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Municipal matters can have serious consequences.

Serious moments need serious legal representation.

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When you’re issued a motor vehicle summons or face criminal charges in municipal court, you need a lawyer with experience and the knowledge to represent you to the full extent possible. Attorney Filipe Pedroso has successfully represented countless clients in municipal courts all throughout New Jersey and New York. The results are proof for themselves – with a 97% “no-points” outcome – clients of a NJ Law Help attorney can feel confident that their matter is in the hands of an experienced attorney who will fight hard on their behalf. Many cases have even resulted in full dismissals with a complete victory.

When a Federal Court Judge was issued a motor vehicle citation for allegedly making an illegal right turn, he contacted Mr. Pedroso. After obtaining substantial discovery, and thoroughly preparing the case for trial, Mr. Pedroso filed a motion to dismiss the case. It was a success! The ticket was dismissed, and the judge-client received no points and had no fine to pay.

A Councilman was issued a ticket for failure to have insurance on his motor vehicle, one of the most serious driving violations in the State of New Jersey providing a minimum mandatory license suspension of 1 year. He hired Mr. Pedroso to defend him in this matter. After several motions, and a full trial, Mr. Pedroso won this case, and the Councilman’s ticket was dismissed!

Even prosecutors’ find themselves in need of defense attorneys, and when a prosecutor’s family member was charged with criminal violations and serious driving infractions, Mr. Pedroso was called to provide assistance.

If you want an attorney to handle your matters seriously, competently and zealously, with the knowledge and ability to win, then you need to contact NJ Law Help now.

NJ Law Help can help you in all types of municipal court matters, including, but not limited to:


  • Aiding & Abetting
  • Assault
  • Bribery
  • Burglary
  • Computer crimes
  • Conspiracy
  • Counterfeiting
  • Credit card fraud
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug offenses
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Hate crimes
  • Internet fraud
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Shoplifting
  • Stalking
  • Terroristic threats
  • Theft


  • Commercial
  • Driving while intoxicated / Driving under influence
  • Drug offenses
  • Hit and Run
  • Illegal turn
  • Parking tickets
  • Red light
  • Stop signs
  • Suspended
  • Toll violations
  • Uninsured
  • Unregistered vehicle
  • Wrong way
  • Yield signs

Your day in Court

Do I need to appear in court if I choose to plead guilty and pay the fine?

If the “Court Appearance Required” box has not been checked on the complaint and if the charge is listed on either the Statewide Violations Bureau Schedule or the Local Violations Bureau Schedule, you may pay the fine without appearing in court. The Statewide Violations Bureau Schedule is a list of state offenses that may be paid without going to court. The Local Violations Schedule is a list of municipal ordinances that may be paid without going to court. You may pay your fine at the court’s payment window, by mail or by using the Internet at If you pay without going to court, you will be pleading guilty and giving up your right to a lawyer and your right to a trial. Court appearances are always required in criminal matters.

If I can plead guilty without going to court, how much will I have to pay?

The amount of the fine is in the Statewide or Local Violations Bureau Schedules. These schedules are available for review at the Municipal Court office. The Statewide Violations Bureau Schedule is also posted on the Internet at

What should I expect when I go to court?

  • Prior to entering the courtroom, please turn off or silence your phone and all electronic devices.
  • When you get to court, check in with court staff.
  • Listen to instructions from court staff and from the judge. The proceedings are sound recorded, so please remain quiet until it is your time to speak.
  • The judge will give an opening statement explaining court procedures, defendants’ rights and penalties.

Cases are usually called in the following order:

  1. Requests for postponements
  2. Uncontested motions
  3. First arraignments
  4. Guilty pleas
  5. Contested motions
  6. Pleas of not guilty (with attorney)
  7. Pleas of not guilty (without attorney)
  • A case may be postponed to give you time to obtain representation by a private attorney or by a public defender (if you qualify) and prepare your defense. If you need a postponement, ask the court staff for assistance.
  • If your case involves a dispute between you and another person, you may be required to participate in a discussion with a mediator to attempt to settle the dispute without going in front of the judge.

