If you have been arrested for a criminal offense in Monmouth County, New Jersey, pretrial detention is a real possibility. Unfortunately, many people wait too long to get a lawyer, and they miss out on the opportunity to have an attorney persuade the prosecutor not to file a detention motion.
Following an arrest, you should immediately hire a Freehold criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in pretrial detention hearings in Monmouth County courts.
The New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Act, which went into effect in 2017, eliminated monetary bails. This means that if you are arrested on a warrant complaint, you either get released at your first appearance, or you remain in custody because the prosecutor filed a motion to detain. If the detention motion is lost, you stay in jail until your trial on the criminal charge.
It is critical that you are represented by an experienced Freehold criminal defense lawyer at the detention hearing. A Freehold criminal defense attorney who has working relationships with Monmouth County prosecutors can give you a much better chance of pretrial release.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall consists of a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers with a track record of success in representing clients in Monmouth County. Our legal team has over two centuries of combined experience handling a wide variety of criminal cases, including assaults, domestic violence offenses, burglaries, and more.
Ten of our lawyers have a practice dedicated solely to criminal defense. Some of our lawyers are former county and municipal prosecutors who have served as Director of the Major Crimes Bureau, Special Operations, Domestic Violence Unit, Guns Task Force, and even an entire Trial Division.
We know how stressful it can be to be arrested and charged with a crime. That’s why at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we work with clients to ensure they understand exactly what is happening and what their legal options are. If you have been arrested in any Monmouth County town, such as Belmar, Wall, Freehold, Middletown, Red Bank, Asbury Park, or Howell, call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
What Is a Detention Hearing?
A detention hearing is a proceeding before a judge to determine whether the accused person is to be detained, continue to be detained, or released while the proceedings are pending in their case.
The Bail Reform Act of 2017 eliminated all bail in New Jersey. Now, instead of bail, defendants either get released without paying money or get held in jail indefinitely. The detention lasts during the entirety of the case, which can often mean until a plea takes place or there is a trial verdict.
Detention hearings apply in cases involving indictable crimes and disorderly persons offenses involving domestic violence. Examples of criminal charges that require a detention hearing include:
- Aggravated assault
- Simple assault
- Criminal mischief
- Terroristic threats
- Drug distribution: cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs
What Is the Process of the New Pretrial Detention Hearings?
Judges consider objective metrics like a Pretrial Safety Assessment (PSA) score when determining if an individual must be detained or if they can be released with conditions. The PSA score is determined by using data to come up with a score for risk factors. The types of information considered include the nature and circumstances of the charged offense, prior convictions, pending charges at the time of arrest, prior incarceration, and the defendant’s age, among other factors.
The court will also consider recommendations generated by the Decision-Making Framework (DMF), which provides recommendations for conditions of release or detention of an individual before their trial. The court will also hear arguments from the prosecution and the defense. Judges are required to determine whether a defendant will be released from jail within 48 hours. However, the courts will try to make this decision within 24 hours.
If the court decides that the defendant must remain in detention, the “speedy trial” clock will start ticking, and the defendant is expected to be tried within 180 days. Any person accused of a criminal offense involving domestic violence must have a detention hearing. Domestic violence charges that require a detention hearing include:
- Simple assault
- Aggravated assault
- Terroristic threats
- Sexual assault
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal mischief
- Any other offense that qualifies as a predicate act of domestic violence (acts that just happened and give rise to need for a restraining order)
Explaining Pretrial Release and Its Conditions
To obtain a pretrial release, the court must find that the individual can be reasonably assured to appear in court, will not obstruct the legal process, and will not pose a danger to the public. The court will typically order conditions for the pretrial release. Pretrial supervision is often one of the conditions. No defendant may possess weapons, such as firearms, while the case is pending.
Conditions that may be ordered include the following:
- Avoid all contact with victims and witnesses
- Report all contact with police
- Electronic monitoring or home confinement
- Surrender passport
- Substance abuse testing
- Mental health evaluation
- Seek and maintain employment
- Other conditions as ordered by the court
New Jersey Detention Hearing Defense Lawyers
If you are facing a detention motion in Monmouth County, selecting the right Freehold defense lawyer to defend you is very important. You need to find a criminal defense firm of lawyers who are skilled in handling pretrial detention motions and know the system in Monmouth County.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall provides the experienced legal representation you need. Reach out to us about your case as soon as you can. We are available 24/7 to assist you.
Can I Appeal a Judge’s Detention Order?
Yes. If a judge orders you to be detained at a pretrial detention hearing, you need to speak with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney about your option to appeal. A lawyer can protect your rights by appealing any order that does not comply with legal requirements.
The Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are highly skilled and experienced in appealing a court’s detention order. We fully understand the importance of preserving the full record of arguments and evidence considered by the court in making pretrial release or detention decisions.
Although the State of New Jersey requires a defendant to remain detained pending the resolution of the appeal, our attorneys make sure detention decisions are heard on an expedited basis when our client is detained. We will challenge every procedural, factual, or legal basis available in your Pretrial Detention Appeal (PDA), such as:
- The State did not have probable cause that you committed a particular criminal offense.
- The State failed to show there is clear and convincing evidence that no amount of monetary bail and non-monetary conditions would assure your appearance in court, protect the public’s safety, and prevent the obstruction of the criminal justice process.
- The statement of reasons for the detention was inconsistent with the law.
- You were denied an opportunity for a fair hearing prior to the entry of the pretrial detention order.
- Your criminal history or other information relied upon by the court is inaccurate.
- The Public Safety Assessment (PSA) is inaccurate.
Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act
The Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act aimed to decrease jail populations and save costs for counties by eliminating bail in most criminal cases and using a PSA score that helps a judge determine whether to release or detain a defendant.
Before January 1, 2017, the State had no speedy trial statute or rules, which meant that cases could take years to go from arrest to trial.
The speedy trial component of the act establishes limits on how long a defendant can remain detained before trial. The law provides three distinct speedy trial limits. From arrest to indictment, it must be no more than 90 days prior to the return of the indictment. From indictment to trial, it must be no more than 180 days before the start of the trial. However, after a prosecutor’s motion, additional time may be granted by a judge. The total time from detention to trial must be no more than two years.
Summons vs. Warrant
The Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act calls for an initial decision to be made on whether to charge a defendant on a summons or warrant. When a police officer makes an arrest for any felony, or for a misdemeanor offense involving domestic violence, they are required to contact a County Prosecutor.
During the complaint process (a complaint is a court document that charges a suspect with committing a crime), the defendant is fingerprinted, and their criminal history is collected. This information allows prosecutors to make a prompt and informed decision about whether to authorize a summons or request a warrant from the court.
Both a summons and warrant require you to appear in court. However, with a summons, there is no instruction to law enforcement that they should locate and detain you. If the crime is deemed serious, it will result in an arrest warrant. If the complaint is for an indictable offense, all information has to be forwarded to the county prosecutor within 48 hours.
If you have received a summons or there is a warrant out for your arrest in Monmouth County, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will walk through your options and discuss the possible legal defense strategies for your case.
Understanding and Explaining the Rights of the Defendant
You have rights as a criminal defendant. Understanding your rights can help you to protect yourself legally as you navigate your criminal case. Below is a list of important constitutional rights you have as a defendant.
Fourth Amendment Rights
The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizures. If your home or vehicle was searched by a police officer without probable cause or a search warrant, any evidence found cannot be used against you in a court of law. If you feel as though the arresting officer had no grounds to search your property and seize your personal belongings, this is a violation of your constitutional rights.
Fifth Amendment Rights
The Fifth Amendment deals with the right to remain silent. This is the first line that is read in the Miranda warning, which is a list of rights that an arresting officer is required to read to a suspect before they are questioned. Because anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, you will want to remain silent until you have hired a lawyer.
Sixth Amendment Rights
The Sixth Amendment is broken down into four main clauses: the right to representation, right to a speedy trial, right to a public jury, and the right to confront a witness.
- Right to Legal Representation – You have the right to obtain a lawyer. If you cannot afford an attorney, a public defender will be appointed to you.
- Right to a Speedy Trial – While there is no set time limit in the constitution that defines “speedy,” jurisdictions set regulations on their time limits to process cases. If you feel like your case was unfairly delayed, you can bring up this issue to a judge.
- Right to a Public Jury – You have the right to be tried by a jury of your peers.
- Right to Confront a Witness – You have the right to confront your accuser or a witness in the crime. You essentially have the right to present a counter-argument to defend yourself against their testimony.
Contact a Monmouth County and Freehold, NJ, Detention Hearing Defense Attorney
If you have been charged in Freehold or elsewhere in Monmouth County, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can argue the facts and the law in your favor to ensure that the prosecution is not providing the court with a one-sided story. If you are facing a detention motion in Monmouth County, selecting a lawyer is critical. Failing to overcome a motion to detain means you will remain in jail until your trial. This could be months or even years.
The Freehold criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are highly skilled and experienced in dealing with pretrial detention motions. To speak with one of our attorneys about your criminal case, call us now.