Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500,

www.njlaws.com

Friday, August 29, 2008

Store, Mall, Business and Bar Liability for Criminal Attack based on Inadequate Security

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates Law Office helps people injured due to the negligence of others. We provide representation throughout New Jersey. The insurance companies will not help. Don't give up! Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation if you are injured. Our website www.njlaws.com provides information on civil cases we can be retained to represent people.
Edited by Kenneth Vercammen
Many people are injured when attacked on a business property, when the property owner fails to provide adequate security. Injured persons may be able to recover damages plus payment of medical bills. The New Jersey Supreme Court in Kuzmicz v. Ivy Hill Park Apartments, 147 N.J. 510. (1997) recently reviewed liability for injuries suffered by people attacked. The duty of landowners for injuries that occur on their premises, the analysis no longer relies exclusively on the status of the injured party. Instead "[t]he issue is whether, 'in light of the actual relationship between the parties under all of the surrounding circumstances,' the imposition of a duty on the landowner is 'fair and just.'" Brett v. Great Am. Recreation, 144 N.J. 479, 509 (1996) (quoting Hopkins v. Fox & Lazo Realtors, 132 N.J. 426, 438 (1993)). For off-premises liability, the issue is substantially the same. In both contexts, however, the analysis is fact-sensitive. Hopkins, supra, 132 N.J. at 439. Ultimately, the determination of the existence of a duty is a question of fairness and public policy. Snyder v. American Ass'n of Blood Banks, 144 N.J. 269, 292 (1996); Crawn v. Campo, 136 N.J. 494, 501 (1994); Dunphy v. Gregor, 136 N.J. 99, 108 (1994); Kelly v. Gwinnell, 96 N.J. 538, 544 (1984); Goldberg v. Housing Auth., 38 N.J. 578, 583 (1962). Foreseeability of injury to another is important, but not dispositive. Snyder, supra, 144 N.J. at 292; Carter Lincoln-Mercury v. EMOR Group, 135 N.J. 182, 194 (1994). Fairness, not foreseeability alone, is the test. Relevant to the determination of the fairness of the imposition of a duty on a landowner is the nature of the risk, the relationship of the parties, the opportunity to exercise care, and the effect on the public of the imposition of the duty. Dunphy, supra, 136 N.J. at 108; Hopkins, supra, 132 N.J. at 439; Goldberg, supra, 38 N.J. at 583.
Landlord liable to Tenant Consistent with that analysis, the Court has found a landlord liable to a tenant for damages resulting from a burglary when the landlord failed to replace a broken dead-bolt lock on the tenant's apartment. See Braitman v. Overlook Terrace Corp., 68 N.J. 368 (1975). The apartment house was in an area where break-ins were common, and the landlord had assured the tenant that it would repair the lock. Id. at 371-73. Furthermore, a regulation of the Department of Community Affairs required the landlord to furnish a working lock. Id. at 383-84. In that context, the Court held, "[a] residential tenant can recover damages from his landlord upon proper proof that the latter unreasonably enhanced the risk of loss due to theft by failing to supply adequate locks to safeguard the tenant's premises after suitable notice of the defect." Id. at 383. The Court likewise have imposed liability on a landlord who provides inadequate security for common areas of rental premises for the failure to prevent a criminal assault on a tenant. See Trentacost v. Brussel, 82 N.J. 214 (1980). In Trentacost, the apartment was in a high crime area. Id. at 218-19. Burglars and other unauthorized persons previously had broken into the building. Id. at 219. Contrary to an administrative regulation, the landlord had not installed a lock on the front entrance. Id. at 222. On those facts, the Court held that "[b]y failing to do anything to arrest or even reduce the risk of criminal harm to his tenants, the landlord effectively and unreasonably enhanced that risk." Ibid. The Court relied in part on the implied covenant of habitability in the lease and stated that "[t]he 'premises' which the landlord must secure necessarily encompass the common areas of multiple dwellings." Id. at 228. In both Braitman and Trentacost, the criminal act resulting in the imposition of liability on the landlord occurred in the apartment house. Supermarket Liability Similarly, the Court has held that the owner of a supermarket may be liable to a customer who is mugged at night in the market's parking lot. See Butler v. Acme Markets, Inc., 89 N.J. 270 (1982). In Butler, unknown to the customer, seven muggings had occurred in the lot during the preceding year, five in the evenings during the four months preceding the attack in question. Id. at 274. To combat the muggings, the market had hired off-duty policeman. Ibid. At the time of the attack, however, the only guard was inside the market; no one was on duty in the parking lot. Id. at 275. In that setting, the Court held that the market had a duty to protect the customer from foreseeable criminal activity. Id. at 284. Uniting Braitman, Trentacost, and Butler is the premise that landlords and business owners should be liable for foreseeable injuries that occur on their premises. The underlying rationale is that they are in the best position to control the risk of harm. See Butler, supra, 89 N.J. at 284. Ownership or control of the premises, for example, enables a party to prevent the harm. Accord Steinmetz v. Stockton City Chamber of Commerce, 214 Cal. Rptr. 405, 408 (Ct. App. 1985) (reasoning that duty is grounded in possession of premises and right to control and manage premises); LaFleur v. Astrodome-Astrohall Stadium Corp., 751 S.W. 2d 563, 565 (Tex. Ct. App. 1988) (holding that duty to provide protection arises from defendant's power of control). Usually there is no liability in off - premise assault. Courts from other states likewise have refused to impose liability on commercial landowners for off-premises murder or assault. See, e.g., Steinmetz, supra, 214 Cal. Rptr. at 408 (declining to impose liability because of difficulty in defining scope of any duty owed by landowner off premises and not controlled by him); Wofford v. Kennedy's 2nd St. Co., 649 S.W. 2d 912, 914 (Mo. Ct. App. 1983) (declining to impose liability on tavern owner for injuries suffered by patron assaulted on adjacent public street because otherwise "line which would cut off the landowner's liability becomes nearly impossible to draw"). Generally, a possessor of land is not liable for off-premises injuries merely because those injuries are foreseeable. See, e.g., MacGrath v. Levin Properties, 256 N.J. Super. 247 (App. Div. 1992), certif. denied, 130 N.J. 19 (1992); Simpson v. Big Bear Stores Co., 652 N.E.2d 702, 705 (Ohio 1995); see generally Restatement (Second) of Torts § 314A comment c (1965) (indicating possessor of land is not under duty to person endangered or injured when one has ceased to be an invitee). That general rule protects an abutting property owner from liability for injuries that occur on a public way. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 349 (1965); see also MacGrath, supra, 256 N.J. Super. at 251-52 (noting court follows Restatement § 349 unless exception applies). Sidewalk Fall down Liability A narrow exception imposes liability on commercial landowners for injuries to pedestrians on abutting sidewalks. See Stewart v. 104 Wallace St., Inc., 87 N.J. 146 (1981). The duty to maintain the sidewalks flows from the economic benefit that a commercial landowner receives from the abutting sidewalk and from the landowner's ability to control the risk of injury. Id. at 158; Davis v. Pecoreno, 69 N.J. 1, 8 (1975) (holding gas station owner liable for injury caused by packed snow and ice on abutting sidewalk because "traffic was directly beneficial to his business and enured to his economic benefit"). Several decisions of the Appellate Division delineate the appropriate limits of a commercial property owner's liability for off-premises injuries. Critical to those decisions is the premise that a landowner's liability may extend beyond the premises for activities that directly benefit the landowner. Thus, the owner of a shopping center was not liable to a woman who fell on a dirt path leading from the shopping center to a parking lot. See Chimiente v. Adam Corp., 221 N.J. Super. 580 (1987). In Chimiente, sidewalks provided a safe alternative route. Id. at 584. The dirt path conferred no direct economic benefit on the shopping center. Ibid. Similarly, a shopping center on Route 22 was not liable to a customer who was struck by a car while crossing the highway. See MacGrath, supra, 256 N.J. Super. at 250-51, 253. A restaurant that provided parking on the opposite side of the street, however, had a duty to provide safe passage from the lot to the restaurant. See Warrington v. Bird, 204 N.J. Super. 611 (1985), certif. denied, 103 N.J. 473 (1986). The restaurant knew that its patrons would cross the street, and derived a direct economic benefit from their use of the path. Id. at 617. Finally, a caterer was found liable for the death of a business invitee who was killed crossing a county highway after parking her car in a lot the caterer knew or should have known the invitee would use. See Mulraney v. Auletto's Catering, 293 N.J. Super. 315, certif. denied, _ N.J. _ (1996). Prominent among the reasons for the imposition of liability was the proposition that the use of the lot furthered the caterer's economic interest. Id. at 321. Critical to the imposition of liability is a direct economic benefit to the commercial landowner from the path taken by the injured party and the absence of an alternative route. Courts from other states likewise have concluded that a landowner does not owe a duty to protect people from criminal activity on adjacent premises that the landowner does not own or control. See, e.g., Donnell v. California W. Sch. of Law, 246 Cal. Rptr. 199, 201 (Ct. App. 1988) (holding law school not liable merely because it took no action to remedy dangerous condition on adjoining property); Steinmetz, supra, 214 Cal. Rptr. at 408-09 (holding tenant in industrial park not liable to business invitee who was mugged a block away from tenant's premises but within park); National Property Investors, II, Ltd. v. Attardo, 639 So.2d 691 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994) (holding no duty for store owner to protect customer from assault in apartment premises when assailant followed customer from convenience store to apartment house across street); Simpson, supra, 652 N.E.2d 702 (holding supermarket owner's duty to warn or protect business invitees from foreseeable criminal activity extends to premises in possession and control of owner and therefore owner not liable for injuries suffered by patron attacked in common area of shopping center). Southland Corp. v. Superior Court, 250 Cal. Rptr. 57 (Ct. App. 1988), is consistent with that premise. In Southland, three assailants attacked a customer from a convenience store in a parking lot ten feet away from the store's property line. 250 Cal. Rptr. at 58. The customer sued the lessee and sub-lessee, who were the franchisor and franchisee of the store. Id. at 59. The master lease provided that the store could use the adjacent lot for parking, and the injured customer believed that the store controlled the lot. Id. at 58 n.1, 59. Many customers parked in the lot. Id. at 58. The lessees did not erect a fence or do anything else to discourage the customers from using the lot. Id. at 59. Denying summary judgment for the lessee and sub-lessee, the court relied on the fact that the store controlled the lot and "realized a significant commercial benefit from their customers' use of the lot . . . ." Id. at 62-63. Absent a landlord's control of an adjacent lot or realization of "a significant commercial benefit" from tenants' use of the lot, the landlord does not owe a duty to warn tenants of the risk of criminal assault on the lot. See Ibid. Conclusion There is a possibility of imposing on a landlord a duty to pay a tenant for injuries sustained in a criminal attack on its property to help compensate the tenant. In appropriate circumstances, property owners may be liable if they negligently conduct activities that expose others to foreseeable criminal attacks. Contact a Civil Trial Attorney to discuss your rights.

Bankruptcy Exemption

Chapter 7- Discharge of debts
A Chapter 7 proceeding (sometimes called a straight bankruptcy or liquidation) is a proceeding in which the debtor owes more than they own and turns over all of their property, except limited property which is exempt, to a trustee in bankruptcy, who sells the property and pays to the debtors creditors on a pro-rata basis. The debtor keeps only exempt property. The debtor, when discharged by the bankruptcy court, is forever released from all of his or her debts, excepting non-dischargeable debts.
Chapter 7 can be used by individuals or businesses. For businesses, it signals the end. The failing business's assets are liquidated and apportioned on a pro-rata basis to creditors by the trustee appointed by the court.
Chapter 7 petitioners who are individuals can keep various court personal items, tools of their trade(such as a carpenters tools) and household furnishings of a nominal value and auto (to the extent of the exemption value amount). However, most assets go to pay the debts if such assets exceed the Federal statutory exception amount..
THE 1994 AMENDMENTS HAVE DOUBLED THE FEDERAL EXEMPTIONS. STATUTORY LIMITS ON THE FEDERAL EXEMPTIONS AFTER THE AMENDMENTS INCLUDE:
* Real property $15,000 for equity in property that is used as a residence (the "homestead" exemption) Section 522 (d)(1)* Car $2,400 in equity in a motor vehicle; Section 522 (d)(2)* Household goods $400 in one item and $8,000 of equity in household goods and furnishings;* Section 522 (d)(3)* Jewelry $1,000 in jewelry; Section 522 (d)(4)* "Roll-over" exemption of up to $7,500 of the unused homestead exemption, in any property.* Section 522 (d)(5)* Tools of the trade $1,500 Section 522 (d)(6)* Unmatured life insurance Term life Section 522 (d)(7)* Life insurance value $8,000 Section 522 (d)(8)* Health Aids Section 522 (d)(9)* Right to receive certain income- social security, unemployment, disability, alimony, support* Section 522 (d)(10)* Certain Pensions, 401K and IRA Section 522(d)(10)(e)* Damage awards- crime victim, dependent receiving life insurance, personal injury up to $15,000 Section 522 (d)(11)
In the case of a joint petition by a husband and wife, each is entitled to the statutory exemption. Accordingly, a husband and wife would have a $30,000 homestead (house) exemption under the 1994 Amendments.
THE FOLLOWING DEBTS ARE SOME OF THE COMMON ITEMS NOT DISCHARGEABLE AND YOU STILL MUST PAY THEM:
* Taxes 523 (a) (1)* Credit & debts incurred by false representations 523 (a)(2)* Debts not listed on the schedules 523 (a) (3)* Fraud 523 (a)(4)* Alimony, Child support, Certain 523 (a)5* Willful & malicious injury 523 (a)6* Fines & penalties 523 (a)7* Students loans 523 (a)8* Personal injury while operating a car under influence or alcohol or drug 523 (a)9* Certain equitable distribution 523 (a) 15* Condo/ co-op fees following order for relief to membership assoc. 523 (a) 16
Just a few years ago, bankruptcies were relatively rare. But with consumer debt at an all time high, the public is becoming much more familiar with bankruptcies. Personal bankruptcies have more than doubled in the last decade.
A number of prominent businesses, among them Texaco and Johns-Manville have also declared bankruptcy. New Jersey alone is the recipient of a substantial bankruptcy caseload. The law provides debt burdened but viable companies an opportunity to negotiate debt payments with creditors and thus survive.
The bankruptcy petition asks a court to legally declare individuals or businesses officially unable to meet their debts. If the court does so, their assets are then administered for the benefit of their creditors.
The bankruptcy law can thus benefit both lenders and borrowers. On the one hand, bankruptcy provides an orderly process for dividing the borrowers property and repaying each lender as fully as possible to the extent there are any assets to liquidate. On the other hand, the law is intended to give borrowers a fresh start in rebuilding their economic life.
A Chapter 11 proceeding is frequently called a Reorganization.Ó It is generally used by corporations in financial trouble, but it may also be used by individuals in the same circumstances. Individuals who choose Chapter 11 proceedings generally are those who own and operate small businesses whose total indebtedness exceeds the qualification limits for Chapter 13 proceedings described below. However, in many cases an individual may be forced into Chapter 11 if Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 are not available. Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 proceedings are quite similar in that the debtor proposes to the bankruptcy court and his or her creditors a plan for the payment of secured and unsecured creditors over a period of time. Keep in mind that the Chapter 11 petition and subsequent proceedings are much more involved and complicated than the less costly and involved Chapter 13.
A Chapter 13 proceeding is sometimes called a Wage-earner plan". It is a bankruptcy proceeding quite similar to the Chapter 11 proceeding in that the debtor (and generally also his or her spouse) works out a plan which permits the debtors to keep their property (or some of it) while making reduced payments to creditors at modified interest rates. Finance and penalty charges and late fees on many obligations can be eliminated or reduced. At the same time, creditors are assured of fair treatment under a repayment plan administered by an independent impartial trustee. Creditors can recover some, if not all debts owed to them at collection costs far less than customary collection costs.
Chapter 13 is intended for individuals with a steady source of income. It allows a person to pay all or a portion of his or her debts, usually by extending the time for payments (generally for three to five years). Under this alternative, the debtor usually turns over to a fixed sum of money every month to a trustee, who then pays those who are owed money. Chapter 11 and 13 are expensive and complicated proceedings. The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen does not handle Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 filings. We can provide you with names of attorneys that handle these.
Duties of a Client
* You must fully cooperate with the Law Firm and provide all information relevant to the issues involved in this matter.* You must notify the Law Firm immediately if you move, if your telephone numbers change or if their is any change in your Chapter 7 petition.* You must fill out the Chapter 7 petition completely and accurately.* You must obtain a TRW or other credit report, together with the addresses of all creditors listed on the TRW, even if you dispute the claim.* You must carefully review the draft bankruptcy petition/ Schedules for accuracy.* You may write to each creditor and request verification of the debt.* After the filing of the Chapter 7, if you are contacted by any creditors you must provide them with the docket number of your case, a copy of the first page of the Chapter 7 petition, and a copy of the notice for the 341 hearing.* If you do not correctly list each creditor, their address and account number, then that debt will not be discharged.* You must call the law office the day before the 341 hearing.* You must bring all your papers to the 341 hearing.* You must also pay all bills as required by this Agreement. We request that you not provide the law office's name and phone number to any creditors until after the Petition has been filed.* If you do not comply with these requirements, the Law Firm may withdraw from representing you. The Law Firm will also withdraw at your request.