What is a plea agreement?

A plea agreement is a way to settle a case. Plea agreements are negotiated with the prosecutor, an attorney who represents the state. You will be given the opportunity to speak to the prosecutor to try to settle your case. You are not required to speak to the prosecutor. All plea agreements must be approved by the judge.

What happens if I plead guilty in court?

If you plead guilty in court, the judge will ask questions regarding the offense charged to make sure there are facts to support the guilty plea and to determine that your plea is voluntary. The judge will then make a finding and impose a sentence. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of traffic offenses in court, the penalties listed on the Violations Bureau Schedule do not apply.

What if I plead not guilty?

If you plead not guilty, the judge will preside over a trial to determine whether you are guilty or not guilty. The trial may be held that day, but in certain circumstances it may be rescheduled.

In a trial, the prosecutor first will call the state’s witnesses (witnesses against you). They will answer the prosecutor’s questions and present any other evidence they have. When the prosecutor is finished with each witness, you, or your attorney, will be permitted to ask them questions about their testimony. When the prosecutor’s case is complete, it will be your turn to call witnesses and present evidence on your behalf. You may testify, although you are not required to do so. If you testify, the prosecutor can ask you questions (cross-examine you). After all witnesses and evidence have been presented, the judge will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. If you are found guilty, the judge will impose a sentence.

Can I use the Internet to find more information or to plead guilty and pay a fine?

Yes. For certain offenses, where a court appearance is not required, you can find out the total amount that you must pay if you plead guilty and pay through the Internet at:

You can obtain more information about the municipal courts and other parts of the New Jersey Judiciary at:

If I am found guilty, what happens after court?

You will be required to pay all monetary penalties, as ordered by the judge. Under certain circumstances, the court may permit you to pay over a period of time. You will be given instructions on how to comply with any other parts of your sentence.

How can I appeal a decision of the court?

If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you may appeal, but if you appeal, you must file the appeal within 20 calendar days of your conviction. You will be required to pay a deposit that will be applied against the cost of preparing a transcript of the trial. You also will be required to pay a $75 filing fee. Please ask the court staff to provide you with a copy of the appeal packet, “How to Appeal a Decision of a Municipal Court.” Information on representing yourself in an appeal is also available at, the Judiciary’s Web site.

What happens when the court’s orders are not obeyed?

People who do not come to court when summoned or subpoenaed, make payments as required, or comply with other requirements of their sentences, face additional punishments including fines, drivers’ license suspensions, arrest and jail.

Your Rights as a Defendant in the Municipal Courts in the State of New Jersey.

  1. You are PRESUMED TO BE INNOCENT until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  2. You have the RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF THE CHARGES against you.
  3. You have the RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT concerning the charges against you, and anything you say may be held against you.
  5. You have the RIGHT TO BE ASSIGNED AN ATTORNEY if the judge determines that you cannot afford an attorney, and there is a likelihood that if you are convicted, you will either go to jail, receive a substantial fine or your driver’s license will be suspended.
  6. You have the RIGHT TO REQUEST A REASONABLE POSTPONEMENT so that you may have an opportunity to consult with your attorney and prepare a proper defense.
  7. You have the RIGHT TO TESTIFY OR NOT TO TESTIFY on your own behalf.
  8. You have the RIGHT TO CALL OR SUBPOENA WITNESSES to testify on your behalf.
  9. You have the RIGHT TO APPEAL within 20 days of any conviction.

If you think you need the services of an interpreter, please notify the municipal court administrator prior to your appearance in court.

