Central Judicial Processing CJP in Burlington County NJ

Burlington County Central Judicial Processing Information

Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Central Judicial Processing in Burlington County NJIn New Jersey, the initial steps in a criminal case are streamlined in a system known as central judicial processing (CJP). This system was put in place to shorten the amount of time between when an individual is arrested and when they first see a judge, as well as to consolidate the initial phases of legal process in a criminal case. By understanding how CJP court works, you can know what to expect if you are arrested and charged with an indictable crime in Burlington County, NJ. If you or someone you love has an upcoming court appearance for Central Judicial Processing (CJP) in Burlington County for charges such as aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, intent to distribute marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, terroristic threats, or another felony offense, contact The Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison today at 856-245-5240 for immediate assistance. One of our experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyers will answer all of your questions and explain how we can help.

What happens when you’re arrested in Burlington County, NJ?

Right after you are arrested in Burlington County, NJ, you will taken to the local police department for intake and processing. After the police charge you, take your photo, fingerprint you, and record any other information they need, you may be released on your own recognizance and ordered to appear for your first appearance before a judge at the time stated on your complaint, or you may be held in police custody. If you are held in custody, you will be brought to Burlington County Jail, located at 54 Grant Street in Mt. Holly, NJ 08060. In that case, you will be scheduled to see a judge for the first time the following day or on Monday morning, if you were arrested over the weekend.

What will happen during Central Judicial Processing?

If you are in custody at Burlington County Jail, you will appear before a judge using video conference equipment. Individuals who are released on their own recognizance in New Jersey must go to the court listed on their complaint for their first appearance. In the case of Central Judicial Processing for an indictable offense (also known as a felony), you will be required to appear in Burlington County Superior Court, located at 49 Rancocas Road in Mt. Holly, NJ 08060.

At your CJP court appearance, which occurs before a judge, you will be told the charges against you. You are entitled to have a lawyer present with you at this hearing and it is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer from the very beginning of your case. Central Judicial Processing is your lawyer’s first opportunity to speak to the prosecutor and try to get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed. During CJP, the prosecutor can also request that you be detained pending the resolution of your case. This often occurs in domestic violence cases and other cases involving violent crimes.

If the prosecutor files a motion for detention in your case, you will be scheduled for a detention hearing (also known as a bail hearing). This may take place on the same day as your first appearance or a few days later. New Jersey does not use a monetary bail system any longer, so you will not be required to post bail in order to get out of jail while you wait for your court date. Instead, a risk assessment system is used and the judge will be required to release you from custody while you wait for your trial unless the judge determines that no condition or set of conditions could reasonably assure that you will not be a threat to someone else’s safety, fail to appear in court as scheduled, or obstruct the criminal justice system.

Mount Holly Criminal CJP Court Lawyers

If you have been arrested and charged with an indictable offense in Burlington, County, New Jersey, it is important to take this process very seriously. Felony charges in New Jersey carry significant terms of imprisonment and the potential for heavy fines, among other severe consequences. A criminal history can also make it difficult to obtain employment and have many adverse effects on your life for years into the future. The criminal defense lawyers at our firm have a depth of knowledge in New Jersey criminal law and routinely obtain successful results for our clients in Burlington County. If you are facing criminal charges and need to appear for Central Judicial Processing in court in Mount Holly, call us immediately at 856-245-5240 for a free consultation.

Detention Hearings in Burlington County, NJ

Bail Hearing in Mount Holly, New Jersey?

Burlington County NJ Detention Bail Hearing LawyerIf you are arrested in Burlington County, NJ, you might be glad to learn that New Jersey has done away with the traditional bail system and replaced it with a more formulaic approach that assesses a person’s risk level for failing to appear in court, endangering public safety, or obstructing justice. Whether you will be held in detention until your trial depends on if the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office files a motion for detention in your case and the outcome of your detention hearing. It is very important to be represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can argue for your release effectively at your detention hearing in Burlington County. If you or a loved one are scheduled to appear for a detention hearing in Burlington County, contact our Burlington County criminal defense lawyers for additional information and answers that apply to your specific case. You can call 856-245-5240 or contact us online anytime for a free consultation.

