket is not checked and,
  • The charge is listed on either the Statewide Violations Bureau Schedule and,
  • You pay the required fine, which is also a guilty plea.

You do need to go to court if:

  • The “Court Appearance Required” box is checked.
  • You received a non-traffic or non-parking municipal complaint.
  • The complaint is a criminal case.
  • You request a court appearance to fight the ticket or citation.
  • You are otherwise instructed to appear in court.

In New Jersey, DWI cases go through municipal court. DWI cases also require a court appearance. See if you case qualifies as a Cassidy DWI case.

Preparing for Your Day in Court

Know your rights:

  • You are innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  • You have the right to be informed of the charges against you.
  • You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be held against you.
  • You have the right to attorney.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, you have a right to be a assigned an attorney.
  • You have the right to request a reasonable postponement. You are allowed the opportunity to consult with your attorney and prepared a proper defense.
  • You have the right to testify or not to testify on your own behalf.
  • You have the right to appeal within 20 days of any conviction.

Watch this video before your court date so that you know what you need to do in court.

The video is also available in:

Watch this video for tips on how to participate in a remote court event

How to Get a Public Defender

You might be entitled to a public defender for your court case. It depends on whether you could go to jail if you are found guilty. You must prove you are unable to afford an attorney. Review the income guidelines to see if you qualify.

Requesting Court Accommodations

The court will provide an interpreter if required. Learn more about interpreting services.

What to Expect in Court

You can look up the contact information for your court.

When you come to court:

  • Turn off or silence your phone of any other personal devices.
  • Check in with court staff when you arrive at court.
  • Listen to instructions from court staff and the judge.
  • Remain quiet until your time to speak. Proceedings are sound recorded.
  • The judge will give an opening statement explaining court proceedings, defendants’ rights and penalties.
  • Cases are usually called in the following order:
    • Requests for postponement.
    • Uncontested motions.
    • First arraignments.
    • Guilty pleas.
    • Contested motions.
    • Pleas of not guilty with an attorney.
    • Pleas of not guilty without an attorney.
  • A case might be postponed so you can obtain an attorney and prepare your defense.
  • Your case can go to mediation or arbitration if it is a dispute with another person.

Pleading Guilty or Not Guilty and Plea Agreements

Once your case is called, you can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You might also be able to work on a plea agreement before your case is called.

A plea agreement is when the prosecution agrees to lower charges, reduce fines, or reduce sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea. The judge retains the right to refuse a plea agreement.

If you plead guilty, the judge will:

  • Ask questions to ensure the facts align with your guilty plea.
  • Ensure you are entering the plea with full knowledge and consent.
  • Make a finding and impose a sentence.

You will then have to abide by the fines or sentencing.

Municipal Court Trial

If you plead not guilty, your case moves to trial. The trial could take place that day or another scheduled date. Municipal cases do not have a jury.

The judge decides guilty or not guilty. If guilty, the judge will also impose a sentence. You will receive written instructions on how to comply with your sentence.

Whether you plead guilty or are found guilty, you will have to abide by the court’s judgment. This could include fines, restitution, or even jail time in criminal offenses.

Failure to appear in court, not paying fines, or not complying with other sentencing can result in:

  • Additional fines.
  • Suspension of driver’s license.
  • Arrest and jail time.

Appeals

You can appeal the judge’s decision within 20 days. Visit our municipal court self-help page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions