A lot of criminal arrests are made in Long Branch. Depending on the nature of the Long Branch criminal charge, your case will either be heard in the Long Branch municipal Court or the Monmouth County Superior Court. I am a criminal defense attorney who appears in both courts.
Important point: If you are charged with a DWI in Long Branch, this is not a criminal violation. A DWI is only a traffic offense in Long Branch unless is is accompanied by a criminal violation.
For some reason, it seems that a lot of juvenile delinquency cases are filed in Long Branch as well. In my private practice as well as in my work for the public defender’s office I have represented many juveniles from Long Branch. Juveniles who are charged with criminal offenses in Long Branch face serious penalties including probation, detention, fines and license suspension.
A Long Branch juvenile charge will result in the case being sent to the Monmouth County Superior Court – Family Part. All Monmouth County juvenile charges are heard by the Family Part except for traffic offenses. The only exception to this is traffic tickets that do not accompany criminal violations.
Adult criminal charges in Long Branch will be heard by either the Long Branch Municipal Court or the Monmouth County Superior Court – Criminal Part. New Jersey does not use the terms “felony” or “misdemeanor”. Instead, we use the terms “crime” and “disorderly (or petty disorderly) person offenses.
Typical Long Branch disorderly persons offenses include harassment, simple assault, and possession of marijuana. Typical petty disorderly persons offenses in Long Branch include defiant trespass and disorderly conduct. Most drug charges in Long Branch are for marijuana possession. However, arrests for oxycontin and heroin have increased dramatically in recent years in Long Branch.
If you are charged with a drug offense in Long Branch, there are defenses. The most effective defense to a drug charge is usually to challenge the search. Police in New Jersey cannot simply search you for no reason. They must have a warrant or either meet some exception to the warrant requirement.
The most common exception to the warrant is the search incident to arrest. If police in Long Branch have probable cause to place you under arrest, they may search you. Other exceptions to the warrant requirement are exigency and the community caretaking exception. That exception has recently been expanded to both homes and vehicles.
Searches by Long Branch Police can be challenged with a motion to suppress evidence. Call to speak with a Monmouth County Criminal Defense Attorney about filing a suppression motion. If we can prove that the police did not meet some exception to the warrant requirement, we may be able to have the evidence thrown out. In drug cases, this can mean a dismissal of the case.
Other common criminal offenses in Long Branch include assault and harassment. Both of these charges are commonly filed by private citizens. Since the nature of the these charges is spontaneous, the police are often only notified later on. If the police do not witness a disorderly persons offense, they not usually make an arrest.