Motions for Detention vs. Release in NJ

If you are arrested on a Friday night, you may appear before a judge through video conference on Saturday morning. This is called your first appearance. Before your first appearance, if the prosecutor plans to argue for your detention pending trial, they must file a motion for detention. Alternatively, they may recommend your release with or without conditions. If you are appearing before the judge on a Saturday morning and the prosecution files a motion for your detention, the judge will inform you that you will have a detention hearing during the week, within a few days of your first appearance.

If you are arrested on a Sunday night or during the week, you will most likely appear before a judge for your first appearance the following day and, if the prosecutor files a motion for detention in your case, you will most likely have a detention hearing the same day. It is possible for the prosecution to file a motion for detention after your first appearance. If this happens, your detention hearing must take place within 3 days after the motion is filed.

Your detention hearing will take place by video conference from the Burlington County Detention Center. You will be taken to a room with a TV screen and video conference equipment and appear before a municipal court judge or a Burlington County Superior Court judge.

What to Expect at a Detention Hearing

At a detention hearing in Burlington County, NJ, the prosecutor will argue that no condition or set of conditions could reasonably assure that you will not fail to appear at your court date, be a danger to public safety, or obstruct the criminal justice process.

For any crime other than murder or a crime that is punishable by a life sentence, there is a presumption against detention, so the prosecution has the burden to convince the court you should remain detained while you wait for your trial. However, if you are charged with murder or another crime that carries the potential of a life sentence, there is a presumption in favor of detention and it is your burden to convince the judge that you should not be detained.

Some of the charges that frequently result in a prosecutor filing a motion for detention include violent crimes such as aggravated assault, domestic violence assault, terroristic threats, carjacking, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, and armed burglary. It is then up to your attorney to undermine the prosecutor’s case that you should be held pending trial.

What Factors are Considered at a Detention Hearing?

The judge will consider your individual risk assessment when deciding whether you should be detained while waiting for your trial. Each defendant is given a Public Safety Assessment (PSA) score to determine their risk level for failure to appear, new criminal activity, and new violent criminal activity. The judge will also consider the recommendation made by the Decision Making Framework (DMF).

Specific factors that influence your PSA score and DMF recommendation include any other pending charges against you at the time of your arrest; prior convictions for violent crimes, indictable offenses, and disorderly persons offenses; whether your current charge is for a violent offense; your age at the time of your current arrest; prior sentences of 14 days or longer; and prior failure to appear at a pre-disposition court date.

Ultimately, if the judge decides that no condition or set of conditions will reasonably assure that you will not fail to appear in court, endanger public safety, or obstruct justice in some way, you will be detained until your trial.

Bail Hearing Lawyers in Burlington County, NJ

If you or someone you love is scheduled for an upcoming Detention Hearing in Burlington County, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney without further delay. To speak with an experienced Burlington County criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison about how you can position yourself for the best outcome, contact our Collingswood office at 856-245-5240. Our law firm provides skilled defense representation throughout Burlington County, including Mount Holly, Pemberton, Willingboro, Evesham Township, Lumberton, Bordentown, Cinnaminson, and Mount Laurel.

Violations of PTI and Conditional Discharge in NJ

Burlington NJ PTI Violation LawyersPre-Trial Intervention (PTI) and conditional discharge are two valuable diversionary programs available to certain criminal defendants, usually first-time offenders, in New Jersey. Participation in each program involves personalized requirements and conditions. If you successfully comply with the conditions of PTI or conditional discharge, your charges will be dismissed after a period of probation. If you violate these conditions, you can face serious consequences.

If you have violated the terms of your PTI or conditional discharge or you have been accused of violating the conditions, you may have a number of questions about what happens next. This article explains the process and possible results of Pretrial Intervention and conditional discharge violations in New Jersey. For more information and a free consultation about your specific case, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison anytime. We can be reached online or by calling 856-245-5240.

What happens if I violate conditions of PTI or conditional discharge in NJ?

Common conditions for participation in the diversionary programs of PTI and conditional discharge include submitting to drug testing, maintaining employment or enrollment in an educational program, completion of community service, attending required counseling sessions, and paying restitution to victims.

If you violate the terms of PTI, the judge has several options. The court can allow you to continue PTI with the same conditions (this is, of course, the most ideal outcome), order you to go to drug or alcohol treatment, mandate counseling, extend your probation period, or remove you from the program. If you are removed from the program, the original charges against you will be reinstated and you will face them in court.

