Can I Get Bail in New Jersey?
The right to bail and the traditional bail system in New Jersey has forever changed since the 2017 Bail Reform was initiated. The ability to simply make a phone call to a bail bondsman and have them secure your release is long gone. New Jersey in essence abolished the monetary bail system, which had a tendency of keeping those without financial means in jail pending trial on relatively low bails and replaced it with what boils down to a risk assessment basis. The new system attempts to mirror that of the Federal Criminal Justice System. The overall goal of Bail Reform was to create uniformity in those that are detained and also release those low level offenders either on their own recognizance or on special conditions. With that being said, before an accused can be detained in the County Jail without bail, pending trial, the prosecution must file for and be successful at what is known as a Detention Hearing. For more information on these types of hearings, please contact our office at 732.858.6959. One of our Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers will be glad to go over the specifics of you or your loved one’s case and formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs.
Detention Hearings in New Jersey
Anyone arrested and charged on a complaint-warrant or complaint-warrant on indictment that is issued for an initial charge involving an indictable offense, or a disorderly persons offense involving domestic violence, may be subject to a Detention Hearing. Whether or not a Defendant is subject to a Detention Hearing will be in the sole discretion of the prosecution. Some of the factors that the prosecution take into consideration when making their decision on whether to file for a Detention Hearing include but are not limited to the nature of the charges, the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident, the Defendant’s prior criminal history and the Public Safety Assessment (PSA) generated by Pretrial Services. The PSA is the risk assessment discussed above. It is generated by an algorithm that examines the following:
- The Defendant’s prior convictions, if any;
- Whether the Defendant had any pending charges at the time of arrest;
- Whether the Defendant had any prior failures to appear in court;
- Whether the Defendant has previous been incarcerated;
- The Defendant’s age at the time of the offense.
Based on the Defendant’s PSA score, Pretrial Services will make a recommendation as well.
When Does the Prosecution File for Detention?
If the prosecution decides to file for detention, the Defendant will be notified at their Central Judicial Processing Hearing, which normally takes place within 48 hours of their arrest. During the Detention Hearing, the prosecution must establish by clear and convincing evidence that there is a serious risk that:
- The Defendant will not appear in court as required;
- The Defendant will pose a danger to any other person or the community; and/or
- The Defendant will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate, a prospective witness or juror.
These hearings can and always should be be contested. An experienced criminal defense attorney can seek to attack the allegations made by the prosecution and seek to convince the Judge that the prosecution has failed to meet their high burden and as such, the Defendant should be released on some form of conditions pending trial.
What types of Charges are Subject to Detention Hearings?
All indictable offenses and disorderly persons offenses involving acts of domestic violence that are issued upon a complaint-warrant or which are subject to a direct indictment could be subject to bail reform. Some of the most common crimes subject to Detention Hearings in Monmouth County include but are not limited to:
Bail Hearing Lawyers in Monmouth County
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and is now facing a Detention Hearing in Monmouth County, we strongly urge that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Being detained in the county jail, without bail, pending trial can add a lot of extra stress upon an already stressful situation. If you would like to speak to one of the Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law about your options, then please call our Middletown office at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online. We serve all of Monmouth County, including Freehold, Belmar, Manasquan, Tinton Falls, Holmdel, Wall Township, Asbury Park, Ocean Township, Long Branch, Eatontown, Howell and Aberdeen.