Who decides whether to plead guilty or go to trial?

Who decides whether to plead guilty or go to trial?, Sixth Amendment, trial by jury, cross-examination, confrontation, waiver, New Jersey, NJ, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerThe nerve! A man accused of a four-month crime spree that included two killings and several armed robberies turned down the State’s final plea offer this week. The crime spree allegedly began July 2014 and lasted until October. Additionally, the evidence against him will allegedly include DNA found on the defendant’s sweatshirt at the scene, text messages between the defendant and his girlfriend, and the testimony of several witnesses.

Therefore, the State had offered a 60-year prison sentence. Since the defendant rejected this offer, however, he will go to trial in June and possibly get a life sentence. But really, what is the difference between the State’s offer and the possibility of life imprisonment? Read more


Arraignment, R. 3:9-1

Arraignment, R. 3:9-1, right to counsel, sixth amendment, article 1 paragraph 10, U.S. Constitution, New Jersey Constitution, grand jury, indictment, New Jersey, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerWe all have bad days. But it seems to me we invariably react in one of three ways to the bad days of others: empathy, apathy, or judgment. And judgment seems to be the most popular. For example, an Atco man will soon make his first formal appearance in the Gloucester County Superior Court for his arraignment involving two separate cases. One case involves an alleged assault by auto and . I would submit the day of the collision was a bad day for him. But what is your reaction to this? How does it make you feel? Read more


Pretrial Detention and the N.J. Bail Reform Act

Under what circumstances may the prosecutor file for pretrial detention?

New Jersey, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerThe State may file for the pretrial detention of an eligible defendant charged for any crime or offense:1

  1. of the first or second degree enumerated under subsection d. of section 2 of N.J.S.A. 2c:43-7.2
  2. that subjects the eligible defendant to an ordinary or extended term of life imprisonment;
  3. if the eligible defendant’s criminal history reflects convictions for two or more offenses for either of the above categories;
  4. enumerated under paragraph (2) of subsection b. of section 2 of N.J.S.A. 2c:7-2 or crime involving human trafficking pursuant to section 1 of N.J.S.A. 2c:13-8 or N.J.S.A. 52:17B-237 et al. when the victim is a minor, or the crime of endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.A. 2c:24-4;
  5. enumerated under subsection c. of N.J.S.A. 2c:43-6;
  6. involving domestic violence as defined in subsection a. of section 3 of N.J.S.A. 2c:25-19; or
  7. for which the prosecutor believes there is a serious risk that:
    1. the eligible defendant will not appear in court as required;
    2. the eligible defendant will pose a danger to any other person or the community; or
    3. the eligible defendant will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure or intimidate, a prospective witness or juror.

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Speedy Trial, Excludible Time, and New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform

speedy trial, excludible time, new jersey bail reform act, criminal justice reform, N.J.S.A. 2A:162-22Previously I blogged about the Pretrial Detention Hearing Factors under the New Jersey Bail Reform Act. Although the policy of New Jersey’s criminal justice reform favors pretrial release, a prosecutor may move before the court for pretrial detention. In practical terms, a defendant ought not get his hopes up until the court orders the defendant released from custody. Indeed, the court could grant the State’s motion. Consequently, the State would lock up the defendant. If so, in addition to other obligations the court must also calculate speedy trial deadlines.1, 2

But the court may also exclude thirteen thirteen periods in calculating the time for a case to be indicted and tried.3 Read more