Detention Hearings: What You Need to Know

Need a Lawyer for a Detention Hearing in Somerset County NJ

Have you or a loved one been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Somerset or Hunterdon County? Are they being detained in the Somerset County Jail pending a formal detention hearing? If so, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. New Jersey’s bail system has undergone some significant changes over the last couple years and is now based on a risk assessment approach as opposed to a pure monetary system. In order for a Defendant to be detained, pretrial, without bail, the prosecution must file for a Detention Hearing. If the prosecution satisfies their burden the Defendant will remain detained, however, if they fail to do so the Defendant will be released immediately, usually upon some conditions. These hearings can be complex and are typically done within a week of the Defendant being arrested. If you or a loved ones has unfortunately found yourself in this type of situation, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today with one of our Somerset and Hunterdon County criminal defense attorneys then please contact our Bridgewater office at 908-533-1064. We serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including Clinton, Flemington, North Plainfield, Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Somerville, Raritan, Readington and Franklin.

When Do I get Informed if the Prosecution has Filed for Detention?

If a Defendant is charged with either a disorderly persons offense or an indictable offense on what is known as a Complaint-Warrant then they will be taken to the Somerset County Jail so that pretrial services can conduct their risk assessment.  Once the risk assessment is conducted, it will be forwarded the prosecutor’s office and they will use that to determine whether or not they will file for detention. The Defendant will be advised at their initial Central Judicial Processing Hearing (CJP) whether or not the prosecution is filing for detention. If the prosecution files for detention, a formal hearing will be set down and is usually conducted with a week. If the prosecution does not file for detention, the Defendant will be released from the county jail, typically on special conditions and will be scheduled for a Pre-Indictment Conference (PIC).

What Factors Do the Prosecution Take into Consideration when Deciding to File for Detention?

In addition to the risk assessment, which is more commonly known as the Pubic Safety Assessment (PSA), created by pretrial services, the prosecution could take into consideration any of the following when determining whether to file for detention:

  • The Specific Charges;
  • Nature of the Charges (Violent? Domestic Violence?);
  • Prior Criminal History;
  • Any Pending Charges;
  • Where the Defendant Resides;
  • Any Factors that Indicate the Defendant’s Likelihood to Appear in Court

What the Prosecution Must Prove to Win a Detention Hearing

As touched upon above, if the prosecution files for a Detention Hearing they will first be required to establish probable cause for underlying charges. If they are able to do so, it will then be their burden to show by clear and convincing evidence that their are no amount of monetary bail, non-monetary conditions or combination of monetary bail and conditions which will reasonably assure the following:

  • That the Defendant will appear in court as required;
  • That the Defendant will not pose a danger to any other person or the community; and/or
  • That the Defendant will not obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate, a prospective witness or juror.

If the prosecution is successful the Defendant will remain in custody pending trail. However, if there is a material change in circumstances defense counsel can seek to re-open the detention hearing and seek to have the Defendant released.

What types of Charges Typically

The prosecution will typically file for a detention hearing on a Defendant charged with a first or second degree crime, especially if the charges involve some form of violence. In addition, a lot of charges that qualify as acts of domestic violence tend to see detention hearings as well. Some of the most common charges that we see the prosecution file for detention on include but are not limited to the following:

Need an Attorney for Detention Hearing in Hunterdon County?

Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a New Jersey based criminal defense firm that has dedicated their careers to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout the State, including in Somerset and Hunterdon County. If you or a loved one is facing a detention hearing in Somerset or Hunterdon County we strongly urge that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. These hearings tend to occur within the first week of the filing of the charges as such time is of the essence. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys today about your options then please contact our office at 908-533-1064 or you can try contacting us online. We serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County including towns like Clinton, Union, Bernards, Watchung, Bound Brook, Manville, West Amwell, Flemington and Readington.

Author: Keith G. Oliver

Founding partner Keith G. Oliver has a passion for helping people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He believes that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent, and that one mistake shouldn’t define a person forever. This passion drives Mr. Oliver to tirelessly fight for his clients and pursue the best possible outcome in every case.