Important Information About Changes to the Bail/Detention Process in New Jersey

Noteworthy changes have occurred in New Jersey to the bail and detention process that will implicate many prospective defendants whose cases are heard in New Jersey courts. Previously, the system in New Jersey had detention hearings and a cash bail system. This fundamental shift will enable many prospective defendants to have access to pre-trial release subject to certain conditions. In order to learn how these recent changes governed by N.J.S.A. 2A: 162-15 could potentially impact your upcoming case, review the information below:

How the Bail/Detention System Operated Previously in New Jersey

Detention hearings used to be called bail hearings and the system operated as a cash-bail system. What this meant is that the judge would assess the background of the defendant and whether they would actually appear in court. The severity of the offense was also taken into account to determine whether the defendant was a flight risk. There were more minor cases of theft where the defendant would have waited more in the county jail for more time than their sentence would have been since they were not able to afford the amount designated for their cash bail.

Key Changes of the Bail/Detention Process in New Jersey

Within the first 48 hours, the Prosecutor will decide whether they want to seek detention of the defendant. If so, then there will be a detention hearing within those first 48 hours. When a Prosecutor decides to seek detention, it becomes more complicated to represent the defendant since it will be harder to have access to them in jail, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this case, a warrant complaint is filed and the defendant will go to county jail regardless of how much cash they have. If a Prosecutor decides that detention is not necessary, then the defendant will typically be released with conditions.

Why It Is Best to Be Active in the First 48 Hours

The first 48 hours are essential for our firm to contact the Prosecutor and see if a detention hearing is necessary. If our firm is able to convince to release on conditions, it is much easier. If the Prosecutor does not file for detention, there will be a hearing in five days. Our attorneys will have access to discovery and will have to prepare for a judge to argue certain conditions that are available such as calling in, appearing at the courthouse, house arrest, or GPS monitoring to ensure the defendant’s presence, protect society, and avoid obstruction of justice.

The Benefits of the New Bail/Detention System in New Jersey

Since the new system has been implemented, Prosecutors are not incentivized to seek detention because if they do, speedy trial rights are now triggered on a constitutional level. Before Prosecutors did not have to provide a great deal of information about relevant evidence they had regarding the defendant’s case unless there was a plea offer in the pre-indictment stage or an arraignment. Now, if they are seeking detention, they will have to provide more information and give our firm more information to defend our clients.

How Covid-19 Impacts These New Regulations in New Jersey

The Covid-19 pandemic has absolutely had an impact on the court system and typical criminal procedures within the State of New Jersey. There are no jury trials occurring right now. The defendants that are detained in the county jail have waited longer than expected since the courts are closed. Speedy trial rights were recently decided on how the credits impact defendant’s time in jail due to Covid-19-related delays. Currently, there are many issues being decided upon to promote the appropriate application of justice during these challenging times and while the cash bail and detention hearings are one solution, there are still other backlogs in the Criminal Justice system that are being decided, which could greatly have an impact on a defendant’s case. This is why working with an experienced attorney that is constantly apprised of recent changes is critical for your upcoming case.

How the Bianchi Law Group Can Help

At the Bianchi Law Group, our firm primarily focuses on cases related to Criminal Defense, Municipal Court Matters, and Domestic Violence. Both partners Robert Bianchi and David Bruno are former prosecutors who prosecuted a wide range of criminal and domestic violence cases. The Bianchi Law Group is equipped with experienced Criminal Defense attorneys in New Jersey to help individuals looking for a New Jersey lawyer to obtain the best possible representation and legal outcome for their case.

Former Prosecutors and Trusted by the Media

The Bianchi Law Group partners Robert Bianchi and David Bruno are former prosecutors who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of crimes in New Jersey and are certified along with only 250 other attorneys as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Robert Bianchi and David Bruno have extensive experience related to Criminal Defense cases in New Jersey. Robert Bianchi and David Bruno regularly appear as national legal analysts to comment and debate all most major news networks such as: Fox News, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Fox Business among others.

The Bianchi Law Group focuses on practice areas related to Domestic Violence, Criminal Defense, and Municipal Court matters. Contact us at 862-210-8570 to schedule a preliminary consultation to discuss how we can potentially assist you with your upcoming case.