Bergen County Arraignment Attorneys
Criminal Defense Law Firm with Offices in Hackensack, New Jersey
Facing a criminal charge in New Jersey can threaten your reputation, your livelihood, and many other components of your life. Fortunately, you do not need to travel these uncertain waters alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney can serve as your supporter, your defender, and your advocate as you confront what often seems an insurmountable challenge at the outset. The attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are passionate about what they do and dedicated to turning over every rock and pursuing every possible avenue to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients. Whether your case involves charges for burglary, theft by deception, illegal gun possession, or another offense, we will stop at nothing to obtain a successful resolution.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in New Jersey, our lawyers will employ their extensive knowledge of the law, solid connections, deft negotiation skills, and zealous advocacy to help you overcome the allegations against you. Contact our Hackensack offices anytime at (201)-330-4979 to receive a free consultation.
Arraignments in Municipal Court: The First Appearance
The arraignment in Municipal Court is known as a first appearance. At the first appearance, the defendant will be informed of the charges against him or her, the penalties involved, and the judge will enter a plea on the defendant’s behalf: guilty or not guilty. Typically, the judge will read the criminal complaint and then inform the defendant of the maximum penalties involved if convicted of these charges. For example, if a defendant has been charged with simple assault, the judge will read the complaint and the basis for the criminal charge of simple assault that has been filed. The judge will then inform the defendant of the possible penalties, including up to a $1,000.00 fine and up to six (6) months in the county jail. The judge will then typically enter a not guilty plea on the defendant’s behalf and provide a new court date.
Arraignments in Superior Court: After Grand Jury Indictment
The arraignment in Superior Court occurs after an indictment has been obtained by the State. The State must present the case to the grand jury. If the grand jury finds that enough probable cause exists, it will issue an indictment against the defendant. Indictments are only obtained in Superior Court for felony-level charges. Disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) are not presented to a grand jury and will remain in the complaint stage throughout the legal process in Municipal Court.
After an indictment is filed, the defendant will be summoned to appear in Superior Court for the arraignment. At the arraignment, the defendant will be informed of both the charges against him or her and the penalties involved. The judge will then enter a plea on the defendant’s behalf: guilty or not guilty. At the arraignment, defense counsel will typically be provided with discovery and a plea offer. The discovery package is all of the evidence that the State has and intends to rely upon to prove the charges against the defendant. At this stage, the defendant may also apply for any diversionary programs, such as the Pre-Trial Intervention program. The judge will sign an arraignment order that details which discovery has been provided by both the State and the defense, as well as which discovery remains outstanding. The judge will typically set a date for all outstanding discovery to be provided. The judge will then give the case a status conference date so that the parties can return and discuss any plea offers.
For additional information, contact our offices anytime at (201)-330-4979.