If a judge determines that you violated the terms of your conditional discharge, they may order you to continue your sentence of conditional discharge, extend the duration of your conditional discharge, modify or expand the conditions on your conditional discharge, or terminate your participation in the program, resulting in the reinstatement of your original charges.

Is there a hearing for a PTI or conditional discharge violation?

Yes. You are entitled to a hearing to defend yourself against allegations that you violated the terms and conditions of PTI or conditional discharge. In assessing whether you violated the conditions of PTI, the court will consider: (1) whether you willfully violated the conditions, (2) whether you are still a suitable candidate for PTI; and (3) whether dismissal from the program or modification is warranted.

PTI Violation Lawyer in Burlington NJ

If you have been accused of violating the terms and conditions required for your participation in PTI or the conditional discharge program, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. You will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations against you and if your defense lawyer can demonstrate that you did not violate the terms and conditions of PTI or conditional discharge, you will be able to stay in the program and avoid the reinstatement of your original charges.

Do not go to a hearing on your alleged violations of PTI or conditional discharge alone. You usually can only participate in a diversionary program like this once. Your hearing is an opportunity to present your best argument and possibly avoid being terminated from the program. Contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm today at 856-245-5240 to review your case and defend you against these allegations. We defend clients accused of violating PTI and conditional discharge in Mt Laurel, Mt Holly, Cinnaminson, Burlington, Bordentown, Cherry Hill, Camden, and throughout the South Jersey area.

Why Probable Cause Matters in Your New Jersey Criminal Case

Mount Holly Probable Cause Criminal LawyersIf you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, there are some key legal principles that may significantly influence the outcome of your case, one of which is probable cause. “Probable cause” is a legal term that is often used in the context of search and seizure laws in New Jersey. Generally, police must have probable cause to initiate actions against you that would otherwise violate your constitutional rights—which means that it is essential to know and understand what the term means to protect your rights. At The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison, our experienced criminal defense lawyers aggressively challenge probable cause for unlawful searches that result in criminal charges against our clients. In this article, we explain the concept of probable cause and why it matters if you have been charged with drugs, weapons, or another crime after a search in New Jersey. For a free consultation about your case, contact our Collingswood office at 856-245-5240 or contact us online today.

Burlington County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Probable Cause

The definition of probable cause is much more fluid than you might think. The law has attempted to keep the term flexible so that it can apply to a variety of situations. Nonetheless, it is still meant to be practical and based in common sense so the average person can understand when an officer may have probable cause.

Essentially, the term means that an officer has reason to believe that you are doing something illegal. The reason that they may think that criminal activity is taking or has taken place will vary, but once there is probable cause, an officer would be able to conduct a search or detain you. If the officer did not truly think you had committed a crime or that the search would result in evidence of a crime, they cannot lawfully conduct a search of your person or property.

Probable cause comes into play when:

  • An officer is going to make an arrest
  • You are about to be pulled over while driving
  • You are stopped on the street and searched
  • Your vehicle is searched after a stop
  • Police want to search your home

If the police do not have probable cause to take action, any evidence that they obtain because of that action can be disregarded or thrown out at trial. That means that it cannot be used against you in a criminal proceeding.

Examples of Probable Cause in New Jersey Criminal Cases

Perhaps the best way to explain probable cause is to set out a typical example. Imagine a pull-over situation from the perspective of a police officer. The officer has a speed gun set up and clocks you driving 57 miles per hour in a 45-mile zone. Because he knows you were speeding, he has probable cause to pull you over. Then, when he comes over to speak to you about the incident, he smells marijuana in the vehicle. The smell alone constitutes probable cause to search your car to look for illegal substances. Had the officer stopped you and searched your vehicle without knowledge of your speeding or the marijuana smell, he would not have probable cause, and the marijuana he found would not be admissible evidence at trial.

Keep in mind that your consent often “trumps” probable cause. That is, if you consent to a search, the police do not have to have probable cause for the search. Your consent makes probable cause virtually irrelevant.

