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An Overview Of The Criminal Justice Process

An overview of the criminal justice processAn overview of the criminal justice process

If you are charged with a crime in the state of New Jersey, it may take several weeks, months or years for your case to be resolved. The exact timeline depends on multiple factors such as the charges against you and your willingness to negotiate a plea deal. Firing your attorney, filing a motion during your trial, or other actions may also delay the resolution of a legal proceeding.

What happens after you’re taken into custody?

In the event that you’re charged with a felony offense, you will typically be escorted to jail after being taken into custody. After being processed, an officer will let you know if you are eligible for bail and how much you’ll need to pay to secure your freedom. In some cases, a judge will need to set bail at a hearing that will typically happen within 72 hours of processing.

What happens while you wait for your trial to begin?

Where you live prior to the start of your trial depends on whether or not you’re able to make bail. If so, you will generally be able to live at home while the legal process plays out. However, if not, you will remain in custody until your case is resolved.

When will your trial begin?

The Sixth Amendment grants all defendants the right to a speedy trial, and in many jurisdictions, this means that a trial date on a misdemeanor charge will be set no more than 90 days after you were taken into custody. If you’re charged with a felony, expect your trial to begin no more than 180 days after being charged. You do have the ability to waive your Sixth Amendment right, and a criminal defense attorney may explain if doing so is in your best interest.

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