Bail for Domestic Violence Charges in Middlesex County, NJ
New Jersey reformed its bail and detention system in 2017, doing away with the traditional bail model and replacing it with a risk assessment system that involves a formula for assessing several risk factors and considers input from the parties. Under this new system, money is no longer paid to bail out a defendant from jail after they are arrested. Instead, a prosecutor may file a motion for detention and then a detention hearing will be conducted. The judge can only order the defendant to be detained pending trial if they determine that no condition or set of conditions can reasonably assure that the defendant will not fail to appear, be a threat to the safety of others, or obstruct the criminal justice system. In addition to removing money as a primary determinant of pre-trial release, the new bail system requires all defendants charged with domestic violence offenses to be held after an arrest and appear before a judge for a detention hearing.
Detention Hearing for Domestic Violence in New Brunswick
In the context of domestic violence, there are 19 offenses that constitute an act of domestic violence under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, including: stalking, harassment, criminal mischief, homicide, assault (simple and aggravated), sexual assault, criminal trespass, false imprisonment, criminal restraint, criminal sexual contact, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, lewdness, criminal coercion, terroristic threats, cyber harassment, violation of a restraining order, or any act that risks causing serious bodily injury or death. Any of these offenses may lead to criminal charges.
When a defendant is charged with a domestic violence offense in New Jersey, they are automically required to be held in jail and appear before a judge for a bail hearing. This is known as being charged on a complaint warrant. When a complaint warrant is filed, the prosecutor may file a motion for detention, if they believe that the victim may be in danger. Of course, one might assume that a domestic violence charge has been filed precisely because authorities believe the defendant is a danger to the victim.
If you are arrested for a domestic violence offense and a motion for detention is filed, this means that the prosecutor is requesting you be held in jail until the resolution of your case. You will have an opportunity to defend yourself at a detention hearing before a judge. You have a right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing. An experienced domestic violence defense lawyer may be able to get the judge to release you with a set of conditions including regular reporting, staying away from the victim, and not contacting the victim. If this is an option in your case, the court will likely require you to show that you have somewhere you can stay at and live away from the alleged victim.
Need a Lawyer for Domestic Violence Bail in Middlesex County
If you or someone you love has been been arrested or charged with a crime of domestic violence such as aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, or possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in Middlesex County, then it is important you know what you are facing and your options. Domestic violence charges in New Jersey are very serious. Not only do you face the risk of detainment in jail before you are even convicted, but, if convicted, you also face potential jail time and fines. In a separate proceeding in family court, you may also face a permanent restraining order against you and have your name added to the National Domestic Violence Registry, negatively impacting future employment opportunities and relationships.
Our domestic violence defense attorneys represent clients at bail and criminal hearings in North Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Highland Park, New Brunswick, and throughout Middlesex County. Contact our Edison office at (732) 659-9600 to speak with an experienced New Jersey domestic violence lawyer who can answer your questions and address your concerns during a free initial consultation.