Generally speaking, the police cannot stop you or detain you unless they have reason to do so. They cannot stop your vehicle unless they think you have violated a law. Some exceptions apply to this general rule, especially with regard to police doing investigations, including sobriety checkpoints. If police follow procedure for setting up a DWI checkpoint under New Jersey law, you can legally be charged with DWI at a sobriety checkpoint and probable cause for a motor vehicle stop is unnecessary.

Mount Holly NJ Probable Cause Criminal Defense Attorney

Whether an officer has probable cause is an extremely important part of criminal law and procedure. If police could simply act without probable cause, then there would be very little to protect your constitutional rights to privacy and to be secure in your person and property. If you have been arrested for a crime, it is imperative to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer examining your case to see if police lacked probable cause. The attorneys at our firm have been defending clients facing criminal charges in Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County, and throughout Southern New Jersey for over 20 years and we know how to find constitutional violations that pave the way for a dismissal. Contact us at 856-245-5240 anytime for a free case evaluation from a knowledgeable attorney.

Pretrial Detention Since Bail Reform in NJ

Mount Holly Detention Hearing AttorneysBail reform in New Jersey reshaped how pretrial detention and bail work in the state. On January 1, 2017, the Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act (the “Act”) became law. Before the Act, judges would set money bail amounts for each case a defendant had. If the defendant could not pay the amount in bail or bond then he or she would be held in jail before trial. The Act changed the process of deciding how and whether to hold someone in pretrial detention, based not on whether someone could monetarily afford bail, but a more nuanced, objective way of deciding based on risk of flight and danger to public safety. If you or a loved one has a pretrial detention hearing in New Jersey, it is imperative to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can represent you. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison use decades of experience to effectively represent clients at bail hearings in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester County and throughout Southern New Jersey. Contact us today at 856-245-5240 or fill out our online form to arrange a free consultation.

Criminal Complaints Resulting in Detention

When someone is arrested, the first step is for the arresting law enforcement officer to decide what kind of complaint the person will be charged with, either a summons-complaint or a warrant-complaint. The decision between the two is based on an automated pretrial risk-assessment process. The summons – while still initiating the criminal process – is less serious and is basically summoning someone to the courts, while a warrant would allow law enforcement to more proactively bring the person to the court. Some crimes require use of the warrant-complaint against the defendant, such as murder, sexual assault, and robbery, which means, for those crimes, the defendant must be held for those 48 hours.

The main difference between a summons and a warrant for detention purposes is that if it is a warrant then the defendant must go to county jail for detention, to be held for up to 48 hours before a hearing to decide whether to hold or release the person. While he or she is held, the pretrial services program will develop their recommendation for the court as to what the judge should do with the person regarding pretrial release monitoring or pretrial detention. Upon motion by the prosecutor for pretrial detention, the judge then makes the final decision with all of this information during the hearing within those 48 hours. If the person is not released during the hearing, then they will be held until trial or a plea.

Public Safety Assessment of Risk

Risk-assessment is a computer generated process. It starts with taking the defendant’s fingerprints at the police station before the defendant goes to jail. Before the summons-complaint and warrant-complaint decision described above is determined, a “preliminary public safety assessment” is given to police and prosecutors. If a judge then approves a warrant-complaint, pretrial services will continue generating the risk assessment when the defendant is held for those 48 hours under the warrant.

Risk-assessment examines a few qualities of the circumstances, including the nature of the offense – such as whether it was a crime of violence – and the defendant’s personal history, including age, prior violent convictions, and prior failure to appear. The system determines the likelihood that someone might not show back up to court and makes a recommendation on whether the person should be detained or released before trial. In sum, instead of being based on the ability to pay bail, the judge’s decision on detention and release is based on risk – using risk-assessment technology – that the defendant will not show back up to court or poses a danger. The judge will weigh the results of the Public Safety Assessment (PSA), as well as the arguments presented by the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney. This is why it is so important to have a skilled New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who can demonstrate why you should be released during your detention hearing.

Consult an Experienced Attorney for Your Detention Hearings in Burlington, Camden, & Gloucester County, NJ

Having legal counsel for the pretrial detention hearing to provide advice and counsel is absolutely essential if you are currently facing criminal charges in New Jersey. In order to increase the likelihood of getting released on reasonable or no conditions, you should enlist the help of an attorney who regularly defends clients at detention hearings. Contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison at 856-245-5240 for a free consultation with an NJ detention hearing lawyer who will fight for your rights.


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