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NJSA point schedule

NJSA Section Offense Points

Out of State Violations


Moving violation committed out-of-state


New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway


Moving against traffic



Improper passing



Unlawful use of median strip


All roads and highways


Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph



Operating motorized bicycle on a restricted highway



More than one person on a motorized bicycle



Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk



Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk; passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk


39:4– 41

Driving through safety zone



Racing on highway



Improper action or omission on grades and curves



Failure to observe direction of officer



Failure to stop vehicle before crossing sidewalk



Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway



Driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal



Operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk



Failure to obey direction of officer



Failure to observe traffic signals* (Red Light Camera- 0 pts.)



*No points assessed for red light camera violation



Failure to keep right



Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider



Failure to keep right at intersection



Failure to pass to right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction



Improper passing on right or off roadway



Wrong way on a one-way street



Improper passing in no passing zone



Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle



Failure to observe traffic lanes






Failure to yield at intersection



Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highways



Failure to yield to emergency vehicles



Reckless driving



Careless driving



Destruction of agricultural or recreational property



Slow speed blocking traffic



Driving in an unsafe manner (points only for third or subsequent offense within five years of most recent 39:4-97.2 conviction)



Use of a handheld cellphone or electronic communication device while driving                                        
3 Points are assessed against 3rd offense occurring within 10 years of a second offense and all subsequent offenses thereafter.*



Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit


Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit


Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit



Failure to stop for traffic light



Improper turn at traffic light



Failure to stop at flashing red signal



Failure to stop for police whistle



Improper right or left turn



Improper turn from approved turning course



Improper u-turn



Failure to give proper signal



Improper backing or turning in street



Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing



Improper crossing of bridge



Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles



Improper passing of school bus



Improper passing of frozen dessert truck



Leaving the scene of an accident –
no personal injury


Personal injury



Failure to observe stop or yield signs



Racing on highway



Moving violation committed out-of-state


Points after conviction

The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) tracks driving behavior by adding points to a motorist’s record after a conviction for a moving violation.

Points-Assessed Violation Notices

After two years, MVC will send advisory notices to a motorist whenever points-assessed violations are added to a driving record and the point total is six to 11.

License Suspension Notice

For a total of 12 or more points on a driving record, MVC will issue a notice of scheduled suspension of driving privileges.

Point Violations Remain on Driving Records

All point violations earned since March 1, 1974, remain on a driver history record. However, the motorist’s current point total is based on accumulated points minus any point credits.

How Points are Deducted

A point total will never go below zero. Up to three points will be subtracted from a motorist’s point total one year after:

  • the motorist’s last point violation; or
  • the motorist’s license restoration; or
  • there have been no violations or suspensions on the motorist’s driving record for the past year; or
  • the last time annual safe driving points were subtracted from the motorist’s record (whichever is later); or when
  • the motorist completes an MVC driver improvement program offered to problem drivers selected by MVC.

Credit can be received a maximum of once every two years.

Up to two points may be subtracted from a motorist’s point total after:

  • the motorist completes an MVC-approved defensive driving course. Credit is given for one program every five years.

NOTE: None of these point reductions apply to insurance surcharge point totals.


Surcharges are fines assessed by MVC on an annual basis for drivers who have earned excessive points or committed a specific violation such as DUI. Surcharges are in addition to any court fines/penalties. If you have received a notice in the mail or discovered there is a lien on your property because of a surcharge, please call (609) 292-7500 for more information.

How to pay your surcharges

There are several ways of paying your surcharge:

  • Go to
  • Visit an MVC Regional Service Center
  • Visit an MVC Agency offering walk-in service
  • Call toll free at (888) 651-9999 to charge by credit card
  • Send a check or money order payable to:

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission 
P.O. Box 4850
Trenton, NJ 08650

Why do you get surcharges?

Your record is reviewed every time points are added to it. If you accumulate six or more points within three years from your last posted violation, you will receive a $150 surcharge plus $25 for each additional point.