Costs And Experts. In addition to legal fees, you must pay the following costs and expenses if applicable; experts' fees, court costs, accountants' fees, appraisers' fees, service fees, investigators' fees, deposition costs, messenger services, parking, telephone toll calls, and photocopying, and any other necessary expenses in this matter.

Bankruptcy

Chapter 7- Discharge of debts
A Chapter 7 proceeding (sometimes called a straight bankruptcy or liquidation) is a proceeding in which the debtor owes more than they own and turns over all of their property, except limited property which is exempt, to a trustee in bankruptcy, who sells the property and pays to the debtors creditors on a pro-rata basis. The debtor keeps only exempt property. The debtor, when discharged by the bankruptcy court, is forever released from all of his or her debts, excepting non-dischargeable debts.
Chapter 7 can be used by individuals or businesses. For businesses, it signals the end. The failing business's assets are liquidated and apportioned on a pro-rata basis to creditors by the trustee appointed by the court.
Chapter 7 petitioners who are individuals can keep various court personal items, tools of their trade(such as a carpenters tools) and household furnishings of a nominal value and auto (to the extent of the exemption value amount). However, most assets go to pay the debts if such assets exceed the Federal statutory exception amount..
THE 1994 AMENDMENTS HAVE DOUBLED THE FEDERAL EXEMPTIONS. STATUTORY LIMITS ON THE FEDERAL EXEMPTIONS AFTER THE AMENDMENTS INCLUDE:
* Real property $15,000 for equity in property that is used as a residence (the "homestead" exemption) Section 522 (d)(1)* Car $2,400 in equity in a motor vehicle; Section 522 (d)(2)* Household goods $400 in one item and $8,000 of equity in household goods and furnishings;* Section 522 (d)(3)* Jewelry $1,000 in jewelry; Section 522 (d)(4)* "Roll-over" exemption of up to $7,500 of the unused homestead exemption, in any property.* Section 522 (d)(5)* Tools of the trade $1,500 Section 522 (d)(6)* Unmatured life insurance Term life Section 522 (d)(7)* Life insurance value $8,000 Section 522 (d)(8)* Health Aids Section 522 (d)(9)* Right to receive certain income- social security, unemployment, disability, alimony, support* Section 522 (d)(10)* Certain Pensions, 401K and IRA Section 522(d)(10)(e)* Damage awards- crime victim, dependent receiving life insurance, personal injury up to $15,000 Section 522 (d)(11)
In the case of a joint petition by a husband and wife, each is entitled to the statutory exemption. Accordingly, a husband and wife would have a $30,000 homestead (house) exemption under the 1994 Amendments.
THE FOLLOWING DEBTS ARE SOME OF THE COMMON ITEMS NOT DISCHARGEABLE AND YOU STILL MUST PAY THEM:
* Taxes 523 (a) (1)* Credit & debts incurred by false representations 523 (a)(2)* Debts not listed on the schedules 523 (a) (3)* Fraud 523 (a)(4)* Alimony, Child support, Certain 523 (a)5* Willful & malicious injury 523 (a)6* Fines & penalties 523 (a)7* Students loans 523 (a)8* Personal injury while operating a car under influence or alcohol or drug 523 (a)9* Certain equitable distribution 523 (a) 15* Condo/ co-op fees following order for relief to membership assoc. 523 (a) 16
Just a few years ago, bankruptcies were relatively rare. But with consumer debt at an all time high, the public is becoming much more familiar with bankruptcies. Personal bankruptcies have more than doubled in the last decade.
A number of prominent businesses, among them Texaco and Johns-Manville have also declared bankruptcy. New Jersey alone is the recipient of a substantial bankruptcy caseload. The law provides debt burdened but viable companies an opportunity to negotiate debt payments with creditors and thus survive.
The bankruptcy petition asks a court to legally declare individuals or businesses officially unable to meet their debts. If the court does so, their assets are then administered for the benefit of their creditors.
The bankruptcy law can thus benefit both lenders and borrowers. On the one hand, bankruptcy provides an orderly process for dividing the borrowers property and repaying each lender as fully as possible to the extent there are any assets to liquidate. On the other hand, the law is intended to give borrowers a fresh start in rebuilding their economic life.
A Chapter 11 proceeding is frequently called a Reorganization.Ó It is generally used by corporations in financial trouble, but it may also be used by individuals in the same circumstances. Individuals who choose Chapter 11 proceedings generally are those who own and operate small businesses whose total indebtedness exceeds the qualification limits for Chapter 13 proceedings described below. However, in many cases an individual may be forced into Chapter 11 if Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 are not available. Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 proceedings are quite similar in that the debtor proposes to the bankruptcy court and his or her creditors a plan for the payment of secured and unsecured creditors over a period of time. Keep in mind that the Chapter 11 petition and subsequent proceedings are much more involved and complicated than the less costly and involved Chapter 13.
A Chapter 13 proceeding is sometimes called a Wage-earner plan". It is a bankruptcy proceeding quite similar to the Chapter 11 proceeding in that the debtor (and generally also his or her spouse) works out a plan which permits the debtors to keep their property (or some of it) while making reduced payments to creditors at modified interest rates. Finance and penalty charges and late fees on many obligations can be eliminated or reduced. At the same time, creditors are assured of fair treatment under a repayment plan administered by an independent impartial trustee. Creditors can recover some, if not all debts owed to them at collection costs far less than customary collection costs.
Chapter 13 is intended for individuals with a steady source of income. It allows a person to pay all or a portion of his or her debts, usually by extending the time for payments (generally for three to five years). Under this alternative, the debtor usually turns over to a fixed sum of money every month to a trustee, who then pays those who are owed money. Chapter 11 and 13 are expensive and complicated proceedings. The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen does not handle Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 filings. We can provide you with names of attorneys that handle these.
Duties of a Client
* You must fully cooperate with the Law Firm and provide all information relevant to the issues involved in this matter.* You must notify the Law Firm immediately if you move, if your telephone numbers change or if their is any change in your Chapter 7 petition.* You must fill out the Chapter 7 petition completely and accurately.* You must obtain a TRW or other credit report, together with the addresses of all creditors listed on the TRW, even if you dispute the claim.* You must carefully review the draft bankruptcy petition/ Schedules for accuracy.* You may write to each creditor and request verification of the debt.* After the filing of the Chapter 7, if you are contacted by any creditors you must provide them with the docket number of your case, a copy of the first page of the Chapter 7 petition, and a copy of the notice for the 341 hearing.* If you do not correctly list each creditor, their address and account number, then that debt will not be discharged.* You must call the law office the day before the 341 hearing.* You must bring all your papers to the 341 hearing.* You must also pay all bills as required by this Agreement. We request that you not provide the law office's name and phone number to any creditors until after the Petition has been filed.* If you do not comply with these requirements, the Law Firm may withdraw from representing you. The Law Firm will also withdraw at your request.
Costs And Experts. In addition to legal fees, you must pay the following costs and expenses if applicable; experts' fees, court costs, accountants' fees, appraisers' fees, service fees, investigators' fees, deposition costs, messenger services, parking, telephone toll calls, and photocopying, and any other necessary expenses in this matter.

Bail Hearings

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.
As set forth in NJ Practice, Vol. 31, Criminal Practice and Procedure, (1997), Sec 292, the defendant has a right to bail before conviction except if he/she is charged with a crime punishable by death and the prosecutor presents proof that there is a likelihood of conviction and reasonable grounds to believe that the death penalty may be imposed. 3 This means that absent exceptional circumstances the defendant has a right to pretrial liberty if the defendant provides surety in such amount as in the judgment of the court will insure the defendant's appearance at trial. 4 Stated in other terms, the right to bail means that in the absence of exceptional circumstances the defendant has the right to have the court set bail in an amount which does not exceed that which will insure defendant's appearance at trial, and if the defendant can "come up" with cash in that amount, or 10 percent of that amount if the defendant is eligible to be released on 10 percent cash bail,5 or a bond or other surety, then the defendant must be released. Immediately retain a local criminal attorney. Don't wait for a Public Defender to look at your case down the road while you sit in jail.
BAIL PROCEDURES
Any person unable to post bail shall have his or her bail reviewed by a Superior Court judge not later than the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. 7 A first motion for a reduction of bail shall be held by the Court no later than 7 days after it is filed.8
AMOUNT OF BAIL
R. 3:26-1(a) provides in relevant part that "{a}ll persons, shall be bailable before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will insure their presence in court when required having regard for their background, residence, employment and family status and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention." These factors are specified in more detail in State v. Johnson 10 as follows: seriousness of the charge; the likelihood of conviction and the extent of punishment; defendant's criminal record, if any, and previous record on bail, if any; defendant's reputation and mental condition; the length of his/her residence in the community; defendant's family ties and relationships; defendant's employment status, record of employment and financial condition; the identity of responsible members of the community vouching for his/her reliability; and any other factors indicating defendant's mode of life, or ties to the community. The likelihood of flight must be considered in light of these factors and bail set accordingly. R. 3:26-2[c]. R. 3:26-2[d]. 61 N.J. 351, 294 A.2d 245 [1972].
The Courts often examine some of the following criteria: RESIDENCE - Lived at present residence one year or more. PRIOR RECORD No convictions. FAMILY TIES - Lives with family and has frequent contact with other relatives. EMPLOYMENT - Has regular job less than four months, or receiving Unemployment Compensation, or welfare aid, or supported by family or savings. TOTAL TIME IN NEW JERSEY - Ten years or more residence or business in New Jersey. MISCELLANEOUS FACTORS MAKING FLIGHT UNLIKELY - Good Health
CONCLUSION If facing a criminal offense, retain an attorney to represent you immediately.
A criminal attorney can make a motion to reduce bail
RULE 3:26. BAIL
3:26-1. Right to Bail Before Conviction
(a) Persons Entitled; Standards for Fixing. All persons, except those charged with crimes punishable by death when the prosecutor presents proof that there is a likelihood of conviction and reasonable grounds to believe that the death penalty may be imposed, shall be bailable before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will ensure their presence in court when required. The factors to be considered in setting bail are: (1) the seriousness of the crime charged against defendant, the apparent likelihood of conviction, and the extent of the punishment prescribed by the Legislature; (2) defendant's criminal record, if any, and previous record on bail, if any; (3) defendant's reputation, and mental condition; (4) the length of defendant's residence in the community; (5) defendant's family ties and relationships; (6) defendant's employment status, record of employment, and financial condition; (7) the identity of responsible members of the community who would vouch for defendant's reliability; (8) any other factors indicating defendant's mode of life, or ties to the community or bearing on the risk of failure to appear, and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention. In its discretion the court may order the release of a person on that person's own recognizance. The court may also impose terms or conditions appropriate to the defendant's release including conditions necessary to protect persons in the community. (b) On Failure to Indict. If a person committed for a crime punishable by death is not indicted within 3 months after commitment, a judge of the Superior Court, for good cause shown, may admit the person to bail. (c) On Failure to Move Indictment. If an indictment or accusation is not moved for trial within 6 months after arraignment, a judge of the Superior Court, for cause shown, may discharge the defendant upon the defendant's own recognizance. (d) Extradition Proceedings. Where a person has been arrested in any extradition proceeding, that person may be admitted to bail except where that person is charged with a crime punishable by death.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-1(a)(b)(c)(d); paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraph (a) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
3:26-2. Authority to Set Bail
(a) Authority to Set Initial Bail. A Superior Court judge may set bail for a person charged with any offense. Bail for any offense except murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, a person arrested in any extradition proceeding or a person arrested under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9b for violating a restraining order may be set by any other judge, or in the absence of a judge, by a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. (b) Initial Bail Set. Initial bail shall be set pursuant to R. 3:4-1(a) or (b) on indictable or non-indictable offenses. (c) Review of Initial Set. Any person unable to post bail shall have his or her bail reviewed by a Superior Court judge no later than the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday nor a legal holiday. Except in those indictable cases in which a Superior Court judge has set bail, a municipalcourt judge has the authority to make bail revisions up to and including the time of the defendant's first appearance before the court. A municipal court judge has the authority to make bail revisions on any non-indictable offense at any time during the course of the proceedings. (d) Bail Reductions. A first motion for bail reduction shall be heard by the court no later than seven days after it is filed.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-3(a)(b)(c); amended July 24, 1978 to be effective September 11, 1978; amended May 21, 1979 to be effective June 1, 1979; amended August 28, 1979 to be effective September 1, 1979; amended July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; caption amended, former text amended and redesignated paragraph (a) and new paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) adopted July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraph (b) amended January 5, 1998 to be effective February 1, 1998.
