One of the hardest things for a person accused of committing a crime to
do is to wait for his or her day in court. Like citizens all across the
United States, New Jersey residents are considered innocent until evidence
is offered against them that proves their guilt. For some of those individuals,
getting to court to defend themselves can take a very long time.
A committee of more than two dozen New Jersey lawmakers and legal practitioners
has recently released a set of recommendations that could change how suspects
are treated before their criminal trials begin. If these recommendations
become state law it could mean some significant changes to the
First, the committee has recommended that judges put the community's
safety before monetary considerations in setting bail for a suspect. This
would mean that bail could be set significantly higher for those individuals
accused of committing serious, violent crimes while people accused of
non-violent crimes may have lower bails.
Second, the committee would like to see the state establish a monitoring
system that would keep tabs on suspects who have been released on bail.
The system would check to see if such individuals were committing more
crimes while out of jail for prior criminal charges.
Finally, under the recommendations of the committee suspects who are not
incarcerated will have to have their trials within one year of their indictments.
Suspects who are incarcerated would have to have their trials within six
months of their indictments.
While these recommendations are simply guidance at this time, there is
a chance they could become state law. Changing bail requirements could
impact the long-term consequences that many suspects experience when they
are held in prison before their trials. Individuals who have questions
about these recommendations can always reach out to a New Jersey criminal
defense attorney to learn more about the criminal justice system.
Source: NJ.com, "NJ Supreme Court committee urges historic changes to state's bail system," Thomas Zambito, March 20, 2014