Complaints and Arrests in New Jersey Criminal Cases
Bergen County Criminal Defense Law Firm
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 aggravated assault, marijuana distribution, unlawful possession of a weapon, 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.
Complaint and Arrest in a Criminal Case in New Jersey
The first stage of a criminal case in New Jersey is the complaint stage. A complaint is filed by either a citizen or a police officer who charges the defendant with a criminal offense in New Jersey. The vast majority of complaints are filed by law enforcement officers. A judge must determine whether probable cause exists for the issuance of the initial complaint. The judge will examine all evidence provided to determine whether the initial complaint should be issued. Once the complaint is issued, the defendant will be arrested and processed on the charge. Processing includes fingerprinting and a photo (mug shot), as well as the setting of any bail. When setting bail, the judge will consider the nature of the charge, the degree of the charge, the defendant’s prior criminal history (if any), and the bail guidelines.
On the complaint, the first court date will be set. This is known as a “first appearance” and will be scheduled in the local municipal court in which the crime allegedly occurred. At the first appearance, the defendant will be advised of the charges against him or her and the penalties associated with those charges, and a plea (either “guilty” or “not guilty”) will be entered. If the case is indictable (felony) in nature, it will be sent to the County Prosecutor’s office for review. The prosecutor’s office will decide what action should be taken. The case will either remain at the county for an indictment to be filed or be remanded back to the municipal court as a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). For example, if the complaint charges aggravated assault, a third degree indictable (felony) charge, but the county prosecutor’s office determines that not enough evidence exists to support an aggravated assault charge, they will screen the case and remand it back to the municipality as a simple assault charge, which is a disorderly persons offense.
For additional information regarding your criminal charges, contact our Hackensack office location anytime at (201)-330-4979. This consultation will be provided free of charge.