3:26-3. Bail for Witness
(a) Authority to Issue. A Superior Court judge may, on application, conduct proceedings under N.J.S.A. 2C:104-1 et seq. as to any person who can give testimony relevant to the prosecution or defense of a pending indictment, accusation, or complaint for a crime or a criminal investigation before a grand jury. (b) Application. The application shall be captioned in Superior Court and entitled "In the Matter of (name of person alleged to be a material witness)". The application shall include a copy of the pending indictment, complaint, or accusation and an affidavit containing: (1) the name and address of the person alleged to be a material witness, (2) a summary of the facts believed to be known by the alleged material witness and the relevance to the criminal action or investigation, (3) the grounds for belief that the person has material and necessary information concerning the pending criminal action or investigation, and (4) the reasons why the alleged material witness is unlikely to respond to a subpoena. If the application requests an arrest warrant, the affidavit shall set forth why immediate arrest is necessary. (c) Order to Appear. If there is probable cause to support issuance of a material-witness order against the person named in the application, the court may order the person to appear at a hearing to determine whether the person should be adjudged a material witness. The order and a copy of the application shall be served personally on the alleged material witness at least 48 hours before the hearing, unless the judge adjusts the time period for good cause, and shall advise the person of: (1) the time and place of the hearing, and (2) the right to be represented by an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one. (d) Warrant for Immediate Detention. If there is clear and convincing evidence that the person will not be available as a witness unless immediately detained, the court may issue an order requiring that the person be brought before the court immediately. If the detention does not take place during regular court hours, the person shall be brought to the emergency-duty Superior Court judge. The judge shall inform the person: (1) the reason for detention, (2) the time and place of the hearing to determine whether the person is a material witness, and (3) that the person has a right to an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one. The judge shall set conditions for release, or, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the person will not be available as a witness unless detention is continued, the judge may order the person held until the material-witness hearing, which shall take place as soon as practicable but no later than 48 hours after detention. (e) Detention Without Prior Court Authorization. Where a law enforcement officer hasdetained an alleged material witness without prior court authorization, the law enforcement officer shall immediately bring the person before a Superior Court judge. If the detention does not take place during regular court hours, the person shall be brought to the emergent duty Superior Court judge. The judge shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the person is a material witness of a crime and, if an indictment, accusation, or complaint for that crime has not issued or if a grand jury has not commenced a criminal investigation of that crime, the judge shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that, within 48 hours of the detention, an indictment, accusation, or complaint will issue or a grand jury investigation will commence. The judge will then proceed as if an application for an order had been made under paragraph (b). (f) Material Witness Hearing. At the material-witness hearing, the person shall have the rights: (1) to be represented by an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one, (2) to be heard and to present witnesses and evidence, and (3) unless otherwise sealed by the court for exceptional circumstances, to have all of the evidence in support of the application, and (4) to confront and cross-examine witnesses. If there is probable cause to believe that the person possesses information material to the prosecution of a defense of a pending indictment, accusation or complaint for a crime, or a criminal investigation before a grand jury and is unlikely to respond to subpoena, the judge shall: (1) set forth findings of facts on the record, and (2) set the conditions of release of the material witness. (g) Conditions of Release or Detention. Conditions of release for a material-witness or for a person held on an application for a material-witness order shall be the least restrictive to effect the order of the court including but not limited to: (1) placing the witness in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise the person; (2) restricting the travel, association, or place of abode of the person during the period of detention; (3) requiring the person to report; (4) setting bail, or (5) imposing other reasonable restrictions on the material witness. No person may be detained unless the judge finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that detention is the only method that will secure the appearance of the material witness. A person detained as a material witness or pending a material-witness hearing shall be lodged in appropriate quarters and shall not be held in a jail or prison. (h) Deposition. The prosecutor, defendant, or material witness may apply to the Superior Court for an order directing that a deposition be taken to preserve the witness's testimony, for use at trial if the witness becomes unavailable, as provided by R. 3:13-2. After a deposition has been taken, the judge shall vacate the material-witness order and impose the least restrictive conditions to secure the appearance of the material witness. (i) Reconsideration of Material Witness Order. On motion of the material witness, prosecutor, or defendant, a material witness order may be reconsidered at any time by the court that entered the order.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-4; first paragraph re-designated paragraph (a) and paragraphs (b), (c) (d), (e), (f) and (g) added July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraph (g) amended July 13, 1994 and December 9, 1994, to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) amended, former paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) amended and redesignated as paragraphs (f), (g), and (h), and new paragraphs (e) and (i) adopted July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
3:26-4. Form and Place of Deposit; Location of Real Estate; Record of Recognizances,Discharge and Forfeiture Thereof
(a) Deposit of Bail. A person admitted to bail shall, together with that person's sureties, sign and execute a recognizance before the person authorized to take bail or, if the defendant is in custody, the person in charge of the place of confinement. The recognizance shall contain the terms set forth in R. 1:13-3(b) and shall be conditioned upon the defendant's appearance at all stages of the proceedings until final determination of the matter, unless otherwise ordered by the court. One or more sureties may be required. Cash may be accepted, and in proper cases no security need be required. A corporate surety shall be one approved by the Commissioner of Insurance and shall execute the recognizance under its corporate seal, cause the same to be duly acknowledged and shall annex thereto proof of authority of the officers or agents executing the same and of corporate authority and qualification. Bail given in the Superior Court shall be deposited with the clerk of the county in which the offense was committed, provided that upon order of the court bail shall be transferred from the county of deposit to the county in which defendant is to be tried. Real estate offered as bail for indictable and non-indictable offenses shall be approved by and deposited with the clerk of the county in which the offense occurred and not with the Municipal Court clerk. In any county, with the approval of the Assignment Judge, a program may be instituted for the deposit in court of cash in the amount of 10 percent of the amount of bail fixed. (b) Limitation on Individual Surety. Unless the court for good cause otherwise permits, no surety, other than an approved corporate surety, shall enter into a recognizance or undertaking for bail if there remains undischarged any previous recognizance or bail undertaken by that surety. (c) Real Estate in Other Counties. Real estate owned by a surety located in a county other than the one in which the bail is taken may be accepted, in which case the clerk of the court in which the bail is taken shall forthwith transmit a copy of the recognizance certified by that clerk to the clerk of the county in which the real estate is situated, who shall record it in the same manner as if the recognizance had been taken in that clerk's county. (d) Record of Recognizance. The clerk of every court, except the municipal court, before which any recognizance shall be entered into shall record immediately, in alphabetical order in a book kept for that purpose, the names of the persons entering into the recognizance, the amount thereof and the date of its acknowledgment. Such book shall be kept in the clerk's office of the county of which such court shall be held, and be open for public inspection. In municipal court proceedings the record of the recognizance shall be entered in the docket book maintained by the clerk. (e) Record of Discharge; Forfeiture. When any recognizance shall be discharged by court order upon proof of compliance with the conditions thereof or by reason of the judgment in any matter, the clerk of the court shall enter the word "discharged" and the date of discharge at the end of the record of such recognizance. When any recognizance is forfeited, the clerk of the court shall enter the word "forfeited", and the date of forfeiture at the end of the record of such recognizance, and shall give notice of such forfeiture to the county counsel. When real estate of the surety located in a county other than the one in which the bail was taken is affected, the clerk of the court in which such recognizance is given shall forthwith send notice of the discharge or forfeiture and the date thereof to the clerk of the county where such real estate is situated, who shall make the appropriate entry at the end of the record of such recognizance. (f) Cash Deposit. When a person other than the defendant deposits cash in lieu of bond,the person making the deposit shall file an affidavit concerning the lawful ownership thereof, and on discharge such cash may be returned to the owner named in the affidavit. (g) Ten Percent Cash Bail. Except in first or second degree cases as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:162-12 and unless the order setting bail specifies to the contrary, whenever bail is set pursuant to Rule 3:26-1, bail may be satisfied by the deposit in court of cash in the amount of ten-percent of the amount of bail fixed and defendant's execution of a recognizance for the remaining ninety percent. No surety shall be required unless the court fixing bail specifically so orders. When cash equal to ten-percent of the bail fixed is deposited pursuant to this Rule, if the cash is owned by someone other than the defendant, the owner shall charge no fee for the deposit other than lawful interest and shall submit an affidavit with the deposit so stating and also listing the names of any other persons for whom the owner has deposited bail. The person making the deposit authorized by this subsection shall file an affidavit concerning the lawful ownership thereof, and on discharge such cash may be returned to the owner named in the affidavit.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-5(a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g). Paragraph (a) amended June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; paragraph (a) amended July 16, 1979 to be effective September 10, 1979; paragraph (g) adopted November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (a) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraphs (f) and (g) amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended February 27, 1995 to be effective immediately.
3:26-5. Justification of Sureties
Every surety, except an approved corporate surety, shall justify by affidavit and be required to describe therein the property by which the surety proposes to justify and the encumbrances thereon, the number and amount of other recognizances and undertakings for bail entered into by the surety and remaining undischarged, if any, and all the surety's other liabilities. No recognizance shall be approved unless the surety thereon shall be qualified.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-6; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
3:26-6. Forfeiture
(a) Declaration; Notice. Upon breach of a condition of a recognizance, the court on its own motion shall order forfeiture of the bail, and the criminal division manager shall forthwith send notice of the forfeiture to county counsel, the defendant, and the surety. The notice shall direct that judgment will be entered as to any outstanding bail absent a written objection seeking to set aside the forfeiture, which must be filed within 45 days of the date of the notice. (b) Setting Aside. The court may direct that a forfeiture be set aside if its enforcement is not required in the interest of justice upon such conditions as it imposes. (c) Enforcement; Remission. When a forfeiture is not set aside or satisfied, the court shall, upon expiration of the 45 days provided for in paragraph (a), summarily enter a judgment of default for any outstanding bail and execution may issue thereon. After entry of such judgment, the court may remit it in whole or in part in the interest of justice. In any contested proceeding, county counsel shall appear on behalf of the government. County counsel shall be responsible for collection of forfeited amounts.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-7 (a)(b)(c) (first sentence) (d); paragraphs (a) and (c) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record
b. You may go to Jail or Prison.
c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;
If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

Bail Bonds

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.
As set forth in NJ Practice, Vol. 31, Criminal Practice and Procedure, (1997), Sec 292, the defendant has a right to bail before conviction except if he/she is charged with a crime punishable by death and the prosecutor presents proof that there is a likelihood of conviction and reasonable grounds to believe that the death penalty may be imposed. 3 This means that absent exceptional circumstances the defendant has a right to pretrial liberty if the defendant provides surety in such amount as in the judgment of the court will insure the defendant's appearance at trial. 4 Stated in other terms, the right to bail means that in the absence of exceptional circumstances the defendant has the right to have the court set bail in an amount which does not exceed that which will insure defendant's appearance at trial, and if the defendant can "come up" with cash in that amount, or 10 percent of that amount if the defendant is eligible to be released on 10 percent cash bail,5 or a bond or other surety, then the defendant must be released.
BAIL PROCEDURES
Any person unable to post bail shall have his or her bail reviewed by a Superior Court judge not later than the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. 7 A first motion for a reduction of bail shall be held by the Court no later than 7 days after it is filed.8AMOUNT OF BAIL
R. 3:26-1(a) provides in relevant part that "all persons, shall be bailable before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will insure their presence in court when required having regard for their background, residence, employment and family status and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention." These factors are specified in more detail in State v. Johnson 10 as follows: seriousness of the charge; the likelihood of conviction and the extent of punishment; defendant's criminal record, if any, and previous record on bail, if any; defendant's reputation and mental condition; the length of his/her residence in the community; defendant's family ties and relationships; defendant's employment status, record of employment and financial condition; the identity of responsible members of the community vouching for his/her reliability; and any other factors indicating defendant's mode of life, or ties to the community. The likelihood of flight must be considered in light of these factors and bail set accordingly. R. 3:26-2[c]. R. 3:26-2[d]. 61 N.J. 351, 294 A.2d 245 [1972].The Courts often examine some of the following criteria:
RESIDENCE- Lived at present residence one year or more.
PRIOR RECORDNo convictions.
FAMILY TIES- Lives with family and has frequent contact with other relatives.
EMPLOYMENT- Has regular job less than four months, or receiving Unemployment Compensation, or welfare aid, or supported by family or savings.
TOTAL TIME IN NEW JERSEY- Ten years or more residence or business in New Jersey.
MISCELLANEOUS FACTORS MAKING FLIGHT UNLIKELY- Good Health
RULE 3:26. BAIL
3:26-1. Right to Bail Before Conviction
(a) Persons Entitled; Standards for Fixing. All persons, except those charged with crimes punishable by death when the prosecutor presents proof that there is a likelihood of conviction and reasonable grounds to believe that the death penalty may be imposed, shall be bailable before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will ensure their presence in court when required. The factors to be considered in setting bail are: (1) the seriousness of the crime charged against defendant, the apparent likelihood of conviction, and the extent of the punishment prescribed by the Legislature; (2) defendant's criminal record, if any, and previous record on bail, if any; (3) defendant's reputation, and mental condition; (4) the length of defendant's residence in the community; (5) defendant's family ties and relationships; (6) defendant's employment status, record of employment, and financial condition; (7) the identity of responsible members of the community who would vouch for defendant's reliability; (8) any other factors indicating defendant's mode of life, or ties to the community or bearing on the risk of failure to appear, and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention. In its discretion the court may order the release of a person on that person's own recognizance. The court may also impose terms or conditions appropriate to the defendant's release including conditions necessary to protect persons in the community.(b) On Failure to Indict. If a person committed for a crime punishable by death is not indicted within 3 months after commitment, a judge of the Superior Court, for good cause shown, may admit the person to bail.(c) On Failure to Move Indictment. If an indictment or accusation is not moved for trial within 6 months after arraignment, a judge of the Superior Court, for cause shown, may discharge the defendant upon the defendant's own recognizance.(d) Extradition Proceedings. Where a person has been arrested in any extradition proceeding, that person may be admitted to bail except where that person is charged with a crime punishable by death.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-1(a)(b)(c)(d); paragraph (a) amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraph (a) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
3:26-2. Authority to Set Bail
(a) Authority to Set Initial Bail. A Superior Court judge may set bail for a person charged with any offense. Bail for any offense except murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, a person arrested in any extradition proceeding or a person arrested under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9b for violating a restraining order may be set by any other judge, or in the absence of a judge, by a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator.(b) Initial Bail Set. Initial bail shall be set pursuant to R. 3:4-1(a) or (b) on indictable or non-indictable offenses.(c) Review of Initial Set. Any person unable to post bail shall have his or her bail reviewed by a Superior Court judge no later than the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday nor a legal holiday. Except in those indictable cases in which a Superior Court judge has set bail, a municipal court judge has the authority to make bail revisions up to and including the time of the defendant's first appearance before the court. A municipal court judge has the authority to make bail revisions on any non-indictable offense at any time during the course of the proceedings.(d) Bail Reductions. A first motion for bail reduction shall be heard by the court no later than seven days after it is filed.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-3(a)(b)(c); amended July 24, 1978 to be effective September 11, 1978; amended May 21, 1979 to be effective June 1, 1979; amended August 28, 1979 to be effective September 1, 1979; amended July 26, 1984 to be effective September 10, 1984; caption amended, former text amended and redesignated paragraph (a) and new paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) adopted July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraph (b) amended January 5, 1998 to be effective February 1, 1998.
3:26-3. Bail for Witness
(a) Authority to Issue. A Superior Court judge may, on application, conduct proceedings under N.J.S.A. 2C:104-1 et seq. as to any person who can give testimony relevant to the prosecution or defense of a pending indictment, accusation, or complaint for a crime or a criminal investigation before a grand jury. (b) Application. The application shall be captioned in Superior Court and entitled "In the Matter of (name of person alleged to be a material witness)". The application shall include a copy of the pending indictment, complaint, or accusation and an affidavit containing: (1) the name and address of the person alleged to be a material witness, (2) a summary of the facts believed to be known by the alleged material witness and the relevance to the criminal action or investigation, (3) the grounds for belief that the person has material and necessary information concerning the pending criminal action or investigation, and (4) the reasons why the alleged material witness is unlikely to respond to a subpoena. If the application requests an arrest warrant, the affidavit shall set forth why immediate arrest is necessary.(c) Order to Appear. If there is probable cause to support issuance of a material-witness order against the person named in the application, the court may order the person to appear at a hearing to determine whether the person should be adjudged a material witness. The order and a copy of the application shall be served personally on the alleged material witness at least 48 hours before the hearing, unless the judge adjusts the time period for good cause, and shall advise the person of: (1) the time and place of the hearing, and (2) the right to be represented by an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one.(d) Warrant for Immediate Detention. If there is clear and convincing evidence that the person will not be available as a witness unless immediately detained, the court may issue an order requiring that the person be brought before the court immediately. If the detention does not take place during regular court hours, the person shall be brought to the emergency-duty Superior Court judge. The judge shall inform the person: (1) the reason for detention, (2) the time and place of the hearing to determine whether the person is a material witness, and (3) that the person has a right to an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one. The judge shall set conditions for release, or, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the person will not be available as a witness unless detention is continued, the judge may order the person held until the material-witness hearing, which shall take place as soon as practicable but no later than 48 hours after detention.(e) Detention Without Prior Court Authorization. Where a law enforcement officer has detained an alleged material witness without prior court authorization, the law enforcement officer shall immediately bring the person before a Superior Court judge. If the detention does not take place during regular court hours, the person shall be brought to the emergent duty Superior Court judge. The judge shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the person is a material witness of a crime and, if an indictment, accusation, or complaint for that crime has not issued or if a grand jury has not commenced a criminal investigation of that crime, the judge shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that, within 48 hours of the detention, an indictment, accusation, or complaint will issue or a grand jury investigation will commence. The judge will then proceed as if an application for an order had been made under paragraph (b).(f) Material Witness Hearing. At the material-witness hearing, the person shall have the rights: (1) to be represented by an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one, (2) to be heard and to present witnesses and evidence, and (3) unless otherwise sealed by the court for exceptional circumstances, to have all of the evidence in support of the application, and (4) to confront and cross-examine witnesses. If there is probable cause to believe that the person possesses information material to the prosecution of a defense of a pending indictment, accusation or complaint for a crime, or a criminal investigation before a grand jury and is unlikely to respond to subpoena, the judge shall: (1) set forth findings of facts on the record, and (2) set the conditions of release of the material witness.(g) Conditions of Release or Detention. Conditions of release for a material-witness or for a person held on an application for a material-witness order shall be the least restrictive to effect the order of the court including but not limited to: (1) placing the witness in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise the person; (2) restricting the travel, association, or place of abode of the person during the period of detention; (3) requiring the person to report; (4) setting bail, or (5) imposing other reasonable restrictions on the material witness. No person may be detained unless the judge finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that detention is the only method that will secure the appearance of the material witness. A person detained as a material witness or pending a material-witness hearing shall be lodged in appropriate quarters and shall not be held in a jail or prison. (h) Deposition. The prosecutor, defendant, or material witness may apply to the Superior Court for an order directing that a deposition be taken to preserve the witness's testimony, for use at trial if the witness becomes unavailable, as provided by R. 3:13-2. After a deposition has been taken, the judge shall vacate the material-witness order and impose the least restrictive conditions to secure the appearance of the material witness.(i) Reconsideration of Material Witness Order. On motion of the material witness, prosecutor, or defendant, a material witness order may be reconsidered at any time by the court that entered the order.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-4; first paragraph re-designated paragraph (a) and paragraphs (b), (c) (d), (e), (f) and (g) added July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraph (g) amended July 13, 1994 and December 9, 1994, to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) amended, former paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) amended and redesignated as paragraphs (f), (g), and (h), and new paragraphs (e) and (i) adopted July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.
