How Is Bail Initially Set?
When an individual is arrested, NJ Court Rule 3:4-1 requires that bail be set within twelve hours of entering custody, assuming it was not previously set when the warrant complaint was issued. Unless the charge involves murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, violation of a retraining order or an extradition matter, the bail amount may be set by any judge or even by a municipal court administrator.
Does Anyone Review The Initial Bail?
Yes. Court Rule 3:26-2(c) provides that if an individual to secure his/her release based on the initial bail, a Superior Court Judge is to conduct a bail review hearing no later than the day following the arrest. In addition, if the initial bail was set by a municipal court judge, the judge has authority to revise the bail prior to the defendant’s first appearance for an indictable offense and at anytime where the offense is disorderly persons offense, ordinance violation or motor vehicle violation.
Is It Possible to Obtain A Reduction in Bail After The Bail Review?
Yes. In accordance with subsection (d) of Rule 3:26-2, a defendant is file an application to reduce the bail and/or to remove a bail restriction. This relief is sought by filing motion to reduce bail which must be heard within seven (7) days of filing. For a detailed discussion regarding bail motions, click hear.
Bail & Central Judicial Processing
All indictable criminal charges filed in Essex County are screened at Central Judicial Processing Court (“CJP”). This is the venue where fourth degree, third degree and, in some case, even second and first degree crimes, are reviewed for a determination as to whether or not the related case warrants prosecution at the Superior Court level, should be remanded to Municipal Court and/or should be immediately resolved at Central Judicial Processing (“CJP”). There is often an opportunity to discuss bail and/or to seek modification of bail.
Posting Bail On A Criminal Charge in Essex County NJ
During regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., bail is posted at the Essex County Superior Court, Bail Unit (Finance Division), 50 West Market Street, 1st Floor, Newark NJ 07102 The telephone number for the Bail Unit is 973-693-5970. If it is outside business hours or a weekend, bail must be posted directly at the Essex County Correctional Facility, 354 Doremus Avenue, Newark NJ 07105. Payments can be made by cash, money order, credit card or debit card.
Return/Refund of Bail
Whether the case is in Newark at the Superior Court or one of the municipal courts in Essex County, cash bail is not returned to the person who paid the security unless and until the entire case is completed. What this means is that the defendant must appear at all proceedings through completion of the case in order for the bail to be discharged. When an indictable offense is resolved through Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”), the related bail is not released until the related period of supervision/probation is completed (i.e. this is typically one year). The reason is because a violation of PTI results in a resurrection of the original criminal offense such that the related charge is not fully resolved until PTI has been successfully completed.
For more information regarding the process of obtaining bail, call our office at 973-710-1520 to speak to an attorney. Our Newark bail lawyers are prepared to immediately assist you.