Bail Reform and the Criminal Justice Reform Act

Trenton, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Help Clients Maintain Their Freedom While Awaiting Trial

On January 1, 2017, the State of New Jersey committed to substantial bail reform that is expected to have a substantial effect on criminal defendants and improve equity and public safety.

If you have been charged with a crime, or are concerned about your potential exposure to criminal liability, call (609) 503-7813 today to speak with one of the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at the Davis Law Firm, LLC. Initial consultations are free.

In the past, New Jersey relied on a monetary bail system. Depending on the crime at issue, a bail amount was set. Criminal defendants who lacked the necessary financial assets to pay monetary bail could therefore be held in jail until trial — the actual risk they posed to the community could not overcome their inability to pay monetary bail. As such, old New Jersey law exposed the public to greater risks, as it did not properly assess risk. It operated primarily to give those with more financial resources the ability to avoid being held in jail until trial.

The implementation of a risk-based conditional release system in New Jersey operates on entirely different principles. Before the new bail rules, the defendant in a criminal case was required to pay monetary bail as a condition for release. Now, the court will assess whether you can be safely released until trial based on a number of factors, including the risk of you failing to appear for trial (flight risk) and the risk of you committing another crime during the period of your pretrial release.

Procedure Following Arrest in New Jersey

After you have been criminally charged, you will appear in court for your first court appearance within two days of your arrest and detainment in county jail. During this court appearance, the judge will place you on pretrial release (with various reporting and monitoring restrictions, depending on the risks that you present), or the judge will request that you be detained without bail. In the latter instance, you will later attend a detention hearing where the judge will determine whether to confirm the earlier detainment request.

Pretrial Release Requirements in NJ

If you have been detained without bail, then trial must begin within six months of the indictment. If you have been placed on pretrial release, however, this deadline restriction is not applicable. During the period of your pretrial release, you could be subject to a number of different restrictions that include:

  • Phone, text, or email reminders for court dates
  • Weekly or monthly reporting to a pretrial services officer
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Home detention
  • Prohibitions on travel
  • And more

Violation of any of the pretrial release conditions could result in the revocation of your conditional release.

Connect with the Davis Law Firm to Discuss Bail & Pretrial Release Options in Your Princeton, NJ Criminal Case

Here at the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our attorneys have years of combined experience helping clients in a range of criminal defense matters. We also have a track record of success in obtaining favorable verdicts and dismissals for our clients. We believe in personalized representation, and we work closely with clients to tailor a defense strategy to the specifics of each case.

Call (609) 503-7813, or use the online contact form, to get connected with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney today.

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