3:26-4. Form and Place of Deposit; Location of Real Estate; Record of Recognizances, Discharge and Forfeiture Thereof
(a) Deposit of Bail. A person admitted to bail shall, together with that person's sureties, sign and execute a recognizance before the person authorized to take bail or, if the defendant is in custody, the person in charge of the place of confinement. The recognizance shall contain the terms set forth in R. 1:13-3(b) and shall be conditioned upon the defendant's appearance at all stages of the proceedings until final determination of the matter, unless otherwise ordered by the court. One or more sureties may be required. Cash may be accepted, and in proper cases no security need be required. A corporate surety shall be one approved by the Commissioner of Insurance and shall execute the recognizance under its corporate seal, cause the same to be duly acknowledged and shall annex thereto proof of authority of the officers or agents executing the same and of corporate authority and qualification. Bail given in the Superior Court shall be deposited with the clerk of the county in which the offense was committed, provided that upon order of the court bail shall be transferred from the county of deposit to the county in which defendant is to be tried. Real estate offered as bail for indictable and non-indictable offenses shall be approved by and deposited with the clerk of the county in which the offense occurred and not with the Municipal Court clerk. In any county, with the approval of the Assignment Judge, a program may be instituted for the deposit in court of cash in the amount of 10 percent of the amount of bail fixed.(b) Limitation on Individual Surety. Unless the court for good cause otherwise permits, no surety, other than an approved corporate surety, shall enter into a recognizance or undertaking for bail if there remains undischarged any previous recognizance or bail undertaken by that surety. (c) Real Estate in Other Counties. Real estate owned by a surety located in a county other than the one in which the bail is taken may be accepted, in which case the clerk of the court in which the bail is taken shall forthwith transmit a copy of the recognizance certified by that clerk to the clerk of the county in which the real estate is situated, who shall record it in the same manner as if the recognizance had been taken in that clerk's county.(d) Record of Recognizance. The clerk of every court, except the municipal court, before which any recognizance shall be entered into shall record immediately, in alphabetical order in a book kept for that purpose, the names of the persons entering into the recognizance, the amount thereof and the date of its acknowledgment. Such book shall be kept in the clerk's office of the county of which such court shall be held, and be open for public inspection. In municipal court proceedings the record of the recognizance shall be entered in the docket book maintained by the clerk.(e) Record of Discharge; Forfeiture. When any recognizance shall be discharged by court order upon proof of compliance with the conditions thereof or by reason of the judgment in any matter, the clerk of the court shall enter the word "discharged" and the date of discharge at the end of the record of such recognizance. When any recognizance is forfeited, the clerk of the court shall enter the word "forfeited", and the date of forfeiture at the end of the record of such recognizance, and shall give notice of such forfeiture to the county counsel. When real estate of the surety located in a county other than the one in which the bail was taken is affected, the clerk of the court in which such recognizance is given shall forthwith send notice of the discharge or forfeiture and the date thereof to the clerk of the county where such real estate is situated, who shall make the appropriate entry at the end of the record of such recognizance.(f) Cash Deposit. When a person other than the defendant deposits cash in lieu of bond, the person making the deposit shall file an affidavit concerning the lawful ownership thereof, and on discharge such cash may be returned to the owner named in the affidavit.(g) Ten Percent Cash Bail. Except in first or second degree cases as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:162-12 and unless the order setting bail specifies to the contrary, whenever bail is set pursuant to Rule 3:26-1, bail may be satisfied by the deposit in court of cash in the amount of ten-percent of the amount of bail fixed and defendant's execution of a recognizance for the remaining ninety percent. No surety shall be required unless the court fixing bail specifically so orders. When cash equal to ten-percent of the bail fixed is deposited pursuant to this Rule, if the cash is owned by someone other than the defendant, the owner shall charge no fee for the deposit other than lawful interest and shall submit an affidavit with the deposit so stating and also listing the names of any other persons for whom the owner has deposited bail. The person making the deposit authorized by this subsection shall file an affidavit concerning the lawful ownership thereof, and on discharge such cash may be returned to the owner named in the affidavit.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-5(a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g). Paragraph (a) amended June 29, 1973 to be effective September 10, 1973; paragraph (a) amended July 16, 1979 to be effective September 10, 1979; paragraph (g) adopted November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (a) amended November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; paragraphs (f) and (g) amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994; paragraph (a) amended February 27, 1995 to be effective immediately.
3:26-5. Justification of Sureties
Every surety, except an approved corporate surety, shall justify by affidavit and be required to describe therein the property by which the surety proposes to justify and the encumbrances thereon, the number and amount of other recognizances and undertakings for bail entered into by the surety and remaining undischarged, if any, and all the surety's other liabilities. No recognizance shall be approved unless the surety thereon shall be qualified.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-6; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.
3:26-6. Forfeiture
(a) Declaration; Notice. Upon breach of a condition of a recognizance, the court on its own motion shall order forfeiture of the bail, and the finance division manager shall forthwith send notice of the forfeiture, by ordinary mail, to county counsel, the defendant, and any surety or insurer, bail agent or agency whose names appear on the bail recognizance. Notice to any insurer, bail agent or agency shall be sent to the address recorded in the Bail Registry maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court pursuant to R. 1:13-3. The notice shall direct that judgment will be entered as to any outstanding bail absent a written objection seeking to set aside the forfeiture, which must be filed within 75 days of the date of the notice. The notice shall also advise the insurer that if it fails to satisfy a judgment entered pursuant to paragraph (c), and until satisfaction is made, it shall be removed from the Bail Registry and its bail agents and agencies, guarantors, and other persons or entities authorized to administer or manage its bail bond business in this State will have no further authority to act for it, and their names, as acting for the insurer, will be removed from the Bail Registry. In addition the bail agent or agency, guarantor or other person or entity authorized by the insurer to administer or manage its bail bond business in this State who acted in such capacity with respect to the forfeited bond will be precluded, by removal from the Bail Registry, from so acting for any other insurer until the judgment has been satisfied. The court shall not enter judgment until the merits of any objection are determined either on the papers filed or, if the court so orders for good cause, at a hearing. In the absence of objection, judgment shall be entered as provided in paragraph (c), but the court may thereafter remit it, in whole or part, in the interest of justice.
(b) Setting Aside. The court may, either before or after the entry of judgment, direct that an order of forfeiture or judgment be set aside, in whole or in part, if its enforcement is not required in the interest of justice upon such conditions as it imposes.
(c) Enforcement; Remission. In the absence of a motion, when a forfeiture is not set aside or satisfied, the court shall, upon expiration of the 75 days provided for in paragraph (a), summarily enter a judgment of default for any outstanding bail and execution may issue thereon. After entry of such judgment, the court may remit it in whole or in part in the interest of justice. If, following the court's decision on an objection pursuant to paragraph (a) of this rule, the forfeiture is not set aside or satisfied in whole or part, the court shall enter judgment for any outstanding bail and, in the absence of satisfaction thereof, execution may issue thereon.
Judgments entered pursuant to this rule shall also advise the insurer that if it fails to satisfy a judgment, and until satisfaction is made, it shall be removed from the Bail Registry and its bail agents and agencies, guarantors, and other persons or entities authorized to administer or manage its bail bond business in this State will have no further authority to act for it, and their names, as acting for the insurer, will be removed from the Bail Registry, as provided in paragraph (a). A copy of the judgment entered pursuant to this rule is to be served by ordinary mail to county counsel, and on any surety or any insurer, bail agent or agency named in the judgment. Notice to any insurer, bail agent or agency shall be sent to the address recorded in the Bail Registry. In any contested proceeding, county counsel shall appear on behalf of the government. County counsel shall be responsible for collection of forfeited amounts.
Note: Source--R.R. 3:9-7 (a)(b)(c) (first sentence) (d); paragraphs (a) and (c) amended July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998; paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.
3:26-7. Exoneration
When the condition of the recognizance has been satisfied or the forfeiture thereof has been set aside or remitted, the court shall exonerate the obligors and release any bail. A surety may be exonerated by a deposit of cash in the amount of the recognizance or by a timely surrender of the defendant into custody.
Note: Source-R.R. 3:9-8.
KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PCATTORNEY AT LAW2053 Woodbridge Ave.Edison, NJ 08817(Phone) 732-572-0500(Fax) 732-572-0030
TRIAL AND LITIGATION EXPERIENCEIn his private practice, he has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He appears in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on many personal injury matters, Criminal and Municipal/ traffic Court trials, Probate hearings, and contested administrative law hearings.
Mr. Vercammen served as the Prosecutor for the Township of Cranbury, Middlesex County and was involved in trials on a weekly basis. He also argued all pre-trial motions and post-trial applications on behalf of the State of New Jersey.
He has also served as a Special Acting Prosecutor in Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, Berkeley Heights, Carteret, East Brunswick, Jamesburg, South Brunswick, South River and South Plainfield for conflict cases. Since 1989, he has personally handled hundreds of criminal and motor vehicle matters as a Prosecutor and now as defense counsel and has had substantial success.
Previously, Mr. Vercammen was Public Defender for the Township of Edison and Borough of Metuchen and a Designated Counsel for the Middlesex County Public Defender's Office. He represented indigent individuals facing consequences of magnitude. He was in Court trying cases and making motions in difficult criminal and DWI matters. Every case he personally handled and prepared.
His resume sets forth the numerous bar associations and activities which demonstrate his commitment to the legal profession and providing quality representation to clients.
Since 1985, his primary concentration has been on litigation matters. Mr. Vercammen gained other legal experiences as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Court of Appeals of Maryland (Supreme Court) with the Delaware County, PA District Attorney Office handling Probable Cause Hearings, Middlesex County Probation Department as a Probation Officer, and an Executive Assistant to Scranton District Magistrate, Thomas Hart, in Scranton, PA.
Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record
b. You may go to Jail or Prison.
c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;
If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

Bail Schedule 1 and 2

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. BAIL SCHEDULE 1 STATUTES WHICH REQUIRE BAIL TO BE SET BY A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE, PURSUANT TO RULE 3:26-2 [Note- An additional new bail law will take affect June 2, 2007
Statute Charge Bail Range 1. 2C:11-3(a) Murder $250,000 to $750,000 No 10% Purposely or knowingly causes the death of another; first degree - minimum 30 years before parole and up to life in prison. 2. 2C:11-3(3) Felony Murder $250,000 to $750,000 No 10% Death is caused to a person, other than a co-participant, during one of the crimes listed in the statute; first degree - minimum 30 years before parole and up to life in prison. 3. 2C:13-1(a) Kidnapping First Degree- $200,000 to $400,000 Unlawful confinement or removal of No 10% another for various criminal purposes as set forth in statute; second degree if Second Degree-$100,000 to victim is released unharmed and in a safe $200,000 place prior to apprehension; otherwise first No 10% degree; requires life with 25 years parole ineligibility if child under 16 is sexually assaulted or delivered to another for pecuniary gain. 4. 2C:11-4(a) Aggravated Manslaughter $200,000 to $500,000 No 10% Actor recklessly causes death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, or actor causes death while eluding a police officer; first degree 5. 2C:11-11-4(b) Manslaughter $100,000 to $200,000 No 10% Actor recklessly causes death of another or purposely or knowingly causes death while in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation; second degree
6. 2C:14-2(a)(1) to (7) Aggravated Sexual Assault $150,000 to $300,000 No 10% Actor commits sexual penetration with victim under 13, or victim age 13-15 and supervisory or loco parentis relationship; or commits during other crimes listed in statute; or uses weapon; or uses force and victim suffers severe personal injury, or victim is physically helpless or mentally defective; or two or more persons uses force on victim; first degree 7. 2C:14-2(b)(1) to 4 Sexual Assault $50,000 to $200,000 No 10% Actor commits sexual contact on victim less than 13 and actor is 4 or more years older; or sexual penetration with force; or sexual penetration where actor is a relative as defined in statute or has supervision over victim as defined in statute; or victim is age 13-15 and actor is at least 4 years older; second degree 8. 2C:14-3a Aggravated Criminal Sexual $25,000 to $100,000 Contact 10% permissible Actor commits sexual contact with victim age 13 to 15 and is a relative as defined in statute or has supervisory power as defined; or is committed during other listed crimes; or actor is armed or threatens use of weapon; or actor uses force and victim suffers severe personal injury; or victim is physically helpless or mentally defective or mentally incapacitated; third degree 9. 2A:160(1) to (25) Uniform Criminal Extradition Extradition Proceeding Act Court may withhold bail or grant bail to fugitive charged in another state; if the person is charged with a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment, no bail shall be granted. 10. 2C:29-9(b) Fourth Degree-$1,000 to Contempt of Domestic Violence Restraining Order $2,500 Actor purposely or knowingly violates any provision 10% permissible of a Domestic Violence restraining order; fourth degree if conduct constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense; Disorderly Persons-$500 to otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense. 4 $2,500 10% permissible 2C:25-31(a) provides that prior to the setting of bail, the law enforcement officer shall conduct a search of the Domestic Violence Registry. 4 The Domestic Violence Procedures Manual permits Municipal Court Judges to set bail if the contempt charge is a disorderly persons offense and the Assignment Judge of the vicinage has issued an order permitting this authority. BAIL SCHEDULE 2 STATUTES WHERE BAIL MAY BE SET BY A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OR A MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE OR, IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE'S ABSENCE, THE MUNICIPAL COURT ADMINISTRATOR OR DEPUTY COURT ADMINISTRATOR, PURSUANT TO RULE 3:26-2 BAIL SCHEDULE 2 Statute Bail Range 1. 2C:5-5 Burglar's tools Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible Actor possesses tools commonly used to commit theft or burglary with purpose Disorderly Persons-$500 to to so employ; fourth degree if actor manufactures $1,000 tools; otherwise a disorderly persons offense. 10% permissible 2. 2C:7-2 Registration of Sex Offenders (Megan's Law) Actor previously convicted of listed sex offense who $1,000 to $2,500 fails to register; fourth degree. 10% permissible 3. 2C:11-5 Death by Auto or Vessel First Degree-$150,00 to Actor causes death while recklessly $350,000 driving a vehicle or vessel; first degree 10% permissible if within 1000 feet of a school or driving through school crossing; otherwise, second Second Degree-$50,000 to degree. $150,000 10% permissible 4. 2C:11-3.1 Knowingly Leaving the Scene $15,000 to $35,000 of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death 10% permissible A motor vehicle operator knows he is involved in an accident under circumstances which violated N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 ("Action in case of accident") and the accident results in the death of another person; third degree. 5. 2C:12-1(b)(1) Aggravated Assault Attempts to cause or causes serious bodily injury; $35,000 to $100,000 second degree. 10% permissible 6. 2C:12-1(b)(2) Aggravated Assault Attempts to cause or causes bodily injury with a $20,000 to $50,000 deadly weapon; third degree. 10% permissible 7. 2C:12-1(b)(3) Aggravated Assault $1,000 to $2,500 Recklessly causes bodily injury with a deadly weapon; 10% permissible fourth degree. 8. 2C:12-1(b)(4) Aggravated Assault $1,000 to $2,500 Pointing a firearm at or in the direction of another; 10% permissible fourth degree. 9. 2C:12-1(b)(5) Aggravated Assault Third Degree-$5,000 to Simple assault upon police officer or upon other $15,000 categories of people as listed in the statute; 10% permissible (fireman, first aid person, school teacher, bus driver DYFS worker, judge, motorbus operator); third degree if Fourth Degree-$1,000 to victim suffers bodily injury; otherwise, fourth degree. $2,500 10% permissible 10. 2C:12-1(b)(6) Aggravated Assault Actor causes injury to another person during the course Second Degree-$20,000 to of an eluding or unlawful taking of a means of conveyance; $50,000 third degree if victim suffers bodily injury; second degree if 10% permissible victim suffers significant bodily injury. Third Degree-$5,000 to $15,000 10% permissible 11. 2C:12-1(b)(7) Aggravated Assault Attempts to cause or causes significant bodily injury $20,000 to $50,000 to another; third degree. 10% permissible 12. 2C:12-1(b)(9) Aggravated Assault $50,000 to $75,000 Pointing a firearm at a police officer; third degree. 10% permissible 13. 2C:12-1.1 Leaving Scene of a Motor Vehicle $1,000 to $2,500 Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury; 10% permissible A motor vehicle operator knows he is involved in an accident and knowingly leaves accident under circumstances which violate N.J.S.A. 39: 4-129 ("Action in case of accident") and the accident results in serious bodily injury to another person; fourth degree.
14. 2C:12-3(a)(b) Terroristic Threats Threatens crime of violence or threat to kill; third degree; Second Degree-$25,000 to if threat of crime of violence occurs during declared period $50,000 of national, state or county emergency, second degree. 10% permissible Third Degree-$10,000 to $20,000 10% permissible 15. 2C:12-10 (a-l) Stalking Third Degree-$20,000 to Course of conduct toward a specific person causing fear of $50,000 injury to victim or victim's family; fourth degree; if stalking 10% permissible is committed in violation of prior court order prohibiting same, or is a second or subsequent offense or is committed while on Fourth Degree-$1,000 to probation or parole for an indictable offense; third degree. $2,500 10% permissible 16. 2C:13-2(a) Criminal Restraint Unlawfully restraining another with exposure to serious bodily $10,000 to $25,000 or holds another in involuntary servitude; third degree. 10% permissible 17. 2C:13-6 Luring, Enticing Child, Attempts: $50,000 to $100,000 Attempts to or lures a child, or a person that the actor 10% permissible reasonably believes to be a child, into motor vehicle, structure or isolated place or to meet at any other place with purpose to commit an offense; second degree. "Child" is defined as a person less than 18 years old. 18. 2C:14-3(a) Criminal Sexual Contact $1,000 to $2,500 Intentional touching of intimate parts of victim for actor's 10% permissible sexual gratification through force; or if victim is on probation or parole and actor is the supervising officer; or if the victim is age 16 or 17 and actor is related by blood or affinity to third degree; or has supervisory or disciplinary power over victim; or is foster parent or in loco parentis; or victim is age 13 to 15 and actor is at least four years older; fourth degree. 19. 2C:14-4 Lewdness Fourth Degree-$1,000 to Exposure of intimate parts for sexual gratification of actor if $2,500 conduct is likely to be observed by a child under age 13 and actor is 10% permissible more than 4 years older; or is likely to be observed by mentally defective person who is unable to understand the sexual nature of the Disorderly Persons-$500 to conduct; fourth degree; any other flagrantly rude or offensive conduct $1,000 likely to be observed by a non-consenting person; disorderly persons 10% permissible offense.
