Despite impending bail reform, if you today are charged with a serious criminal offense in New Jersey, you will need to post bail before you will be released. Some lower-level crimes can be charged on a Summons, which allows the police to arrest you, process you, and release you on your own recognizance (without posting bail). Other crimes, or those persons who have had prior criminal charges filed against them, can have conditions (such as bail) imposed on them by the Judge. If the crime is very serious, you can be held without bail by the Judge. The circumstances of what happened that resulted in the criminal charges being filed against you are used to evaluate whether you are at risk of re-offending or otherwise a danger to yourself, others or property, or a “flight risk”, that is, someone who will post bail and then not return for subsequent hearings, “skip” town in other words. Your prior record, including the types of offenses you have been charged with or convicted of in the past are used to increase the bail requirements, as can the fact of whether you have ever had a bench warrant issued against you for failing to appear in Court. All of these factors will be evaluated to determine whether a bail motion should be filed to reduce the bail so it can be posted. But bail reform can change all that. That’s because the terms of Bail in New Jersey is heading for major bail reform beginning in 2017. According to nj.com: “The constitutional amendment, approved by state voters as a ballot question in 2014, will require full hearings within 48 hours for defendants who are accused of an indictable offense and considered a flight risk or a danger to the community.” The role of bail is changing and the manpower needed to avail this paradigm shift away from bail will be imposing and difficult at the outset.
SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601 Newark, NJ 07102 973-982-1200