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Bail is a Thing of the Past in New Jersey

Posted by Alex Cirocco, Esq. | Jun 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Have you noticed bail bondsmen have been extinct the past few years?

On January 1, 2017, New Jersey enacted Criminal Justice Reform and eliminated its cash bail system pertaining to people being arrested and charged with a crime.  Prior to January 1, 2017, when someone was arrested, a Judge would set a bail amount.  If the defendant was able to post the bail amount, they would be released from the jail until their case was resolved.  If they couldn't post their bail amount, they would be forced to sit in the County Jail until their case was resolved.  Criminal Justice Reform eliminated that system.

On January 1, 2017, a new system was put in place.  The Criminal Justice Reform Act works as follows:

If you are charged with an Indictable Offense, which means a crime of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree, or even charged with a disorderly persons offense, the Prosecutor's Office has the right to file a motion to keep you detained in the County Jail until your case is resolved.  If the Prosecutor's Office files a Motion for Detention on your charges, you will be held in the County Jail for 1-3 days and have a Detention hearing held before a Superior Court Judge.  At the detention hearing, the Prosecutor will argue that you should be detained pending the resolution of your case.  Your attorney will argue that you should not be detained.  If the Judge decides to detain you, you will be detained in the County Jail until your case is resolved. 

If the Judge releases you, you will be released on certain conditions.  A Judge can release you on Level 1 release, Level 2 release, Level 3 release, or Level 3 PLUS.  Level 1 requires you to call into Pre-Trial Services once a month.  Level 2 requires you to call into Pre-Trial Services once every 2 weeks.  Level 3 requires you to call into Pre-Trial Services every week.  Level 3 PLUS requires you to call into Pre-Trial Services every week and be placed on home detention.

This system was designed to benefit people who were unable to make bail on low level charges and had to sit in jail for months and sometimes years, while people with serious charges had the ability to make their bail and were released from jail.

A majority of people still don't know that bail is a thing of the past.  No longer can someone post their house as collateral or show up with a bag of money and expect to be released from jail.  With bail reform in place, your choice of attorney is now more important than ever.

Mr. Cirocco has handled hundreds of detention hearings as an Assistant Prosecutor.  He knows the law and has the knowledge and experience to put his clients in the best position to argue for their release at a detention hearing.  If you or someone you know is arrested and is facing a detention hearing, contact Mr. Cirocco immediately for a free consultation.

About the Author

Alex Cirocco, Esq.

Alex Cirocco, Esq. is the founding and managing partner of his practice. Contact his office for a free consultation.

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