20. 2C:15-1 Robbery First Degree- $100,000 to Force or threats during theft or attempted theft; second degree; if $250,000 act is committed while armed, or threatening use of weapon or there No 10% is attempt to inflict or does inflict serious bodily injury; first degree. Second Degree- $50,000 to $100,000 No 10% 21. 2C:15-2(a) Carjacking During course of theft of motor vehicle, actor uses force $100,000 to $250,000 or threatens victim; first degree. No 10% 22. 2C:17-1(a) Aggravated Arson Starts fire with purpose to put another in danger, or to destroy $35,000 to $75,000 building, or to collect insurance and recklessly places any person No 10% in danger of death or injury, or to destroy forest; second degree. 23. 2C:17-1(b) Arson Starts fire and recklessly places person or structure in danger $10,000 to $35,000 or to collect insurance; third degree. 10% permissible 24. 2C:17-3(a) Criminal Mischief Damages or tampers with property of another; third degree if Second Degree- $50,00 to $2,000 or more; fourth degree if in excess of $500; otherwise $75,000 a disorderly persons offense; or if damages airport or other places 10% permissible or devices listed-fourth degree; if bodily injury is caused, third degree; if death is caused, second degree; or if grave or crypt is Third Degree-$5,000 to tampered with, third degree. $15,000 10% permissible Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible 25. 2C:18-2 Burglary Second Degree-$35,000 to Enters or surreptitiously remains in a structure or research facility $75,000 with purpose to commit an offense therein; third degree; if actor No 10% is armed with or displays what appears to be explosives or a deadly weapon or threatens to inflict or inflicts bodily injury, second degree. Third Degree-$10,000 to $50,000 10% permissible 26. 2C:18-3 Criminal Trespass Fourth Degree-$1,000 to Enters or surreptitiously remains in structure or research facility $2,500 or in school or on school property; or if structure is a dwelling 10% permissible or if committed in school or on school property; fourth degree; otherwise a disorderly person; enters any place where notice is Disorderly Persons-$500 to given against trespass; petty disorderly persons; peering into $1,000 dwelling; fourth degree. 10% permissible 27. 2C:20-3 Theft - Second Degree $35,000 to $75,000 Steals property valued at $75,000 or more; or by extortion; or 10% permissible except takes human remains. if by extortion. No 10% if by extortion. 28. 2C:20-3 Theft - Third Degree $5,000 to $20,000 Steals property valued at more than $500 but less than $75,000; 10% permissible or property is a firearm or motor vehicle or boat or domestic animal; or property is taken from the person of victim. 29. 2C:20-3 Theft - Fourth Degree Fourth Degree-$1,000 to Steals property valued at least $200 but not more than $500; $2,500 if lesser value, it is a disorderly persons offense. 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible 30. 2C:20-10 Unlawful Taking of a Means of Conveyance Third Degree-$2,500 to Takes motor vehicle without consent of owner, fourth degree; $10,000 operates motor vehicle without consent of owner and drives 10% permissible recklessly, third degree; rides in a motor vehicle knowing it has been taken without consent of the owner, fourth degree. Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible 31. 2C:20-11 Shoplifting Second Degree-$35,000 to Carries away property or conceals property with intent to steal $75,000 or alters tags or removes labels with intent to deprive merchant 10% permissible of some or all of its value; second or third or fourth degree or disorderly persons offense depending upon value as delineated in Third Degree-$5,000 to in section (c). $20,000 10% permissible Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible 32. 2C:21-1 Forgery Third Degree-$5,000 to With purpose to defraud or injure another, makes or alters $20,000 or utters documents which are forged or fictitious; third or fourth 10% permissible degree depending upon types of documents as laid out in statute. Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible 33. 2C:21-2.1 Sale of Simulated Document Second Degree-$35,000 to Actor sells, transfers, or possesses with intent to sell a writing $75,000 which falsely purports to be a driver's license or other document 10% permissible issued by a governmental agency which could be used to verify Third Degree-$5,000 to a person's identity or age or who makes or possesses devices or $20,000 materials to make such documents, second degree; if actor exhibits 10% permissible or utters such documents, third degree except that this statute does not apply if actor purchases alcoholic beverage underage or tobacco Fourth Degree-$1,000 to underage and there is no other fraud or injury to another; if actor $2,500 possesses such documents, fourth degree. 10% permissible 34. 2C:21-5 Bad Checks Second Degree-$35,000 to Issues or passes check knowing it would not be honored or if no $75,000 account to draw on; second or third or fourth degree or disorderly 10% permissible persons offense depending upon amount of check; second degree- $75,000 or more; third degree-$1,000 but less than $75,000; fourth Third Degree-$5,000 to degree $200 but less than $1,000; disorderly persons-less than $200. $20,000 10% permissible Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500, 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible 35. 2C:21-6 Credit Cards Third Degree-$5,000 to Receiving with intent to sell or selling lost or stolen credit cards; $20,000 fourth degree; uses lost or stolen or fictitious credit cards; third 10% permissible degree. Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible 36. 2C:24-4 Endangering Welfare of Children First Degree-$100,000 to (a). If actor has legal duty to care for child or who has assumed $250,000 responsibility for child and engages in sexual conduct with child No 10% under 16 or who harms or abuses child, second degree; if actor has no legal duty or has not assumed responsibility for child, Second Degree-$50,000 to third degree; $100,000 (b). If actor causes or allows child to engage in prohibited or No 10% simulated prohibited sexual act for filming or reproduction; first degree if parent or guardian; if any other person, second degree; Third Degree-$20,000 to (b)(4) If actor photographs or films child in prohibited sexual acts $50,000 or simulation thereof or reproduces image of a child in a prohibited 10% permissible sexual act or simulation, second degree; (b)(5) If actor received with intent to sell or sells films or pictures Fourth Degree-$1,000 to of children in a prohibited sexual act or simulation thereof, second $2,500 degree; 10% permissible (b)(6) If actor possesses or knowingly views pictures or film of child in prohibited sexual act or simulation thereof, including via the internet, fourth degree. 37. 2C:28-4 False Reports to Law Enforcement Authority $1,000 to 2,500 Actor gives false information to law enforcement officer with 10% permissible purpose to implicate another; fourth degree. 38. 2C:28-5 Tampering with Witness and Informant Second Degree-$50,000 to Knowing an official investigation is proceeding or is about to $100,000 be instituted, attempts to induce witness to testify falsely, or 10% permissible withhold evidence or elude legal subpoenas or absent self from proceeding or investigation; second degree if actor uses Third Degree-$20,000 to threats of force; otherwise third degree. $50,000 10% permissible
39. 2C: 29-1 Obstructing Administration of Law or other Fourth Degree-$1,000 to Governmental Function $2,500 Actor obstructs or impairs or attempts to prevent public servant 10% permissible from performing official function by force, intimidation or other unlawful act; fourth degree if actor obstructs investigation or Disorderly Persons-$500 to prosecution of a crime; otherwise, a disorderly persons offense. $1,000 10% permissible 40. 2C:29-2 Resisting Arrest, Eluding Officers Third Degree-$5,000 to Actor resists arrest by use of force or threat of force $10,000 or creates substantial risk to safety of officer, third degree; 10% permissible If actor resists arrest by flight, fourth degree; otherwise, it is a disorderly persons offense. Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible Eluding- Actor driving motor vehicle fails to stop after signal Second Degree-$25,000 to from police, third degree; if actor eludes and drives in a manner $50,000 that creates a risk of death or injury, second degree. No 10% Third Degree-$10,000 to $20,000 10% permissible 41. 2C:29-3(a)(b) Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution Second Degree-$25,000 to (a) Actor has purpose to hinder or impair apprehension or $50,000 prosecution of another and assists that person in avoiding 10% permissible detection or suppression of evidence; second or third or fourth degree depending upon degree of crime the other person Third Degree-$5,000 to is charged with or liable to be charged with and whether the actor $10,000 is a parent of the other person. 10% permissible (b) Actor hinders own apprehension or investigation by suppressing evidence or intimidating others who could give Fourth Degree-$1,000 to information or testify against actor; or by giving false information $2,500 to police; third or fourth degree or disorderly persons offense 10% permissible depending upon degree of crime to which actor is exposed or charged. Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible 42. 2C: 29-5 Escape Second Degree-$25,000 to Leaves official detention without permission or absconds from $50,000 parole; second degree if force or threats are used or weapon is No 10% employed; otherwise third degree. Third Degree-$10,000 to $25,000 No 10% 43. 2C:34-1 Prostitution Second Degree-$25,000 to Sexual activity with another person in exchange for something $50,000 of economic value; promoting prostitution or owning or controlling 10% permissible a house of prostitution or soliciting another to become a prostitute; second or third or fourth degree depending upon circumstances, Third Degree-$5,000 to including whether a child under 18 is involved; disorderly persons $15,000 offense if actor is charged only with engaging in prostitution. 10% permissible Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible 44. 2C:35-3 Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network $200,000 to $350,000 Actor conspires with 2 or more persons in a scheme or course No 10% of conduct to distribute CDS and is an organizer or supervisor of one of them; first degree. 45. 2C:35-5 Manufacturing, Distributing, Dispensing CDS Actor manufactures, distributes, dispenses or possesses with intent to distribute CDS: Numerous types of CDS are covered by this statute: First Degree $100,000 to $250,000 Heroin or cocaine, 5 ounces or more. No 10% LSD or its analog, 10 grams or more. Methamphetamine or its analog, 5 ounces or more. Marijuana, 25 pounds or more, or 50 marijuana plants or more. Hashish, 5 pounds or more. Second Degree $75,000 to $150,000 Heroin or Cocaine, 1Ú2 ounce or more but less than 5 ounces No 10% LSD or its analog, 1Ú2 ounce or more but less than 5 ounces. Methamphetamine or its analog, 1Ú2 ounce or more but less than 5 ounces. Marijuana, 5 pounds but less than 25 pounds, or 10 or more marijuana plants but less than 50 marijuana plants.
Hashish, 1 pound or more but less than 5 pounds. Other substances in Schedule I or II in quantity of one ounce or more. Third Degree $5,000 to $20,000 Heroin or cocaine, less than 1Ú2 ounce 10% permissible Methamphetamine, or its analog, less than 1Ú2 ounce Marijuana, an ounce or more but less than 5 pounds. Hashish, 5 grams or more but less than 1 pound. Other substances in Schedule I or II in a quantity of less than 1 ounce. Other substances, or their analogs, in Schedules I, II, III or IV. Fourth Degree $1,000 to $2,500 Marijuana in quantity of less than 1 ounce. 10% permissible Hashish in a quantity of less than 5 grams. Any substance, or its analog, in Schedule V. 46. 2C:35-6 Employing a Juvenile in a Drug Distribution Scheme $50,000 to $100,000 Actor solicits or employs a person, 17 years or younger, No 10% in a drug distribution scheme; second degree. 47. 2C:35-7 Distribution, Dispensing or Possessing CDS with $15,000 to $35,000 Intent to Distribute on or within 1000 Feet of School Property or 10% permissible a School Bus Actor distributes or possesses with the intent to distribute CDS on or within 1000 feet of school property or a school bus; third degree. 48. 2C:35-7.1 Distribution, Dispensing or Possessing CDS with Second Degree-$25,000 to Intent to Distribute within 500 feet of Certain Public Property $50,000 Public property means public park, public housing facility or No 10% public building; second degree unless CDS is less than 1 ounce of marijuana; then it is a third degree. Third Degree-$10,000 to $25,000 10% permissible 49. 2C:35-10 Possession of CDS or Analog Third Degree-$5,000 to CDS or Analog in Schedules I, II, III, or IV, other than if specifically $10,000 covered in statute, third degree; 10% permissible CDS or analog in Schedule V, fourth degree Possession of marijuana over 50 grams, fourth degree; otherwise Fourth Degree $1,000 to it is a disorderly persons offense. $2,500 10% permissible Disorderly Persons-$500 to $1,000 10% permissible
50. 2C:35-13 Obtains CDS by Fraud $5,000 to $10,000 Actor obtains CDS by fraud, forgery or deception; third degree 10% permissible 51. 2C:39-3 Prohibited Weapons and Devices Third Degree-$7,500 to Destructive devices and sawed off shotgun; third degree; $20,000 defaced firearm, certain knives and other listed weapons, stun guns, 10% permissible dum-dum bullets, fourth degree. Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible 52. 2C:39-4 Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes Second Degree-$50,000 to Actor possesses weapon with purpose to use unlawfully against a $100,000 person or property ; firearms and destructive devices, second degree; No 10% other weapons, third degree; imitation firearm, fourth degree. Third Degree-$10,000 to $20,000 10% permissible Fourth Degree-$1,000 to $2,500 10% permissible 53. 2C:39-5 Unlawful Possession of Weapons Third Degree-$7,500 to Possession of machine gun, third degree; possession of firearm $20,000 without permit, third degree; possession of rifle and shotgun 10% permissible without firearm purchase card, third degree; other weapons under circumstances not manifestly appropriate, fourth degree; assault Fourth Degree-$1,000 weapons, third degree. to $2,500 10% permissible OTHER DISORDERLY PERSONS OFFENSES AND PETTY DISORDERLY PERSONS OFFENSES 1. 2C:12-1a(1)(2)(3) Simple Assault $500 to $2,500 Attempts to or purposely or knowingly or recklessly 10% permissible causes bodily injury to another; or negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or attempts by physical Petty Disorderly Persons menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; $100 to $500 disorderly persons offense; if fight or scuffle entered into by mutual 10% permissible consent, petty disorderly persons offense. 2. 2C:13-3 False Imprisonment $500 to $2,500 Actor knowingly restrains another unlawfully so as to 10% permissible interfere substantially with his liberty; disorderly persons offense. 3. 2C:24-7 Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person $500 to $2,500 Actor knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to 10% permissible the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself because of a mental disease or defect; disorderly persons offense. 4. 2C:33-2 Disorderly Conduct Actor with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, engages in fighting or threatening or violent behavior or creates a hazardous or physical dangerous condition with no $100 to $500 legitimate purpose or engages in unreasonably loud or offensive 10% permissible language in a public place with purpose to offend others or in reckless disregard of doing so; petty disorderly persons offense. 5. 2C:33-2.1 Wandering, Remaining in or Prowling Public Places with purpose of obtaining or selling controlled substances. $500 to $2,500 Actor wanders, prowls, or remains in public place for purpose of 10% permissible unlawfully obtaining or distributing a controlled dangerous substance; disorderly persons offense. 6. 2C:33-4 Harassment $500 to $1,000 Actor with purpose to harass another, engages in anonymous 10% permissible or offensive communications or subjects to another to kicking, shoving or other offensive touching or threatens to do so, or Petty Disorderly Persons engages in repeated conduct. Petty disorderly persons offense $100 to $500 unless actor is in prison or on parole or probation for indictable offense. It is then fourth degree. 10% permissible 7. 2C:33-7 Obstructing Highways and Other Public Places Actor purposely or recklessly obstructs a public passage or, $500 to $1,000 in a gathering, refusal to obey a reasonable official request 10% permissible to move; petty disorderly persons offense. 8. 2C:33-12 Maintaining a Nuisance Actor knowingly or recklessly maintains a condition which endangers $100 to $1,000 the safety or health of a considerable number of persons or knowingly 10% permissible Maintains any premises or place where people gather for the purpose of engaging in unlawful conduct; disorderly persons offense unless the premises is place where obscene material is made or sold. It is then fourth degree. 9. C:33-13-1 Sale of Cigarette to Minors $100 to $500 Actor sells or gives cigarettes or tobacco to any person under 18; 10% permissible petty disorderly persons offense. 10. 2C:33-15 Possession or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverage $500 to $1,000 by Person under Legal Age 10% permissible Actor under legal age possesses or consumes alcohol in any school public conveyance, public place, or place of assembly or motor vehicle; disorderly persons offense. 11. 2C:33-16 Possession of Alcoholic Beverage on School Property $500 to $1,000 Actor of legal age to purchase alcohol brings or possesses alcohol on 10% permissible school property without written permission of school board; disorderly persons offense. 12. 