Arrested in NJ, How Long can I be Kept in Jail?

Mount Holly Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain Potential Length of Jail Time from Arrest to Bail Hearing

Arrested in Mount Holly, top local defense lawyers near meThe bail system in New Jersey has recently undergone extensive reform. Before January 1, 2017, every defendant charged with a criminal offense was eligible—pursuant to the state constitution and the New Jersey Rules of Court—to request cash bail. A judge would determine a bail amount, and if the defendant could pay or post a bond, she or he would be released prior to trial. If the defendant could not pay, she or he would be held in custody.

All this changed after January 1, 2017, on which date the New Jersey Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act took effect and eliminated the cash bail system. Judges now determine whether a defendant will be held in custody prior to trial based on a public safety assessment and detention hearing process. The following examines the potential length of time that a defendant may be detained from arrest through a detention hearing under this new system.

Summons Complaints Generally Do Not Result in Pretrial Detention

The first major factor in determining how long a defendant will stay in custody after an arrest is a prosecutor’s determination of whether the defendant should be charged with a criminal offense through a “summons complaint” or a “warrant complaint.”

A summons complaint does not result in pretrial incarceration. A summons complaint charges a defendant with committing a crime, but it permits the defendant’s release from custody on the condition that the defendant return to court at a later date. Summons complaints are generally filed in connection with “disorderly person,” or misdemeanor, offenses, e.g. vandalism (criminal mischief), petty theft, drug paraphernalia, and similar lower-level offenses.

Warrant Complaints Lead to 48 Hours of Detention Prior to a Detention Hearing

A warrant complaint, on the other hand, is a criminal charge that authorizes the police to arrest the charged defendant to secure that defendant’s presence at trial. Prosecutors generally charge defendants who commit serious crimes—called indictable crimes in New Jersey and felonies in most other jurisdictions—with warrant complaints. Crimes like murder, aggravated assault, robbery, sexual assault, burglary, and similarly serious indictable offenses result in warrant complaints.

The warrant complaint process begins with a defendant’s arrest and fingerprinting, after which police generally begin running an automated pretrial risk assessment program that will produce a preliminary public safety assessment for prosecutors to review. Prosecutors will use this preliminary assessment to help them determine whether to issue a summons complaint or a warrant complaint.

If a prosecutor determines that the defendant should be charged with a warrant complaint, and if a judicial officer signs off on the warrant complaint, a defendant can be held for up to 48 hours in county jail while pretrial services reviews and refines the risk assessment produced by the automated system, after which a New Jersey court will hold a detention hearing.

Detention Hearing: Getting out of Jail before Court in Burlington County

Courts typically hold a detention hearing within 24 hours of arrest, and they must hold a hearing within 48 hours of arrest. Prosecutors and the defendant or the defense attorney can argue at the hearing whether the defendant should remain in custody prior to trial. The court will consider the factors discussed above in connection with the pretrial risk assessment to decide whether to keep the defendant incarcerated. If the court decides to release a defendant, the court may impose certain conditions for that release—these conditions often require the defendant to promise not to commit illegal acts while awaiting trial, stay in a geographic area, and/or avoiding contact with witnesses and victims.

Don’t Handle Your Bail Hearing Alone, Call Attorneys Defending Your Criminal Charges in NJ

Being held in jail for a few hours or days after your arrest is never a good experience. But staying in jail for the duration of your case is even worse. If you’ve been arrested in Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County, or nearby areas in New Jersey, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced criminal attorney for help with your case. Whether you have an upcoming detention hearing or you need a defense strategy to confront the allegations you’re facing, the Mount Holly criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison can help. Call 856-245-5240 now to speak with a member of our team in a free consultation or arrange an appointment at our local office by filling out our form.

Restraining Orders Based on Harassment in New Jersey

Accused of Harassment in Burlington County, NJ?

Facing TRO Harassment Burlington County best lawyers near meIn New Jersey, a person can file for a restraining order against you if you have allegedly committed an act of domestic violence against them. The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act set forth offenses that constitute acts of domestic violence, including harassment. Among domestic violence offenses, harassment is the most common accusation. In Burlington County alone, there were 2,348 document domestic violence cases involving harassment in 2016. The frequency of harassment charges and restraining orders based on harassment belies the seriousness of these offenses. If a restraining order has been filed against you in Burlington County on the basis of alleged harassment, it is crucial that you hire an experienced lawyer to defend you against the underlying allegations before the restraining order becomes final. This article provides some critical information that you’ll need if you have been accused of harassment. To get your specific questions addressed, call our Burlington County harassment defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison now at 856-245-5240.