Additional surcharges may also apply:

  • $100 for driving without a license
  • $250 for driving with a suspended license
  • $100 for failure to insure a moped
  • $250 for operating an uninsured vehicle
  • $1,000 for DUI, 3 years
  • $1,000 for Refusal to take breathalyzer test, 3 years

If you do not pay your surcharges, MVC will suspend your driving privileges indefinitely and take action in the State Superior Court. This may include securing a lien against your property, garnishing your wages or other similar actions. Payment plans are available to MVC customers.

If you have surcharges that result from unpaid tickets or other unresolved legal issues, you will need to contact the court that is responsible for your case. For help determining which court you need to contact, call MVC Violations at (609) 292-7500.

Surcharges FAQs

What is a surcharge?

Surcharges are fines assessed by MVC on an annual basis for drivers who have accumulated excessive points or committed a specific violation (DUI). Surcharges are applied in addition to any court fines and penalties.

Why am I being charged a surcharge?

Your record is reviewed every time points are added to it. If you accumulate six or more points within three years from your last posted violation, you will receive a $150 surcharge plus $25 for each additional point. Additional surcharges also may apply

What offenses will result in a surcharge?

Offenses include alcohol and drug related offenses, regulatory offenses (driving without a license, driving without valid insurance or driving with a suspended license). Additionally, if you acquire six or more points in a period of three years or less, you will have to pay a surcharge.

What are the penalties if I do not pay the surcharge?

If you don't pay the surcharge, MVC will suspend your driving privileges indefinitely and file a claim in the state Superior Court to recover the amount due. This may include a lien against your property, garnishing your wages or other similar actions.

If your driving privileges are suspended because you fail to pay the insurance surcharge and you are convicted of driving with a suspended license, the court will impose an additional $3,000 fine. To avoid this fine, pay the surcharge in full before your court appearance.

How will I be notified of a surcharge on my driving record?

You will receive an official notice of proposed suspension of your driving privileges to the address on your driving record. This notice will indicate the date the payment is due. Failure to pay the surcharge by the due date will result in an indefinite suspension. You will them have to pay a $100 restoration fee in addition to the surcharge payment before your driving privileges can be restored.

How can I notify MVC if I have changed my address?

If you move, the law requires you to notify MVC within seven days. Visit Change your address or call (888) 486-3339 (toll-free in NJ) or (609) 292-6500 (out-of-state).

If you move out of state, you must report all changes of address until you have satisfied the surcharge requirements.

Do I have to pay surcharges if I move outside of New Jersey?

Yes. You are responsible for paying surcharges even if you move out of New Jersey.

Is there a phone number I can call for more information?

To determine which court you need to speak to, call MVC Violations at (609) 292-7500. MVC employees do not have the authority to change any court-reported violations.

Why am I being charged a surcharge for points that are expired or have been removed from my record?

Point violations on or after February 10, 1983 can be applied for a surcharge assessment. The point accumulation is calculated from the date the violations are posted to your driving record, not when the violations occurred.

How long will the surcharge stay on my record?

The surcharge will remain in effect as long as six or more points are posted in the preceding three years.

If my case is under appeal, do I still need to pay the surcharge?

If MVC has confirmation that your case is under appeal and is in process in the court system, we will stop the billing until the court sends us a determination of the appeal. If convicted, and your appeal is not granted, the surcharge will be assessed accordingly.

How can I process an appeal?

Appeals must be channeled through the court where the conviction was imposed. To place a hold on a surcharge account, MVC must receive an “Order of Stay Pending Appeal” signed by the judge from the court in which the appeal will be heard.

How can I pay my surcharge?

You can pay your surcharge online or visit surcharges for more information.

If I cannot pay the entire amount at once, can I arrange a payment plan and still reinstate my driving privileges?

You can make arrangements for a payment plan and have your driving privileges restored if payments are made on schedule. Call (609) 292-7500 for more information. Payment plans are limited to twelve months. MVC cannot extend a payment plan beyond that limit.

If I have been incarcerated and cannot pay my surcharge, why do I have to pay the accrued interest on the surcharge?