2C:33-17 Offering Alcoholic Beverages to under Age Persons Actor offers or entices underage person to drink alcohol; disorderly $500 to $1,000 persons offense unless it falls into one of the listed exceptions in 10% permissible statute. (Exceptions occur when an underage person is given alcohol either by a parent or guardian who is of legal age to consume alcohol; or by another person, who is of legal age, in that person's home and in the presence of and with permission of the parent or guardian who is of legal age to consume alcohol; or is given alcohol during a religious ceremony, observance or rite).SECTION 8 JUDICIAL REVIEW OF DEFENDANTS HELD IN LIEU OF BAIL FOR INDICTABLE OFFENSES There is no question that fairness in bail practices involves not only the initial setting of bail amounts and conditions but also the continuing and careful judicial review of the bail set on defendants who are unable to make bail. See Rule 3:26-2(c)(d). Such subsequent reviews normally involve much more information than was available to the judge or judicial officer who initially set the bail. When bail is first set, the judge or other judicial officer often has little more than the basic allegations in the complaint and the name, address, age and prior record of the defendant. Indeed, at this very early stage, information regarding prior record can often be limited. Many defendants have used other names, multiple social security numbers and different dates of birth. Many have been arrested out of state and information on the disposition of those cases can be incomplete. In some cases, the immigration status of the defendant is not clear. All of these factors can contribute to a Judge setting a significant initial bail. During subsequent reviews, which are sometimes in open court and at other times on the papers, the judge will ordinarily have far more information on the factors cited above as well as a summary of the proofs in the case. The judge will also have much more information regarding the defendant's ties to the community, including length of residence, contact with other family members and the existence of employment. Our Subcommittee certainly recognizes that such subsequent reviews may, in some cases, actually persuade the judge to raise the bail if the relevant supplemental information warrants it. We also understand that, as discussed in State vs. Fann in Section 2 herein, the fact that the defendant may be unable to post bail does not in and of itself mean that the bail is unfair. Inmany cases, however, subsequent information will justify the reduction of bail, particularly if weeks or months have passed and the case has not yet been presented to the Grand Jury. As noted earlier herein, pursuant to 2C:25-26(e), bail in domestic violence cases cannot be reduced without prior notice to the county prosecutor and the victim. Bail shall not be reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally ordered the bail, unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are available to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth on the record. As noted in Section 2, Rule 3:26-2 (c) provides that, unless the original bail has been set by a Superior Court Judge, a Judge of the Superior Court shall review the bail of a defendant being detained on the first court day following the arrest. While there is certainly literal compliance with the rule, counties vary widely as to whether the review is conducted on the papers or with the defendant in court. We have also found that there is widespread variance in how often and under what circumstances the bail is reviewed thereafter. The defendant may, of course, with or without an attorney, request a bail review and, as noted earlier, Rule 3:26-2(d) requires that a first motion for bail reduction be conducted within seven days of its filing. There are again, however, many differences among the counties as to when a Superior Court Judge reviews the bail without a specific motion being filed. In some counties, presentation to the Grand Jury may take place several months after arrest. Some of these defendants have gone through pre-indictment-processing courts (PIP) where bail has again been reviewed. Others have not since some counties do not have PIP courts. In some counties, the Criminal Presiding Judge or other designated judge will schedule a so called "dismissal" list for those cases not yet presented to the Grand Jury within four months after arrest. During these reviews, the complaint can be dismissed or, in the alternative, the bail substantially reduced or amended to R.O.R. After a case is indicted, it is assigned for arraignment to a trial judge. That trial judge will have the responsibility of managing the case and monitoring the bail status of any defendant who is still incarcerated. We note, however, that four or five weeks normally elapses between indictment and arraignment and there will often be no review of that bail during this interim period. Sometimes the defendant will have been indicted on even more serious charges than originally filed. In other cases, however, the charges in the indictment will be less serious than originally filed, thereby often justifying a reduction in bail. We discussed these topics while reviewing our Subcommittee's initial draft report during the last several Criminal Presiding Judges meetings. We all agreed that defendants being held in lieu of bail, both pre-indictment and post-indictment but prior to arraignment, must be afforded periodic review of their bails. We do not recommend that each county be required to employ exactly the same procedures, since, as noted above, there are substantial differences with respect to the use of PIP courts, dismissal lists, and the length of time between arrest and presentation of a case to the Grand Jury. Particularly in those counties where PIP courts and/or dismissal lists are not used, and where there are significant delays between arrest and presentation to the Grand Jury, the Criminal Presiding Judges must ensure that procedures are in place that provide for periodic review of these bails. Thereafter, the trial judge must be constantly vigilant as to the progress of cases involving incarcerated defendants. When substantial delays occur, and particularly if such delays are not caused by the defendant, serious consideration should be given to the reduction of bail. SECTION 9 JUDICIAL REVIEW OF DEFENDANTS HELD IN LIEU OF BAIL ON NON-INDICTABLE OFFENSES, INCLUDING POST-ADJUDICATION WARRANTS When setting and then later reviewing bails for those charged with disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses, judges and other judicial officers must be mindful of the maximum custodial penalties that can be imposed on these cases. 2C:43-2(b)(2) limits a disorderly persons conviction to ninety days in jail if imposed as a condition of probation. 2C:43-8 limits custodial terms when probation is not imposed to six months for a disorderly persons offense and thirty days for a petty disorderly persons offense. Under these circumstances, a defendant held for anything more than a few weeks could be approaching or even exceeding, when considering jail credits accumulated, the maximum penalty or max-out release date if convicted. This, coupled with our recognition that most defendants do not receive maximum custodial penalties, underscores the importance of expeditious bail reviews and court hearing dates. Our Subcommittee's discussions, with particular input from our Municipal Presiding Judges, has resulted in our greater awareness that the reasons for holding municipal detainees include many defendants other than those awaiting trial on disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses. Some are held in lieu of bail on traffic offenses, normally after failing to appear at the first court date and often after also failing to respond to a subsequent mailed "failure to appear" notice which many courts send prior to resorting to a warrant. Rule 7:8-9, supra. Many defendants, however, have been picked up on post-adjudication warrants for alleged failure to pay fines, failure to comply with the terms of a conditional discharge, failure to report to an intoxicated driver resource center, and other charges related to failure to complete the conditions of the prior disposition. When issuing these bench warrants, Municipal Court Judges routinely attach bail amounts which the defendant must post prior to being released. During our discussions, we have learned that many, if not most, Municipal Court Judges set cash bail at the total amount of the fines which are outstanding if failure to pay these fines was the basis for the bench warrant. If the bail is posted in full, it is applied to the fines and the case is closed. In other cases where bail is set for warrants alleging failures other than the payment of fines, the amount of bail can differ widely. Many bails set under these various circumstances are at or below the $500 amount which has been a particular focus and concern for our subcommittee. As noted in Section 1 of this report, one of the primary goals was to address the issue of indigent defendants who may remain in jail for many days or even weeks on low bails in the amount of $500 or less. It is interesting to note that Rule 7 does not specifically address bail per se in the post- adjudication warrant situation. The legal authority for setting bail in these circumstances appears to be Rule 7:8-9, which permits the court to issue an arrest warrant if the "defendant in any case before the court fails to appear." The Subcommittee notes that most post-adjudication municipal detainees are not on probation and it is the municipal court which is responsible for collecting the fines. Bail on warrants for outstanding fines is set for three apparent reasons - to collect the fines, to provide for the release of the defendant prior to the court date if the fines are satisfied, and, if the fines are not immediately satisfied, to ensure the defendant's appearance at the next court date when the violation charge will be addressed. Bail on warrants which do not involve failure to pay fines but allege other violations of conditions of the prior disposition is set to ensure the defendant's appearance at the next court date when the violation charge will be addressed. We note that, in some of the larger municipal courts, court sessions are held every day and the defendant will ordinarily be taken to court within a matter of a day or two. If the Court is a municipal court without substantial volume and meets only a couple of times per month, the delay could be two weeks or more. With respect to the municipal courts being informed that the defendant has been arrested and detained, our discussions satisfy us that the county jails routinely notify the municipal courts within a couple of days of the defendant's arrival at the jail. We are also aware that municipal court administrators or deputy court administrators routinely monitor the County Correctional Information System (CCIS) on court computers which encompass programs entitled "Municipal Charge Status by Committing Authority" and "Municipal Charge Status by Inmate Name." These reports are posted each Monday and further inform the municipal court staff that the defendant is in jail and a court hearing should be expeditiously scheduled. We note that some municipal courts have video conferencing equipment, which allows for the appearance of the defendant while still at the jail. Our Subcommittee's particular concern in this area is twofold - the amount of bail being attached to these warrants and the presence or absence of any judicial review between the time of arrest and detention and the appearance in court. The Subcommittee fully understands that, if a bench warrant has issued for failure to pay fines or failure to complete conditions of the prior disposition, and particularly where the defendant has failed to appear in court after proper notice for a hearing on that violation charge, then the defendant is not cooperating with the system and may reasonably be designated to be a risk to not appear again. Under these circumstances, some bail may certainly be appropriate. We note, however, that the requirement of a bail which reflects the total fines owed or a substantial bail for a violation of a condition of the prior disposition may well be excessive and often impossible for indigent or lower income defendants to meet. The result will be continuing detention until the court date which, as noted earlier, can substantially vary among the municipalities. We recommend that, when Municipal Court Judges or other judicial officers are setting bail in these circumstances, careful consideration be given to setting an amount less than the total amount owed. If the warrant does not allege an outstanding fine, the bail set must be reasonable given the defendant's personal circumstances. This will give indigent defendants a better opportunity to make bail and thereafter to pay or otherwise perform the remainder of their obligations. As to the issue of judicial review, we are concerned, given the days or weeks that can elapse before a court date, about the presence or absence of such review either by a Municipal Court Judge or a Superior Court Judge during this interim period. Our discussions have revealed widespread variation among the counties. In some counties, a Superior Court or Municipal Court Judge reviews the bails after the defendants have been held for a specific period of time, ranging from four to fourteen days. This occurs in Bergen, Essex, Union, and Hudson. Camden and Monmouth counties utilize the Municipal Presiding Judge to review the municipal bails on a daily basis. In Camden, the bail review is in open court and in Monmouth it is on the papers. The Subcommittee recognizes that some Municipal Presiding Judges are hired for only one to two days per week, usually serve as a regular Municipal Court Judge and additionally maintain a private practice. These other responsibilities would make it nearly impossible for those Presiding Judges to conduct reviews on a daily basis, particularly where volume is high. Our Subcommittee discussed the need for close and frequent monitoring of the bails of municipal detainees in those counties where there is not a daily review by the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court. This topic was also discussed at recent meetings of the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges and the Municipal Presiding Judges Conference. Based upon all of these discussions, it is our Subcommittee's understanding that the general consensus is that, provided the goal of frequent and careful review is achieved, it is not necessary for each county to do it in exactly the same way. The bottom line is that if the defendant is not taken to the Municipal Court within several days of being taken into custody, the Municipal Judge should be made aware of that defendant and review the bail. If the defendant is not released and the defendant has not been taken to the Municipal Court within one week of arrest, the bail should be reviewed by either the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Courts or the Criminal Presiding Judge. Our Subcommittee concludes that such reviews will result in the release of many municipal detainees who may otherwise remain in custody for additional days or weeks. SECTION 10 CONCLUSIONS As we submit this final report of our subcommittee, we note that earlier drafts have been reviewed by the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges, the Conference of Family Presiding Judges and the Conference of Municipal Presiding Judges. We appreciate the input from the members of these Conferences. Based upon our subcommittee's discussions, as well as the input from these Conferences, we respectfully recommend the following: 1. That Bail Schedules 1 and 2 be approved as official A.O.C. schedules and supersede any prior schedules, including Exhibit A, attached. 2. That the Superior Court Judges and Municipal Court Judges be continuously educated and encouraged to employ summonses where appropriate and R.O.R. and 10% cash bail where appropriate. Where R.O.R. bails are set, we recommend that no monetary amounts be attached. 3. That, as discussed in Section 8 herein, the Criminal Presiding Judges ensure that procedures are in place that provide for the periodic review of all defendants held in lieu of bail on indictable charges which are pending presentation to the Grand Jury or are post-indictment but prior to arraignment before a trial judge. 4. That, as also discussed in Section 8 herein, trial judges carefully monitor and expeditiously move to trial all post-indictment defendants who do not wish to resolve their cases by pleas. If substantial delays occur, particularly if not caused by the defendant, serious consideration should be given to reducing the bail of an incarcerated defendant. 5. That, as discussed in Section 9 herein, Municipal Judges and other judicial officers, when issuing a post-adjudication warrant for failure to pay fines, carefully consider the amount of bail set and not automatically or routinely designate the bail amount at the total amount of the outstanding fines. Lower bail amounts will give indigent defendants a better opportunity to meet the bail, apply it
Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges Subcommittee Report On Bail Practices Approved by the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges
INDEX PAGE SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION-BAIL PRACTICES SECTION 2 - SUMMARY OF LAW REGARDING INDICTABLE OFFENSES SECTION 3 - SUMMARY OF LAW REGARDING NON-INDICTABLE OFFENSES - DISORDERLY PERSONS AND PETTY DISORDERLY OFFENSES SECTION 4 - THE USE OF SUMMONSES AND WARRANTS SECTION 5 - THE REASONS FOR BAIL SCHEDULES SECTION 6 - BAIL SCHEDULE 1 - STATUTES WHICH REQUIRE BAIL TO 23-26 BE SET BY A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE, PURSUANT TO RULE 3:26-2 SECTION 7 - BAIL SCHEDULE 2 - STATUTES WHERE BAIL MAY BE SET 27-41 BY A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OR A MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE OR, IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE'S ABSENCE, THE MUNICIPAL COURT ADMINISTRATOR OR DEPUTY COURT ADMINISTRATOR, PURSUANT TO RULE 3:26-2 SECTION 8 - JUDICIAL REVIEW OF DEFENDANTS HELD IN LIEU OF BAIL FOR INDICTABLE OFFENSES SECTION 9 - JUDICIAL REVIEW OF DEFENDANTS HELD IN LIEU OF BAIL FOR NON-INDICTABLE OFFENSES, INCLUDING POST-ADJUDICATION WARRANTS SECTION 10 - CONCLUSIONS EXHIBIT A - BAIL SCHEDULE FOR NON-INDICTABLE OFFENSES ISSUED BY FORMER AOC DIRECTOR ROBERT D. LIPSCHER, DATED MAY 29, 1985 EXHIBIT B - MEMO OF FORMER A.O.C. DIRECTOR ROBERT D. LIPSCHER, DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1988, REGARDING MUNICIPAL COURTS ACCEPTING PERSONAL CHECKS FOR BAIL FOR "NON-SERIOUS" OFFENSES EXHIBIT C - SUMMARY OF RULES/STATUTES GOVERNING BAIL AND BAIL SCHEDULES IN CHART FORMAT 1 SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION BAIL PRACTICES The 2000-2002 report of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns addressed many issues with respect to the treatment of and impact upon minority defendants within the New Jersey criminal justice system. These issues included bail practices, sentencing outcomes, proper instruction of a jury when it is analyzing a cross-racial identification, evaluation of the number and exercise of peremptory challenges when selecting a jury, and the need for Drug Courts. With respect to the issue of bail practices, the Committee stated the following at page 20: "The impact of New Jersey bail practices on persons of color has been a long standing concern of every court committee or task force on minority concerns convened in New Jersey. Indeed, all reports issued by the predecessor task force and follow-up standing committees have stressed the need to address the issue, beginning with the inaugural report published by the Coleman Committee1 in 1984 and including the interim (1989) and final (1992) reports of the Supreme Court Task Force on Minority Concerns, as well as the first two rules cycle reports published in 1994-1996 and 1996-1998 of the Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns." The Committee further noted at page 20, footnote 7, the following: "In the 1984 Coleman Committee Report, the adverse impact of bail practices on poor defendants in New Jersey was discussed. The following quote captured the Coleman Committee's assessment "...ÔBecause many minorities are also poor people...the Judiciary process of setting bail denies them equal access to pre-trial release with all of its advantages in helping to prepare one's defense at trial...'Reference: National Minority Advisory Council on Criminal Justice, The Inequality of Justice; A Report on Crime and the Administration of Justice in the Minority Community, at p. 260." The Committee recommended that a comprehensive bail study be conducted by the Administrative Office of the Courts to determine whether current bail practices are discriminatory. It was concluded that, since a study of this nature would be extremely costly and could quite possibly take years, the recommendation could not be implemented. Judge Richard 1 This Committee was chaired by the Hon. James H. Coleman, Jr., Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. 2 J. Williams, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, requested that the Criminal Presiding Judges focus on two areas of concern. The first issue is defendants being held in jail on low bails of under $500. The second issue is the consistency or inconsistency of bail setting within a vicinage and among vicinages and whether a bail schedule for indictable crimes is feasible. The Chair of the Criminal Presiding Judges Conference, the Hon. Elaine L. Davis, then directed that a subcommittee on bail practices be formed to address these issues and to thereafter submit a report to the Conference. This Subcommittee has been comprised of the following members: Hon. Marilyn C. Clark, Chair, P.J. Cr., Passaic County; Hon. Edward M. Coleman, P.J. Cr., Hunterdon/Somerset/ Warren Counties; Hon. Linda G. Baxter, P.J. Cr., Camden County; Hon. Marvin E. Schlosser, P.J. Cr., Burlington County; Hon. Louis J. Balasco, Jr., P.J.M.C., Atlantic/Cape May Counties; Hon. Roy F. McGeady, P.J.M.C., Bergen County; Hon. James J. Murner, Jr., P.J.M.C. Passaic County; Hon. Bonnie L. Goldman, P.J.M.C., Burlington County; Hon. Jack McFeeley, P.J.M.C., Camden County; Joseph J. Barraco, Esq., Assistant Director, Criminal Practice, Administrative Office of the Courts; John Wieck, Chief, Criminal Court Services, Administrative Office of the Courts; and John Podeszwa, Chief, Technical Assistance, Municipal Court Services, Administrative Office of the Courts. During the course of our Subcommittee discussions, which commenced in September, 2002, we have concluded that our report should address not only defendants held on low bail and the feasibility of a bail schedule for indictable offenses but also related issues such as a bail schedule for non-indictable offenses - disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses; the use of warrants, which do require bail, as opposed to summonses which do not; the manner in which bail may be posted, including the often discretionary decision as to whether a 10% cash alternative will be permitted; important bail legislation which was enacted in September, 2003; and the need for frequent and informed judicial review of bails which have resulted in the continuing detention of defendants prior to trial. The Subcommittee concluded that it was appropriate to first summarize the court rules, statutes, and case law that govern the setting of bail in New Jersey. We then proceeded to address the issues as noted above. In Section 2, we have summarized the rules of court, statutes, and related case law regarding the use of summonses and warrants and the setting of bail for those charged with indictable offenses where jurisdiction for prosecution is in the Superior Court. In Section 3, we have prepared a similar summary of the law pertaining to those charged with disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses where jurisdiction for prosecution is in the Municipal Court. In Section 4, we have discussed the use of warrants and summonses. In Section 5, we have discussed the reasons for bail schedules. In Section 6, we have listed and summarized the elements of the so-called "high impact" offenses under Rule 3:26-2. We have recommended bail ranges for these offenses. These are charges in which only a Superior Court Judge may set bail. In Section 7, we have made similar recommendations regarding bail ranges for all other offenses. In Section 8, we have discussed the need for ongoing judicial review of defendants held in jail in lieu of bail on indictable offenses. In Section 9, we have discussed the need for ongoing judicial review of defendants held in jail in lieu of bail for non-indictable offenses, including post-adjudication warrants. In Section 10, we have set forth our conclusions and recommendations as to the issues raised in this report. 