When is harassment grounds for a restraining order in New Jersey?

In order for harassment to constitute an act of domestic violence and thus, be grounds for a restraining order, there must be a victim of domestic violence—a person above the age of 18 who qualifies as a victim under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act. Harassment of a victim occurs when the abuser intends to harass the victim with offensive and coarse language, communicates at extremely unreasonable hours, or in any way that would likely cause a reasonable person alarm and annoyance.

Harassment can also constitute an act of domestic violence if the abuser purposely tries to harass, hit, kick, or shove the victim, or intends to harass the victim by engaging in alarming conduct. New Jersey courts have ruled that purpose to harass can be inferred from the evidence in a particular case.

How do you get a New Jersey restraining order?

The purpose of a restraining order is to stop a person from having verbal or physical contact with a victim. To obtain a restraining order in New Jersey, a person must prove to the court that the individual against whom they are seeking the order committed one or more of the nine acts defined as acts of domestic violence in the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act and the order is necessary for their protection.

The first step to obtain a restraining order is to file for a temporary restraining order (TRO). TROs are issued by the superior court where the victim resides, the offender resides, the act of domestic violence took place, or where the victim is temporarily staying. These can be issued on an emergency basis by contacting the local police department, which will coordinate efforts with the court.

If a TRO is issued, there will be a hearing at a later date for a final restraining order (FRO). This is a permanent restraining order. At the hearing, the judge will listen to both sides, determine if the individual seeking protection qualifies as a victim of domestic violence and whether the order should be issued.

How can I get a restraining order removed in Burlington, NJ?

If a final restraining order is issued against you, it is typically permanent. In order to remove the restraining order, you must file to vacate the order based on a showing of good cause. Even if the court does vacate the restraining order, your name will remain on the National Domestic Violence Registry.

At the hearing to vacate the restraining order, the court will consider statements from the victim, whether they consent to vacating the restraining order, treatment and counseling received by the defendant, the current relationship of the victim and defendant, history of violence, and any contempt convictions of the defendant. You can read more about the process to lift a restraining order in NJ on our Vacating a Restraining Order page.

Facing a Harassment Restraining Order in Burlington, New Jersey

Being that final restraining orders are usually permanent and you will not be able to remove your name from the domestic violence registry, it is important to seek a skillful attorney right away once a TRO is issued or, ideally, before a TRO is even filed. This will give you the best opportunity to defend your position. If you are facing a restraining order and/or criminal charges for harassment in Burlington County, do not go through this process alone. Contact our local harassment defense attorneys today for a free consultation about your case. Court comes quickly, so time is limited to develop your best defense.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child Charges for DUI in New Jersey

Facing Charges for DWI with a Minor Passenger in NJ

Charged with dui child endangering Mt Laurel NJ lawyers near meThe offense of driving under the influence in New Jersey can be punished severely, especially for subsequent offenses. When an individual decides to drive while intoxicated (DWI) or drive under influence of drugs (DUI) with a minor passenger in the vehicle, New Jersey law enforcement, prosecutors, and the criminal justice system take the offense even more seriously. Adult passengers typically have a choice and ability to exercise their own judgment when they decide to drive in a vehicle with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but a child does not usually have that choice or the ability to understand the dangers of the situation. Accordingly, New Jersey law considers driving under the influence with a child a disorderly persons offense at the very least, but it may also give rise to a charge for third or second degree endangering the welfare of a child.

New Jersey DWI Charges with Children

You can be charged with an indictable crime for endangering the welfare of a child if you drive while intoxicated with a minor child in the vehicle. The prosecution must prove that you were in control of the vehicle, there was a child under the age of 18 riding as a passenger in the vehicle, and you were legally responsible for that child. Whether the offense will be charged as a second degree or third degree offense depends on the circumstances of your case.

What are the penalties for DUI with a Minor Passenger in NJ?

