Pretrial Detention Hearing Lawyers in Passaic County NJ
Working to Be Released at Pretrial Detention Hearing is Important after Your Arrest in New Jersey
If you’ve been arrested for an indictable crime or domestic violence-related disorderly persons offense, you may be required to participate in a pretrial detention hearing to determine whether you must remain in jail until your court date, as well as through your plea bargain or trial. You have the right to freedom after arrest until your trial and the burden of proving that your release is a threat to the community in a pretrial detention hearing lies with the prosecution.
It’s crucial to hire a criminal defense attorney who regularly advocates for clients in pretrial detention hearings within Passaic County and New Jersey’s legal system immediately after being arrested. Reach out to our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Montanari Law Group to represent you in your pretrial detention hearing and work to get you the freedom you so urgently desire in Bloomingdale, Clifton, Paterson, North Haledon, Totowa, Hawthorne, Little Falls, and elsewhere in Passaic County. Call 973-233-4396 for a free consultation today.
What Pretrial Detention Hearings are Used For in New Jersey
A pretrial detention hearing is a preliminary hearing that a criminal defendant faces to determine whether they will be detained in jail throughout court proceedings or whether they will be conditionally released pending trial. The nature of one’s charge and other factors such as public safety assessments contribute to the pretrial detention hearing’s outcome.
Effects Of The New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Act on Pretrial Release
In 2017, bipartisan legislation in New Jersey and a subsequent Constitutional amendment instituted what is known as the New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Act, or “the Act.” The Act eliminated the formerly utilized cash bail system in exchange for a more equitable and reliable approach to pretrial detention. As a part of the Act, a pretrial detention hearing is required for certain indictable and domestic violence offenses, during which a judicial officer uses key assessments to determine whether the nature of the alleged crime, as well as the defendant’s criminal history and risk factors, make detention up to and throughout the trial a safer option for the community. The defendant is either released without paying bail or withheld until the trial.
Process for a Pretrial Detention Hearing Following an Arrest
New Jersey defendants are presumed to merit release upon arrest until their trial date. However, for some criminal activities, a prosecutor will argue that the defendant poses the risk of not arriving for their court date or is some threat to the community. The prosecutor will file a motion for detention at the defendant’s Central Judicial Processing court appearance, which happens within a few days of arrest. The prosecutor files a motion for detention at the Central Judicial Processing hearing, which occurs within 48 hours of arrest. If a motion for detention is filed, the pretrial detention hearing will occur within five days.
Burden of Proof in NJ Pretrial Detention Hearings
Because defendants have the right to remain free without bail until their trial, excepting extenuating circumstances outlined above, the burden of proving these extenuating circumstances – threat of not appearing in court, threat to a community member, and threat to someone involved in the trial – lies with the prosecutor. During the pretrial detention hearing, the prosecutor will attempt to prove reasonable cause for detention. As a result, the judge will either withhold the defendant, release them, or release them with conditions.
Specific Criminal Cases Where Pretrial Detention Hearings are Required
Pretrial detention hearings are required for certain indictable crimes and disorderly persons arrests that involve domestic violence issued with a complaint warrant. These include homicide, simple assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, domestic violence assault, robbery, burglary, drug distribution, and other offenses.
Role of Public Safety Assessments in Pretrial Release Decisions in NJ
A public safety assessment (PSA) is a pretrial metric that the presiding judicial officer uses to determine whether a defendant must be detained pending trial or whether they can be released freely or with conditions. A judge uses a PSA to determine risk factors associated with the defendant, such as their criminal history, including prior convictions, pending charges, and record of appearing at court dates. A PSA also takes into consideration the defendant’s age at the time of arrest.
Little Falls Pretrial Detention Hearings Attorneys for Your Defense
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense and given a pretrial detention hearing date, it is very important for you to seek legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney. Proving that you are a liability that must remain detained until and through your trial is the burden of the prosecutor, and a skilled defense attorney such as ours at Montanari Law Group will represent you in negating that argument. Our criminal defense lawyers in Passaic County will look at the results of the PSA as well as your history to deem whether we can secure your release. We may also argue against the solidity of the prosecution’s argument for your detention. Our attorneys will also investigate whether the charge for which you are standing trial is likely to be unsuccessful as a result of procedural error or inadequate evidence.
Our team at Montanari Law Group has a longstanding history of successfully representing our criminal defense clients throughout Passaic County, such as Ringwood, Little Falls, Prospect Park, Wanaque, and Wayne, in their pretrial detention hearings and onward through plea bargains and trials. We are dedicated members of the community committed to getting you back on track after arrest. Contact us today at 973-233-4396 or fill out the online intake form now to schedule a free and confidential consultation to go over your case.