4 SECTION 2 SUMMARY OF LAW REGARDING INDICTABLE OFFENSES Rule 3:2-2. Summons. This Rule provides that a summons shall be made on a Complaint- Summons (CDR-1) form, a Uniform Traffic Ticket or a Special Form of Complaint and Summons. The summons shall be signed by the judicial or law enforcement officer issuing it. It shall be directed to the person named in the complaint and require that person to appear in court at a stated time and place. It shall inform that person that an arrest warrant will be issued for failure to appear. Rule 3:2-3. Arrest Warrant. This Rule provides that an arrest warrant shall be made on a Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) form. It directs that the warrant shall contain the defendant's name or, if that is unknown, any name or description which identifies this defendant with reasonable certainty. It shall be signed by the judge, clerk or deputy clerk, municipal court administrator, or deputy municipal court administrator. It shall be directed to any officer authorized to execute it, and it shall order the defendant to be arrested and brought before the court that issued the warrant. Rule 3:3. Summons or Warrant upon Complaint. This Rule delineates the circumstances under which warrants and summonses are issued, including the factors which must be considered in determining whether the charging document is a warrant or a summons. Both warrants and summonses may issue only if there has been a finding, from the complaint or accompanying affidavit or testimony, of probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed it. Such finding may be made by a judge, clerk, deputy clerk, municipal court administrator, or deputy municipal court administrator, who then notes the finding on the complaint. If there is a finding of no probable cause by a judicial officer other than a judge, the matter shall be reviewed by the judge who will determine whether probable cause exists. If no probable cause is found by the judge, the complaint will be dismissed. Following a determination of probable cause, the judge or judicial officer then determines whether a warrant or summons should be used. The Rule provides that a summons shall issue unless the defendant is charged with murder, kidnapping, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, second degree aggravated assault, aggravated arson, arson, burglary, violations of Chapter 35 2 of Title 2C that constitute first or second degree crimes, or any crimes involving possession or use of a firearm, or conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes; or the defendant has been served with a summons and has failed to appear; or there is reason to believe that the defendant is a danger to self, other persons or property; or there is an outstanding warrant for the defendant; or the defendant's identity or address is not known and a warrant is necessary to subject the defendant to the jurisdiction of the court; or there is reason to believe that the defendant will not appear in response to a summons. Where there is a violation of a domestic violence restraining order under 2C:29-9(b), 2C:25-31 provides that, upon a finding of probable cause, the defendant shall be arrested and taken into custody. Hence, the charge shall be issued on a warrant and not a summons. Rule 3:26-1. Right to Bail Before Conviction. This Rule provides that all persons except those charged with crimes punishable by death where the prosecutor presents proof that there is a likelihood of conviction and reasonable grounds to believe that the death penalty may be imposed, shall be bailable before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will ensure their presence in court when required. The Rule lays out the factors to be considered in setting bail which are the seriousness of the crime charged, the apparent likelihood of conviction and the extent of punishment permitted; the defendant's prior criminal record, if any, and previous record on bail, if any; the defendant's reputation and mental condition; the length of defendant's residence in the community; the defendant's family ties and relationships; the 2 Chapter 35 is the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1986." defendant's employment status; record of employment and financial condition; the identity of responsible members of the community who would vouch for defendant's reliability; any other factor indicating defendant's mode of life, or ties to the community or bearing on the risk of failure to appear and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention. This Rule also provides that the Court may order the release of a person on that person's own recognizance, commonly known as "R.O.R. or O.R." Bail. The Court may also impose terms or conditions appropriate to release, including conditions necessary to protect the community. This Rule also provides that if a person charged with a crime punishable by death is not indicted within 3 months after commitment, the judge, for good cause shown, may admit the defendant to bail. It further allows that if an incarcerated defendant's case is not moved for trial within 6 months after arraignment, a Superior Court Judge, for cause shown, may discharge the defendant upon the defendant's own recognizance. Finally, the Rule provides that where the person has been arrested in an extradition proceeding, that person may be admitted to bail except where that person is charged with a crime punishable by death. Rule 3:26-2. Authority to Set Bail. This Rule provides that a Superior Court Judge may set bail for any offense. Only a Superior Court Judge may set bail for persons charged with murder, kidnapping, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, a person arrested in an extradition proceeding or a person arrested under 2C:29-9 for violating a domestic violence restraining order.3 Bail for all other offenses may be set by any other judge, or in the absence of a judge, by a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. Notably, the rule does not require a Superior Court Judge to set bail on any of the enunciated offenses when the defendant is charged solely with an attempt to commit that crime or a conspiracy to commit that crime. Hence, such attempt or conspiracy charges may be set by The Domestic Violence Procedures Manual permits Municipal Court Judges to set bail if the contempt charge is a disorderly persons offense and the Assignment Judge of the vicinage has issued an order permitting this authority. a Municipal Court Judge or, in the absence of the judge, a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. The Rule further provides that a person who is unable to post bail shall have his bail reviewed by a Superior Court Judge on the next court business day. It further allows that, except where a Superior Court Judge has set the bail, a Municipal Court Judge may revise the bail up to and including the defendant's first appearance in court. If the defendant is charged with non- indictable offenses only, thereby invoking original continuing jurisdiction in the Municipal Court, the bail may be reviewed by the Municipal Court Judge at any time during the course of the proceedings. The Rule further provides that a first motion to reduce bail shall be heard no later than seven days after it is filed. Rule 3:26-4 (g). Ten Percent Cash Bail. This Rule provides that "Except in first or second degree cases as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:162-12 and unless the order setting the bail specifies to the contrary, whenever bail is set pursuant to Rule 3:26-1, bail may be satisfied by the deposit in court of cash in the amount of ten-percent of the amount of bail fixed and the defendant's execution of a recognizance for the remaining ninety percent. No surety shall be ordered unless the court fixing bail so orders." 2A:162-12. Crimes with Bail Restrictions. This statute, amended on September 12, 2003, had previously listed crimes which, when charged in the first or second-degree range, precluded the Judge from imposing a 10% cash alternative. The amended statute continues the requirement that bail for these offenses may only be posted by full cash, or a surety bond executed by an authorized corporation under Chapter 31 of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes, or a bail bond secured by real property situated in New Jersey with an unencumbered equity equal to the amount of bail undertaken plus $20,000. The offenses delineated are murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, carjacking, arson, causing or risking widespread injury or damage, burglary, theft by extortion, endangering the welfare of children, resisting arrest, eluding officer; escape, corrupting or influencing a jury; possession of weapons for unlawful purposes; and weapon training for illegal purposes. The statute also further defines "Crimes with bail restrictions" as any first or second degree drug-related crimes under Chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes and any first or second degree racketeering crimes under Chapter 41 of Title 2C. The section (c) amendment to this statute, effective on September 12, 2003, provides, when setting bail on any of these offenses, the following: "....There shall be a presumption in favor of the court designating the posting of full United States currency cash bail to the exclusion of other forms of bail when a defendant is charged with an offense as set forth in subsection (a) of the this section and: (1) Has two other indictable offenses pending at the time of the arrest; or (2) Has two prior convictions for a first or second degree crime or for a violation of Section 1 of P.L. 1987, c. 101 (c.2C:35-7) in any combination thereof; or (3) Has one prior conviction for murder, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, or bail jumping; or (4) Was on parole at the time of the arrest, unless the court finds that another form of bail authorized in subsection (b) of this section will ensure the defendant's presence in court when required." The amended statute, in section (e), does continue to give the judge the discretion to impose an R.O.R. bail "when the court determines that such person is deserving." 2C:6-1. Bail for persons accused of minor offenses. This statute provides that the Court shall not require a bail in excess of $2,500 for a person charged with a fourth degree crime or disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense unless the Court finds that the person presents a serious threat to the physical safety of potential evidence or of persons involved in circumstances surrounding the alleged offense; or unless the Court finds that bail of that nature will not reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required. The statute requires that the judge, for good cause shown, may impose bail in excess of $2,500 but the reasons must be set forth on the record. Rule 3:26-3. Bail for Witness. This Rule provides for proceedings to be conducted by a Superior Court Judge in a matter where either the prosecutor or defense counsel is concerned that a person with material and relevant information in a pending case may fail to respond to a subpoena. The Rule allows that, in certain circumstances, bail may be set and other conditions imposed to ensure the appearance of the witness. Our Committee notes the existence of this Rule as part of its summary of bail statutes and case law but further concludes that additional evaluation and discussion is not necessary. We note that material witness proceedings occur very infrequently and we do not believe that this circumstance is a basis for the Minority Concerns Committee's request for a review of bail practices. In State v. Johnson, 61 N.J. 351 (1972), the Supreme Court enumerated the factors that must be considered in setting bail. Those factors formed the basis of the factors as set forth in Rule 3:26-1, supra. In noting the important and extremely sensitive issue of a defendant's indigency, the Johnson court, after outlining those factors, said the following at page 365: "Although those elements should be considered, trial courts should not lose constitutional perspective. The amount of bail should not be excessive - even though the controlling test is not the defendant's financial capacity. His indigency although requiring consideration, because inevitably bail discriminates against the poor, cannot of itself outweigh the nature of the crime. On the other hand an excessive bail requirement should not be utilized as a means of confining the accused until trial. The amount of bail required in a given case, where serious offenses, such as murder, are involved, is not an easy decision. But in reaching it, the constitutional right to bail and the presumption of innocence cannot be overlooked." In State v. Fann, 239 N.J. Super 507 (Law Div. 1990), the Court engaged in an extensive review of bail practices. The Court noted the near impossibility of having defendant and defense counsel present when bail is initially set but stressed the need for quick and meaningful review of the initial bail. The Court said at page 524: "It is impractical and unfair to defendants to expect or require counsel to be present for bail purposes immediately after an arrest. Defendant's interest is in the prompt setting of reasonable bail. It is also impractical and contrary to the interest of defendants to require their presence when bail is set initially. Bail arrangements are made by telephone in many cases. Arresting officers call duty prosecutors who consult duty judges. Lawyers sometimes initiate calls. Involving unrepresented defendants in these calls would delay the fixing of bail and delay is very undesirable. A prompt bail review provides the appropriate avenue for satisfaction of the constitutional rights to which defendant is entitled." The Court then went on to articulate the need for judges to set forth the reasons for the bail and its associated conditions. The Court continued at page 524: "The reasons given must address the amount of bail fixed, the conditions imposed, the use of a warrant instead of a summons and the disallowance of ten percent bail, if ten percent was denied. The latter requirement is underlined in State v. Casavina, 163 N.J. Super. 27, 394 A.2d 142 (App.Div.1978), in which the court said that a court may deny ten percent bail only "for sound reasons bottomed on sufficient findings specifically articulated by the trial judge." Id. at 31, 394 A.2d 142. Reasons for setting a particular amount of cash bail are particularly difficult to articulate. Great differences in monetary amounts of bail set in a given case at successive review hearings provide the appearance of personal bias on the part of the different bail judges involved. It is time for insistence upon a rational approach, achievable only if judges are required to provide reasons for their actions. The reasons requirement need not be burdensome. A brief written statement placed in the file of the case or attached to the bail report will suffice." 2C:25-26. Restraint of Defendant by Court Orders. This statute sets forth the additional information which the Court must have when setting bail on any crime or offense involving alleged acts of domestic violence. An act of domestic violence is defined as one or more acts which would constitute a violation of any of the statutes listed under 2C:25-19(a) and which occur between parties who have a relationship as defined under 2C:25-19(d). The listed statutes are homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment and stalking. 2C:25-26(d) provides that the Court must consider the defendant's prior record and the Court must also conduct a search of the Domestic Violence Central Registry. Section (d) also requires that bail be set as soon as is feasible, but in all cases within 24 hours of arrest. 2C:25-26(e) provides that once bail is set, it shall not be reduced without prior notice to the county prosecutor and the victim. It also provides that bail shall not be reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally ordered bail, unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are available to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth in the record. 2C:25-31. Arrest of Order Violators. This statute provides that when a defendant is arrested on a charge of contempt of a domestic violence restraining order, the law enforcement officer shall conduct a search of the Domestic Violence Central Registry. This information must then be considered by the judge setting the bail. 2C:29-9(b). Contempt. This statute provides that a person is guilty of a fourth degree crime if he purposely or knowingly violates a domestic violence restraining order by conduct which could also constitute a crime or disorderly persons offense. In all other cases, any knowing violation constitutes a disorderly persons offense. As noted supra, pursuant to Rule 3:26-2, a Superior Court Judge must set bail on a charge of contempt of a domestic violence restraining order unless the Assignment Judge of the vicinage has given Municipal Court Judges the authority to set bail if the contempt charge is a disorderly persons offense. 2A:162-13. Bail Sufficiency Hearings. This statute was effective on January 9, 2004 and provides that when a person charged with an offense posts cash bail or secures a bail bond, the Court may, upon the request of the prosecutor, conduct an inquiry to determine the reliability of the obligor or person posting cash bail; the value and sufficiency of any security offered; the relationship of the obligor or person posting cash bail to the defendant and the defendant's interest in ensuring that bail is not forfeited; and whether the funds used to post the cash bail were acquired as a result of criminal or unlawful conduct. This statute further provides that the Court may examine, under oath or otherwise, any person who possesses relevant information, and may inquire into any matter appropriate to its determination, including but not limited to factors listed in subsections (a) through (g). These factors include character, background and reputation of the person or surety posting cash bail or bond; the relationship of such person to the defendant and the source of the bond money or bail, including whether any such money constitutes the fruits of criminal or unlawful conduct. In the case of a surety bond, inquiry is also permitted into the qualifications of the surety and its executing agent. 