The penalties for third degree endangering the welfare of a child, an indictable offense, may include up to 3 to 5 years in state prison, with a presumption against incarceration, and up to $15,000 in fines. If you are convicted of second degree endangering the welfare of a child, you could be sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison, with a presumption of incarceration, and fines of up to $150,000. The distinction between second and third degree child endangerment is very important, as a third degree crime may result in no jail time, while a second degree crime entails mandatory imprisonment. In other words, if you are convicted of second degree endangering a child involving a DWI, you will be sentenced to jail even if you have no prior record and have never been arrested before.

Arrested for DWI with a Child, Where will my Case be Heard?

Typically, DWI charges are handled in the local municipal court in the municipality where you were arrested. However, because endangering the welfare of a child is an indictable offense, your case will be heard in the superior court in the county where you were arrested and charged. Although DUI is technically a traffic offense and usually heard in municipal court, your DWI and endangering a minor charges will likely be heard together in superior court.

Need a Lawyer for DWI with a Child Charges in Mount Laurel, NJ

The most effective way to handle a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, based on driving while intoxication with that child in the vehicle, is to focus on defending against the underlying DWI charge. Due to the complexity of these cases, it is best to have your case defended by an experienced DUI lawyer who has successfully handled cases like yours on numerous occasions previously. Leonard D. Biddison and the DWI attorneys at our firm are skilled at challenging the admissibility of evidence against you, due to issues with the validity of test results or instances where your constitutional rights were violated. We have been defending clients arrested for DUI with children in New Jersey for years and know what it takes to win in these cases. Call us today at for 856.427.6888 for a free consultation. We would be happy to review your case and discuss what defenses may be available to you. If you need help fighting DWI and child endangerment in Burlington County or elsewhere in South Jersey, we regularly appear in courts in Evesham Township, Cinnaminson, Mount Holly, Bordentown, Burlington City, Delran, Pemberton, and surrounding areas.

Immigration Consequences of Criminal Charges Against Non-Citizens in NJ

What Happens if I’m Charged with a Crime in NJ and Not a Citizen?

Worried about being deported for criminal charge in NJ help near meIf you are charged with a crime in New Jersey and you are not a U.S. citizen, the potential immigration consequences of a conviction can be severe. The specific repercussions of the charge on your immigration status depend on what type of criminal offense you are convicted of and what your immigration status is. An explanation of the possible outcomes in your criminal case if you are undocumented, a visa holder, or a permanent resident, is provided below for your reference. If you are a non-U.S. citizen who has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, the first and most important step to take is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Depending on your immigration status, if you can avoid a conviction, you can avoid deportation and other negative outcomes. Attorney Leonard D. Biddison and the lawyers at our firm have handled many criminal cases involving potential immigration consequences in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and throughout New Jersey. Contact us today at 856-245-5240 for a free consultation and get answers regarding your unique situation.

I am undocumented and was arrested for a minor criminal offense. Can I be deported?

If you do not have any legal immigration status in the U.S., either because you entered without inspection or you overstayed on a visa, you are removable or deportable if you commit a minor crime, known in New Jersey as a disorderly persons offense, or even if you do not commit any crime at all. Once you are convicted or even if the criminal charges against you are dismissed, you can be referred to immigration enforcement officials.

Depending on what offense you committed, you may be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement while you wait for your hearing before an immigration judge or you may be released and issued a Notice to Appear at immigration court at a later date. If you fail to appear for your court date, you can be issued a removal order in absentia, which means the judge as issued an order for you to be deported, even though you were absent from the hearing and unable to defend yourself.

By attending your hearing, you can apply for some form of relief, like asylum, that may allow you to stay in the U.S. Note that asylum is only available to individuals who have been persecuted in their country based on a protected ground. The requirements to qualify for asylum are very specific and committed certain crimes could be a bar to receiving asylum. You should consult an immigration attorney about your eligibility.

I have a visa and was charged with crime. Will I lose my status?

When you are issued a visa to study, work, or travel in the U.S., your non-immigrant visa is contingent on you following the law. If you commit a crime that constitutes a ground for removability, you can be deported. These offenses include crimes of moral turpitude (CIMT)—a crime that shocks the public conscience, drug crimes, gun offenses, domestic violence, theft, failure to register as a sex offender, espionage, treason, and aggravated felonies. Whether you will actually be deported depends on the discretion of ICE attorneys to pursue your removal in immigration court and the decision of the immigration judge. The best way to avoid having your visa revoked is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can get your charges downgraded or dismissed.

I am a green card holder facing criminal charges. Could I be facing deportation?