There is no provision in New Jersey surcharge law to allow for a waiver on the unpaid balance. If your account is unpaid, interest will continue to accrue.

Upon your release if you provide documentation from the Department of Corrections, stating your term of incarceration, date of release and current residential address, MVC will review your account and a possible interest reduction or adjustment may be applied.

Why was my tax refund applied to my surcharge?

The Division of Taxation receives notice that your account is delinquent and they have the right to withhold your NJ tax refund, homestead rebate, or saver rebate and apply it to your outstanding balance.

If I file for bankruptcy do I still have to pay the surcharge?

No. If you file for bankruptcy, you do not have to pay the surcharge or related fees. But you must forward a copy of the bankruptcy petition to MVC for this to apply, stating that the "State of New Jersey-AISC" was listed as a creditor and that the case was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Parking violations

MVC does not issue parking tickets nor collect payments on them. All tickets are processed through the New Jersey municipal courts.

How to pay parking tickets

  • Follow the directions on the back of the ticket
  • It is usually possible to pay online, by mail or in person at the court
  • If you have lost your parking ticket, please contact the municipal court where your ticket was issued

Tickets on plates that are no longer yours

If you receive a parking ticket on plates that are no longer yours, you need to bring proof that the plate is not yours to the scheduled court date. MVC can provide you with supporting documentation if you follow these steps:

  • Get a copy of the original ticket (not the summons) from the municipality that issued it
  • Write a letter to MVC explaining that the plates are no longer yours
  • Include your former plate numbers, your new plate numbers and your driver license number
  • If you surrendered the old plates and kept the receipt, please provide a copy of that receipt
  • Send the letter, a copy of the ticket and the summons to:

Motor Vehicle Commission
Customer Advocacy Office
P.O. Box 403
Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0403

  • MVC will complete a search for the plate number and send you a letter with the results

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Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI)

A person who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above is considered to be driving under the influence.

First Offense - BAC 0.08% but less than 0.10%

  • 3 months driving privilege suspension
  • $250-$400 fine
  • 12-48 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • Maximum 30 days imprisonment

First Offense - BAC 0.10% or higher

  • 7 months to1 year driving privilege suspension
  • $300-$500 fine
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 30 days maximum imprisonment*

Second Offense

  • 2 years driving privilege suspension
  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 30 days community service
  • 48 hours - 90 days imprisonment*

Third Offense

  • 10 years driving privilege suspension
  • $1,000 fine
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 90 days community service
  • 180 days imprisonment*

DUI in School Zone or School Crossing

First Offense

  • 12-24 months driving privilege suspension
  • $500-$800 fine
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 60 days imprisonment

Second Offense

  • 48 months minimum driving privilege suspension
  •  $1,000-$2,000 fine
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 60 days community service
  • 96 hours-180 days imprisonment*

Third Offense

  • 20 years driving privilege suspension
  • $2,000 fine
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 180 days imprisonment

Refusing the chemical test

First Offense

  • 7 months to 1 year driving privilege suspension
  • $300-$500 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

Second Offense

  • 2 years driving privilege suspension
  •  $500-$1,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

Third Offense

  • 10 years driving privilege suspension
  • $1,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

Refusing chemical test in school zone or crossing

First Offense

  • 1 to 2 years driving privilege suspension
  • $600-$1,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

Second Offense

  • 4 years driving privilege suspension
  • $1,000-$2,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

Third Offense

  • 20 years driving privilege suspension
  • $2,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC


For persons under 21 (the legal age in NJ to purchase an alcoholic beverage) who consume an alcoholic beverage, then drive a vehicle when their BAC is 0.01% or more, but less than 0.08%, the penalties are:


  • 30-90 day driving privilege suspension if currently licensed; or
  • 30-90 day prohibition from becoming a licensed driver at age 17 years; and,
  • 15-30 days mandatory community service; and
  • participation in an IDRC or other alcohol education; and
  • completion of a highway safety program


  • a combination of the minimum sentences above and DUI sentences (see schedule)


  • DUI sentences (see schedule). If the BAC is 0.08% or higher, underage persons will receive DUI sentences as noted.

