Free Consultations | Available 24/7

Call Now

Firm Logo
Play Video

New Jersey Criminal Process

New Jersey Criminal ProcessNew Jersey Criminal Process

Understanding the Criminal Process in New Jersey

Navigating the intricacies of the criminal justice system in New Jersey can be overwhelming. The stakes are high, and the processes are often complex. When you're facing this challenging journey, you need a knowledgeable and dedicated ally by your side, fighting for your rights and advocating for the best possible outcome.

As a seasoned New Jersey criminal defense attorney, I am that ally. With more than 30 years of experience, I, Jill Cohen, am ready to stand with you in this challenging time. Having served as a former Assistant Prosecutor, I bring a unique perspective to each case, blending an in-depth understanding of the prosecution's strategies with a passion for defense.

This page aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the criminal process in New Jersey, from arrest and charges to sentencing and appeals. You will also find insights into specialized areas of the law such as Intensive Supervised Probation and Post-Conviction Relief, and how I work to protect your constitutional rights.

Remember, understanding your legal journey is vital, and I am here to make sure you're informed, prepared, and confident every step of the way. Let's face this together.

Secure Your Future With Experienced and Dedicated Defense; Schedule a Free Consultation With Me, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Jill Cohen, to Fight For Your Rights and Seek The Justice You Deserve.

Arrest and Charges

The criminal process in New Jersey usually begins with an arrest, although charges can occasionally be filed without immediate arrest. After being arrested, you will be taken into police custody. Following this, you'll make your first court appearance, known as an arraignment, where charges are officially presented and you have the opportunity to enter a plea.

Pre-Trial Proceedings

During this phase, both the prosecution and I, as your defense attorney, gather and exchange information about the case in a process called discovery. We may also attend pre-trial hearings to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial, while detention hearings may be held to decide whether you will be held in jail during your case or be granted pretrial release.

The Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program in New Jersey is a rehabilitative alternative to traditional criminal prosecution. Aimed primarily at first-time offenders, PTI focuses on providing corrective treatment and counseling rather than punishment.

Plea Bargains

Sometimes, a case may not proceed to trial. The prosecution and I may negotiate a plea bargain, in which you would plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.


If a plea bargain isn't reached, your case proceeds to trial. During the trial, both the prosecution and I present evidence and witnesses. After closing arguments, the jury deliberates and makes a decision.


If you're convicted, the judge will determine your sentence, considering the nature of the crime, your prior criminal history, and other factors.


If you're found guilty, you have the right to file an appeal, asking a higher court to review and possibly overturn the conviction.

Throughout this process, having an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney at your side is essential. I stand ready to defend you every step of the way.

  • ★★★★★

    "Jill Cohen is top-notch! I hired Jill for a serious matter facing 6 charges and years of prison time. She worked extremely hard from the pretrial release to my final court date. She was able to get my pretrial release reduced after some time had passed, which improved my ability to work. She wasted no time hiring a private investigator to get the statements that were missed/exaggerated during the initial investigation by the police. Jill was able to present our case facts to the prosecutor who initially agreed to PTI but later objected. She then appealed to the courts for the PTI program and we won the appeal. I went from facing 6 serious charges with years of prison and having a criminal record to having 5 of the 6 charges dismissed and was able to enter into the PTI program. I have to pay minimal fines, some classes and some community service. Once I complete the program everything disappears and I am able to continue life with a clean record. Jill’s value cannot be beaten. Unlike other attorneys, Jill devotes her time and attention to you. Jill will fight for you as much as the law will allow her."

    Matthew G.
  • View All Client Reviews

Intensive Supervised Probation

When a judge opts for probation instead of a jail sentence, it might come with strict monitoring conditions, known as Intensive Supervised Probation (ISP). ISP is a stern but less costly alternative to imprisonment. However, it requires strict adherence to specific rules, like frequent meetings with probation officers, random drug testing, maintaining employment or education, and mandatory community service.

ISP is typically designated for offenders needing stricter supervision but deemed suitable for reintegration into society. The process can be complex, and violating probation conditions can lead to severe consequences, including potentially jail time. As your experienced attorney, I help you navigate the ISP system effectively and ensure your rights are upheld. My extensive knowledge of probation legalities means I can help you understand and comply with your probation conditions and challenge any alleged violations.

Post-Conviction Relief

Even after a conviction, you may still have legal recourse. One such opportunity is post-conviction relief (PCR), allowing individuals to challenge their conviction or sentence on previously unaddressed grounds, such as ineffective counsel or newly discovered evidence.

Securing post-conviction relief is a complex process requiring the skills of an experienced attorney. A well-prepared PCR petition can lead to a new trial, sentence modification, or even an overturned conviction. As your advocate, I will conduct a comprehensive review of your case, identify potential grounds for PCR, and work tirelessly to present a compelling argument on your behalf.

Drawing on my experience as a former Assistant Prosecutor and my comprehensive understanding of New Jersey's criminal laws, I can help you explore every possible option for post-conviction relief. My determination and attention to detail make me a vital ally in your pursuit of justice, even after a conviction. Trust in me to continue fighting for your rights, offering you the best chance at a fair outcome.

Why Choose Me as Your Criminal Defense Attorney?

With over 30 years of experience in the field, I have developed a well-rounded understanding of New Jersey's complex criminal laws. Having served as a former Assistant Prosecutor, I bring a unique perspective and invaluable insights to each case.

When you choose me as your attorney, you're not just hiring a lawyer; you're securing a determined advocate who will tirelessly fight for your rights. I am committed to providing the highest level of personalized service, ensuring you feel informed, prepared, and confident throughout the process.

I Offer Free Case Evaluations to Consult With You About The Charges You Are Facing. Call Me at 856-830-6433 or Reach Out Through My Online Form to Schedule Your Consultation Today.

Protecting Your Constitutional Rights in New Jersey

As a U.S. citizen, you are protected by the Constitution, which enshrines a broad range of rights and liberties. These rights are in effect at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest to sentencing, and they play a critical role in ensuring justice and fairness. However, these rights can sometimes be infringed upon, either through ignorance or intentional misconduct.

As your defense attorney, my foremost goal is to protect your constitutional rights. I closely scrutinize every detail of your case to ensure no constitutional violations have occurred. This includes making sure any search and seizure were lawful, confirming your right to remain silent was respected, checking that you had access to legal representation, and ensuring you weren't subjected to cruel or unusual punishment.

I understand how deeply consequential a violation of these rights can be, and I am dedicated to fiercely advocating on your behalf. Whether it's challenging evidence obtained illegally or ensuring you're not tried twice for the same offense (double jeopardy), I am committed to upholding these rights in every facet of your case. Trust me, Jill Cohen, to fight for you and your rights, no matter how complex the situation.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

review Accentreview Accent
quote imagequote image
What My Clients Say

"I cannot say enough good things about Jill and her staff... During one of the most trying times for me, not only did she support me, but she and her staff truly listened to me and, most importantly, had my best interest at heart. I will refer Jill to anyone that needs a hands-down professional, caring lawyer to get them through a difficult time."

Elizabeth S.
More Five Star Reviews
Expertise DuiExpertise Dui
Expertise Criminal DefenseExpertise Criminal Defense

Work With A Skilled, Certified Criminal Trial Attorney From The Beginning – Your Future Depends On It Don’t Be Tricked Into Hiring A Lawyer Who Does Not Have Your Best Interests In Mind.

review Accentreview Accent
© 2024 The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer.Site Map.
Call Now