Unfortunately, even if you made the U.S. your home years ago and are a valid green card holder, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you can be deported from the U.S., if you are convicted of a crime that constitutes a ground for removal. However, as a green card holder, you may be eligible for certain applications for relief like Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents. To be eligible for cancellation of removal, you must demonstrate to the immigration judge that you have been continuously present in the U.S. for 10 years or more, you are a person of good moral character, you have not been convicted of certain crimes listed under the Immigration and Nationality Act, your removal would cause exceptional and extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child, and you deserve the judge’s favorable discretion. The first step when dealing with criminal charges is to fight aggressively for your innocence. We are skilled at negotiations and trial, and will work tirelessly to prevent your residency from being jeopardized.

Get Help with Your Criminal Case

If you or a loved one find yourself facing criminal charges in NJ as an undocumented individual, visa holder, or permanent resident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. Call our office in Collingswood for immediate assistance from an attorney who can help. We can be reached anytime at 856-245-5240 to assist you.

Criminal Attempt in New Jersey

Charged with Attempt in NJ?

Local Burlington NJ Criminal Attempt Charges LawyerMany people do not realize that they can be charged for a crime that they attempted to commit, even if they did not complete the crime successfully or the crime did not move forward much at all. This is because New Jersey law criminalizes an individual’s attempt at criminal activity. So, if you tried to steal a car, but could not get the car door open, or you were in the process of shoplifting, but you were caught by an employee in the act of trying to place an item in your bag, you may be found guilty of attempt to commit the underlying offense. Remember that even if you did not complete the crime, you may still be facing penalties that are just as serious as if you had successfully completed the crime. If you have been charged with attempt to commit a crime in New Jersey, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison immediately to understand your legal options. We can help explain the charges, associated penalties, and potential defense strategies that our lawyers can use to defend you in court. Call our local office at 856-245-5240 or send us a message to arrange a free consultation.

What is Attempt under New Jersey Criminal Law?

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1, you can be charged with attempt to commit a crime, if you purposely take action that could constitute a crime if the circumstances were as a reasonable person would believe them to be, purposely take action or omit to take action to cause a particular result that is an element of the crime, or purposely take action or omit to take action that would constitute a substantial step in a plan to commit the crime, if the circumstances were as a reasonable person would believe them to be.

What are the Penalties for Attempting to Commit a Crime in NJ?

Some people believe a charge for attempting to commit a crime is less serious than a charge for committing the underlying crime outright. However, if you are convicted of attempting a particular crime in New Jersey, the potential penalties you face are exactly the same as if you had committed the same crime successfully. For example, if you shoplift goods valued between $200 and $500, you may be convicted of a fourth degree offense, carrying penalties of up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000. If you attempt to shoplift the same goods, but fail to complete the crime, you can be convicted of attempt to shoplift and be sentenced to the same penalties of 18 months in jail and $10,000 in fines, as if you had successfully shoplifted the goods. This is also true in cases involving simple assault, burglary, robbery, theft, or any other criminal offense for that matter.

Defenses to NJ Attempt Charges

There are several potential defenses that your criminal defense attorney be able to argue for a charge of attempt, depending on the facts of your case. First, they might be able to argue that you simply did not take the alleged actions that you are accused of that give rise to the attempt charge. They might also argue that they have the wrong person, meaning someone else, is responsible for the conduct you are charged with.

Another defense that may be available to you, which is specific to an attempt charge, is renunciation of criminal purpose. This is an affirmative defense to an attempt charge that you abandoned your effort to commit the crime or prevented the commission of the crime in a way that demonstrates a complete and voluntary renunciation of your criminal purpose. Your lawyer must prove that you renounced your criminal purpose by a preponderance of the evidence.

Need a Criminal Lawyer for Attempt Charges in New Jersey

If you or a loved one have been charged with attempt to commit a crime in New Jersey, it is very important that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you against these charges. Defense arguments to attempt charges require a deep understanding of the law and are very fact intensive. The criminal attorneys at our firm are available to review your case and develop the best defense strategy for your criminal charges. Contact us today at 856-245-5240 to speak with a lawyer who can help. With offices in Collingswood, we defend clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and courts throughout Southern New Jersey.


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If you or someone you love has been charged with a criminal or DUI offense in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, finding the answers you need to make informed decisions is critical. Complete our contact form to request your free consultation or contact 856-245-5240

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