Interlock device requirements

The courts may require first and repeat DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock device. To start the vehicle, the driver must blow into the device. The vehicle will not start if the driver’s BAC exceeds 0.05%.

First Offense, Court May Impose

  • 6 months-1 year installation of interlock device after restoration of driving privilege

Second Offense

  • 1-3 years installation of interlock device after restoration of driving privilege; or
  • 2 years suspension of registration privileges

Third Offense

  • 1-3 years installation of interlock device after restoration of driving privilege; or
  • 10 year suspension of registration privileges

Surcharges - Alcohol Violations

In addition to the court imposed fines and penalties, anyone convicted of DUI or chemical test refusal is subject to:

  • an insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years ($3,000) for the first and second conviction within a three-year period.
  • an insurance surcharge of $1,500 a year for three years ($4,500) for a third offense within a three-year period.
  • a single $100 DUI enforcement surcharge that must be paid to the court with the required fine upon conviction.

The surcharges will be imposed on a New Jersey or an out-of-state conviction. Failure to pay the surcharge will result in indefinite suspension of all driving privileges and the filing of a judgment against any personal property.

Surcharges - Point Violations/Other

Motorists who incur six or more motor vehicle points are also subject to an insurance surcharge of $150 for six points and $25 for each additional point. The point surcharge will remain in effect as long as a motorist has six or more points on their record for the immediate three-year period. MVC will suspend all driving privileges indefinitely and take judgment action if the surcharge is not paid. Other violations subject to a surcharge are:

  • driving while unlicensed $100
  • driving while suspended $250/Court or MVC imposed
  • failing to insure a MOPED $100
  • operating an uninsured vehicle $250


Boaters convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) on New Jersey’s waterways will be suspended from both boating and all driving privileges. Violators under 17 will have their vehicle and MOPED driving privileges delayed for a term equal to the suspension period.

No Conditional or Special Work Licenses

New Jersey does not have conditional or special work licenses. If a motorist does not have a valid driver license, or if a driving privilege is suspended for drunk driving or any other violation, a motorist may not drive for any reason until that privilege is restored.

Commercial driver license (CDL) violations

Your Commercial Driver License (CDL) is at risk if you are convicted of any violations – even those involving non-commercial motor vehicles.

  • Initial DUI conviction in a passenger vehicle will result in a three to 12-month basic driver license suspension and a one-year CDL suspension.
  • Second DUI conviction in a passenger vehicle will result in a two-year basic driver license suspension and a permanently revoked CDL.

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List of all municipal courts

Full list is available for download in useful links.

NOTE: This browser does not support internal PDF viewing. To see list of all municipal courts, download the PDF to view it: Download PDF.

These are helpful links of resources that you may find useful.

Pay surcharge online

Use this link to access the NJ Surcharge Violation System (NJSVS) to see your Surcharge record and make a Surcharge payment.

NJ Surcharge Brochure

See the NJ Surcharge Brochure for billing facts and additional information about Surcharges.

Change your address

If you moved, you need to update your address with the Motor Vehicle Commission so that you receive important notices and keep your license current.

Pay traffic ticket

Parking tickets and many traffic tickets may be paid online using this link.

List of all municipal courts

This PDF document lists all the State's municipal courts, their addresses, hours of operation, telephone numbers, judges' names, and court administrators.

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Contact us

Use the live chat during office hours to quickly connect with us (see Chat button on button of page). Otherwise, send us an email for a reply within 24 business hours.

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Locate Us

Our Info

NJ Law Help
A Pedroso Law Group LLC website

Our Address

892 US Highway 22
Somerville, NJ 08876
By Appointment Only