Pretrial detention refers to the detention of defendants before their case has been brought to trial. The Bail Reform Act favors pretrial release and monitoring over pretrial detention. If the prosecutor can show, however, that there is clear and convincing evidence against the reasonableness of allowing a defendant to be afforded pretrial release, the State has the authority to deny that pretrial release.
Application for Pretrial Detention
The State can apply for pretrial detention for several different charges – including those under Megan’s Law, endangering the welfare of a child, or any crime that the prosecutor can prove jeopardizes the goals that pretrial release supports. Except for those cases where the defendant is subject to an ordinary sentence of life imprisonment, the Bail Reform Act allows for a presumption (though rebuttable) against pretrial detention.
Fighting the Presumption of Pretrial Release
To bar pretrial release, the State must fight against the presumption that no combination of monetary bail and non-monetary conditions will suffice to allow the necessary and reasonable assurances for pretrial release:
- The defendant will likely make required court appearances;
- The defendant won’t be likely to jeopardize the community’s safety; and
- The defendant won’t obstruct or attempt to obstruct the process of the criminal justice system.
When making its ultimate decision regarding the defendant’s pretrial release, the court can consider several other factors:
- The kind and nature of the charge;
- The amount and strength of the evidence;
- The defendant’s personal character, legal history, and any other pertinent factors;
- The relative chance that the defendant is dangerous;
- The relative risk that the defendant will obstruct the process of the criminal justice system; and
- Any recommendations proffered by the pretrial services program.
Ultimately, defendants have five different conditions under which they might obtain pretrial release:
- On own recognizance;
- On the execution of an unsecured appearance bond;
- On the acceptance of non-monetary stipulations;
- On Monetary bail that can’t be set any higher than will reasonably assure appearance; or
- On the combination of any of the conditions above.
With the passing of the Bail Reform Act, your chances of receiving pretrial release for a criminal charge are enhanced. The process, however, can become mired in complications. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
If You’re Facing Pretrial Detention in New Jersey, Call 732-662-7658 for a Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges in New Jersey, call the Law Offices of Leon Matchin can help. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have the skill and dedication to fight for you, your pretrial release, and your case. Your pretrial release is too important to leave to chance: give us a call at 732-662-7658 or contact us online today.