2A:162-14. Procedures. This statute was effective on January 9, 2004 and provides that the procedures to determine the sufficiency of bail, as authorized in 2A:162-13, be governed by rules adopted by the Supreme Court. SECTION 3 SUMMARY OF LAW REGARDING NON-INDICTABLE OFFENSES - DISORDERLY PERSONS AND PETTY DISORDERLY PERSONS OFFENSES Rule 7:2-1(a)(1). Complaint: General. This Rule provides that the complaint shall be a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged made on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (b), (Traffic Offenses), (c) (Penalty Enforcement Proceedings), and (d) (Special Form of Complaint and Summons), all complaints shall be by certification or on oath before a Judge or other person authorized by N.J.S.A. 2B:12-21. The municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator shall accept for filing every complaint made by any person. Rule 7:2-1(a)(2). Summons: This section provides that the summons shall be in a Complaint-Summons form (CDR-1) or other form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts and shall be signed by the officer issuing it. The summons shall be directed to the defendant named in the complaint and shall require the defendant's appearance at a stated time and place before the court in which the complaint is made, and shall inform the defendant that an arrest warrant may be issued for failure to appear. Rule 7:2-1(a)(3). Arrest Warrant: This section provides that the arrest warrant shall be made on a Complaint-Warrant form (CDR-2) or other form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts and shall be signed by the judge, or when authorized by the judge, by the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. The warrant shall contain the defendant's name or, if unknown, any name or description that identifies the defendant with reasonable certainty. It shall be directed to any officer authorized to execute it and shall order that the defendant be arrested and brought before the court issuing the warrant. The judicial officer issuing the warrant may specify therein the amount and conditions of bail, consistent with Rule 7:4, required for the defendant's release. Rule 7:2-2(a). Issuance of Arrest Warrant or Summons. This Rule provides that an arrest warrant or summons on a complaint charging any offense made by a private citizen may be issued only by a judge, or if authorized by the judge, by a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. The arrest warrant or summons may be issued only if the judge or judicial officer determines from the complaint, affidavit, or testimony that there is probable cause to believe that an offense was committed and the defendant committed it. The judge or judicial officer shall note the finding of probable cause on the summons or warrant. The Rule further provides that if the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator finds no probable cause to issue an arrest warrant or summons, that finding shall be reviewed by the judge. If the judge finds no probable cause, the complaint shall be dismissed. The Rule further provides that a summons on a complaint charging any offense may be issued by a law enforcement officer without a finding by a judicial officer of probable cause for issuance. Rule 7:2-2 (b). Determination of Whether to Issue a Summons or Warrant. This section provides that a summons rather than an arrest warrant shall be issued if the defendant is a corporation, partnership or unincorporated association. If the defendant is an individual, a summons rather than an arrest warrant shall be issued unless the judge or duly authorized municipal court administrator or deputy municipal court administrator finds that the defendant has failed to respond to a summons; or there is reason to believe that the defendant is dangerous to himself or herself, or to others or property; or there is one or more outstanding arrest warrants for the defendant; or the address of the defendant is not known and an arrest warrant is necessary to subject the defendant to the jurisdiction of the court; or there is reason to believe that the defendant will not appear in response to a summons. Rule 7:3-1. Procedures After Arrest. This Rule provides that a defendant, following an arrest, shall be brought before the Court without unnecessary delay and, if the defendant is in custody, the first court appearance shall be within 72 hours after arrest. Such appearance shall be before a judge authorized to set bail for the offenses charged in the complaint. If the defendant's bail was not set when the arrest warrant on the complaint issued, it shall be set without unnecessary delay but in no event more than 12 hours after arrest. Rule 7:4-1. Right to Bail Before Conviction. This Rule provides that every defendant shall have a right to bail before conviction on such terms as, in the judgment of the court, will insure the defendant's presence when required, having regard for the defendant's background, residence, employment and family status and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detentions. In its discretion, the Court may order the defendant's release on the defendant's own recognizance and may impose terms or conditions appropriate to such release. Rule 7:4-2. Authority to Set Bail. This Rule provides that conditions of pre-trial release, including bail, may be set by a judge sitting regularly in or acting as a temporary judge of the jurisdiction in which the offense was allegedly committed or by a vicinage Presiding Judge of the Municipal Courts. In the absence of the judge, and consistent with N.J.S.A.: 2B-12-21, a defendant charged with a non-indictable offense that may be tried by the judge may be admitted to bail by the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator. In the absence of the judge, the municipal court administrator and the deputy court administrator, the defendant may be admitted to bail by any other person authorized by law to admit to bail. The authority of the municipal court administrator, deputy court administrator, or other authorized person shall be exercised "only in according with the bail schedules promulgated by the Administrative Office of the Courts or the Municipal Court Judge." Our Subcommittee notes that the last municipal court bail schedule approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts for non-indictable offenses was issued by former Administrative Director Robert D. Lipscher on May 29, 1985. This memo was entitled "Bail Guidelines and Schedules for Non-Indictable Offenses" and it delineated guidelines and schedules for the setting of bail in non-indictable offenses. A copy of this memo is attached as Exhibit A. Rule 7:4-3(g). Ten Percent Cash Bail. This Rule provides that "Unless otherwise specified in the order setting the bail, bail may be satisfied by the deposit in court or cash in the amount of ten percent of the amount fixed together with the defendant's executed recognizance for the remaining ninety percent. No surety shall be required, unless specifically ordered by the court." N.J.S.A. 2B:12-21. Officials Authorized to Act for Court. This statute provides that the authority of the municipal court to set conditions of pre-trial release may be exercised by an administrator or deputy court administrator of a municipal court who is authorized by the judge of that court; or by any police officer in charge of a police station, other than an officer who participated in the arrest of the defendant. This authority may be exercised only in accordance with bail schedules promulgated by the Administrative Office of the Courts or by the municipal courts. This statute further provides that, except as otherwise provided by the Rules of Court, a person charged with a non-indictable offense shall be released on a summons or personal recognizance without unnecessary delay and within 12 hours after arrest unless a judge or court administrator or deputy court administrator has set the conditions for pre-trial release and the conditions remain unmet. Our Subcommittee notes that, by memo dated February 24, 1988, former Administrative Director Robert D. Lipscher wrote to Municipal Court Judges, municipal court administrators, and municipal court clerks advising that the Supreme Court had reaffirmed its policy that if an offense charged is "not serious and the amount of bail is not great," the municipal court should accept personal checks rather than have a defendant held in jail until such time as the person could obtain a bail bond or could post full cash. These "non-serious offenses" are defined in former Director Lipscher's memo as all matters in which the Municipal Court Judges have the authority to set bail. A copy of this memo is attached as Exhibit B. The Subcommittee notes that the bail principles delineated in State v. Johnson, 61 N.J. 1972 and State v. Fann, 239 N.J. Super (Law. Div. 1990), both summarized in Section 2 herein, would also apply to non-indictable offenses. Likewise, 2C:6-1, Bail for Persons Accused of Minor Offenses, also summarized in Section 2 herein, also governs the offenses discussed in this section. SECTION 4 THE USE OF SUMMONSES AND WARRANTS The Subcommittee wishes to emphasize that judges and other authorized judicial officers who have authority to docket complaints and set bail should be continually cognizant that, whenever appropriate, summonses should be used instead of warrants. Certainly, this is consistent with the presumption of innocence afforded to all defendants prior to trial. We have in this report summarized the court rules governing the use of warrants and summonses for indictable and non-indictable offenses. We recognize that, while certainly summonses will be justified with far greater frequency when dealing with defendants charged with disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses, judges of both the Superior Court and the Municipal Court should be mindful of the use of summonses on indictable charges when appropriate. As discussed in section 2 herein, Rule 3:3 delineates the factors to be considered when the initial decision is made to use a summons or a warrant. It is respectfully submitted that, particularly in those cases in which a third or fourth degree non-violent offense is charged, and the defendant has strong ties to the community and little or no prior record, a summons should ordinarily be used unless it is an offense precluded under the Rule or the Court has other information which justifies the use of a warrant. In the alternative, a warrant with an R.O.R. or low bail amount should be used. The Subcommittee also recommends that, if there has ever been a prior warrant or failure to appear in any other case, judges or other judicial officers should carefully consider the weight to be attached to this factor. Such negative information, which may attach from a case from many years ago for a minor matter which was later resolved, should not necessarily preclude the use of a summons in the instant case. SECTION 5 THE REASONS FOR BAIL SCHEDULES As noted in Section 1 of this report, the Committee discussed the feasibility of establishing a bail schedule for indictable offenses. We have learned during our discussions, particularly with input from the Municipal Presiding Judges on the Committee, that many Municipal Court Judges have indicated that a general bail schedule for the offenses on which they have the authority to set bail would be most helpful to them. Many of the Municipal Court Judges, when appointed, are experienced civil or family court attorneys but have not previously practiced in the criminal or quasi-criminal areas. Our Subcommittee understands fully that the Municipal Presiding Judges make considerable efforts to mentor and assist their vicinage Municipal Judges, particularly when they are new. Many new judges, however, are the sole judge in the particular municipality and do not have the benefit of working in close physical proximity with other, more experienced Municipal Judges. Under these circumstances, the Subcommittee concludes that a general bail schedule would be beneficial to Municipal Court Judges. We have also included in this bail schedule a number of frequently charged disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses. Our Subcommittee further believes that a separate bail schedule should include offenses which can only be set by a Superior Court Judge. We believe that this would particularly benefit civil and family court judges on emergent duty who may have little or no criminal experience, as well as judges who are newly assigned to the criminal division. While concluding that general bail schedules are appropriate, we wish to emphasize that we fully understand that these general bail ranges are only meant to be advisory in nature. There is no question but that each case that is considered by a Superior or Municipal Court Judge is extremely fact sensitive and important factors, such as the apparent strength or weakness of the state's proofs, prior record, if any, roots in the community, the mental condition of the defendant and prior history while on bail, can all serve to substantially raise or lower bail from the general range. See State vs. Johnson, supra, and Rule 3:26-1(e). Indeed, two defendants charged with identical offenses may fairly be assessed substantially different bails if one has little or no prior record and the other has multiple prior convictions which exposes him or her to an extended term of imprisonment. Likewise, the existence of numerous out of state arrests and convictions may give the Judge legitimate concern about the risk of flight and thereby justify a substantially higher bail than for a defendant with strong local ties. We further note that these ranges of bails cannot simply be assessed by determining the degree of the alleged offense(s) alone since many crimes within the same degree are significantly different with respect to the seriousness of the criminal conduct, the harm to the victim and the danger to the community. As a result, there are often significant differences with respect to the custodial exposure that the defendant realistically faces if convicted. These factors can strongly impact on the judicial analysis of the risk of flight as it pertains to the setting of bail. There are numerous examples of these types of situations within the New Jersey Criminal Code. For example, burglary of an auto and burglary of a residence are both third degree crimes under 2C:18-2(a)(1). It is obvious, however, that the burglary of a home is particularly traumatic to the victim and likely will result in a higher sentence within the third degree range than a burglary of an auto conviction. Likewise, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, 2C:35-10, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, 2C:35-5, are, in most cases, both third degree crimes. There is no question, however, that the intent to distribute charge is the far more serious one, particularly if it is committed within 1000 feet of a school, 2C:35-7, with the accompanying mandatory jail penalties. Other examples would include the tremendous difference in custodial exposure for certain second-degree crimes, which normally carry a sentence of between 5 and 10 years. A defendant who receives a flat 5 year sentence for possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park, 2C:35-7.1, will be eligible for parole in about a year and may even be admitted to the Intensive Supervision Program after only a few months. A defendant who is charged with 2C:12-1b(1) , second degree aggravated assault, will be sentenced under the No-Early Release Act, 2C: 43-7.2, and will have to serve a full 85% of whatever sentence is imposed. If that defendant receives a five year sentence, he or she will serve four years and three months before parole eligibility. Finally, we note the substantial differences in two particular fourth degree crimes. 2C:12-1(b)(4), Pointing a Firearm, is a violation of the Graves Act, 2C:43-6(g), and requires upon conviction that the full 18 month sentence be served without parole. 2C:20-3, Theft of Property with a value of at least $200 but less than $500, often results in Pre-Trial Intervention for a first offender or otherwise in probation with little or no jail time. Again, as noted above, there are a myriad of similar examples throughout Title 2C wherein enormous differences in seriousness exist among and between statutes of the same degree. We further note that judges setting bail may be presented with a defendant who has multiple charges of a particular crime or different crimes. These circumstances can certainly elevate the appropriate bail, both within the suggested range or above it. On the other hand, a defendant charged with one count, particularly if it is a non-violent crime, where there is little risk of flight, might properly receive a bail below the suggested range or be released on his or her own recognizance. Our Subcommittee strongly recommends that, wherever permissible and reasonable, Courts permit the 10% cash alternative to be employed. The cash bail will eventually be returned to the defendant or other surety, as opposed to the premium paid to a bondsman. A cash bail may result in a defendant being much more able to post bail on his or her own or to secure funding from family or friends. The return of these monies may also assist a defendant to be able to retain a particular attorney who would otherwise not be affordable if a premium for a bond was required. With all of these caveats in mind, the subcommittee has prepared two proposed general bail schedules. As noted in Section 1 herein, the first is a bail schedule which lists the crimes for which only a Superior Court Judge may set bail under Rule 3:26-2. The second bail schedule lists the statutes which, according to AOC statistics for the year 2002, represent the most frequently charged offenses. While there are numerous other statutes within Title 2C, the Subcommittee concludes, based upon the statistics and the experience of our members, that they are infrequently charged. If a Judge is presented with a case involving an alleged violation of any of these other statutes, the bail evaluation should be conducted using all relevant factors as listed in Rule 3:26-1 and as discussed in State v. Johnson, supra. and State vs. Fann, supra. SECTION 6 BAIL SCHEDULE 1 STATUTES WHICH REQUIRE BAIL TO BE SET BY A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE, PURSUANT TO RULE 3:26-2 The Subcommittee again notes that Rule 3:26-2 does not include attempts or conspiracies to commit these crimes in its requirement that a Superior Court Judge set the bail. Hence, the Municipal Court Judge or, in the absence of the judge, a municipal court administrator or deputy municipal court administrator may set bail when an attempt or conspiracy charge is alleged. The Subcommittee recommends that, while again noting that each evaluation must be fact sensitive, the bail ranges for attempts or conspiracies should generally be the same as the actual substantive crime. An attempt or conspiracy which does not succeed or does not culminate in the actual commission of the substantive offense usually involves intent and conduct which is as serious or nearly as serious as the actual commission of the offense. Further, while an R.O.R. bail is rare for offenses listed in this Schedule, there is no prohibition if the judge believes R.O.R. to be appropriate. The Subcommittee has included in Bail Schedule 1 a very general description of the conduct necessary to constitute a violation of any of these statutes. This summary is meant to assist judges by providing a quick reference to the basic requirements of the statute and to the degree or degrees of liability therein.
Bail Schedule 2As noted in Bail Schedule 1, bail on attempts or conspiracies to commit any of the offenses listed in that section may be set in the municipal court. As was the conclusion of the Subcommittee regarding the Bail Schedule 1 offenses, we again recommend the same bail ranges for charges of attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the following crimes as for the substantive crime. We also reiterate that, if the judge concludes that a monetary bail is not necessary, an R.O.R. may be set. During our discussions, we have learned that many judges do not attach monetary amounts to an R.O.R. bail, i.e., $2,500 R.O.R. These judges simply release the defendant on his or her own recognizance. Additionally, most counties do not attempt to obtain monies from the defendant on a forfeited R.O.R. bail, even though a monetary amount was attached. Judge Elaine Davis, the prior Chair of the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges Conference, informed us at our February 25, 2004 Presiding Criminal Judges meeting that the Bail Forfeiture Committee had voted to recommend that no monetary amounts be attached to R.O.R. bails. In recent months, this issue has been discussed again at the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges and at the Conference of Municipal Presiding Judges. The Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges voted by a substantial majority to recommend that no monetary amounts be attached to R.O.R. bails. While there was some discussion that some defendants may be further impressed with the importance of appearing in Court when required if some monetary amount for failure to appear does attach, the general consensus was to acknowledge that most counties do not, following a non-appearance and a forfeiture of the R.O.R. bail, move such forfeitures to judgment. The Conference of Municipal Presiding Judges, however, recently voted by a substantial majority to recommend that judges retain the option of having monetary amounts attached to R.O.R. bails. The majority of this Conference believes that such condition does further impress upon the defendant the importance of appearing in Court when required. It is the understanding of our Subcommittee that this issue will be discussed at the Judicial Council and that a final directive will be issued by Judge Philip S. Carchman, the Administrative Director of the Courts. We have, as in Bail Schedule 1, included a very general description of the conduct necessary to constitute a violation of any of these statutes. Again, this summary is meant to assist judges by providing a general reference to the basic requirements of the statute and to the degree or degrees of liability therein. It is not meant to be all-inclusive. Indeed, many of these statutes have numerous subsections within them, and, depending upon the conduct alleged, a violation can range from a disorderly persons offense to a second degree crime.
Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record
b. You may go to Jail or Prison.
c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;