Have Central Judicial Processing Court in Middlesex County NJ
Central Judicial Processing (CJP) was implemented in New Jersey to minimize the amount of time that a defendant waits to see a judge for the first time after being detained, and it streamlines the initial judicial process when an individual enters the criminal justice system. Before state-wide implementation, only larger urban counties in New Jersey had CJP court. Now, CJP is used throughout the state, considerably shortening and consolidating the initial steps involved in a criminal case in New Jersey. CJP is a very crucial period in your criminal case, as it is the first opportunity for your lawyer to advocate on your behalf, potentially to persuade the prosecutor to downgrade or dismiss the charges against you. If you are facing felony charges and need to appear in Middlesex County for Central Judicial Processing (CJP), it is vital to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your case.
What to Expect during Central Judicial Processing (CJP)
In New Jersey, if you are a defendant in CJP court, you should expect to be seen by a judge for the first time very quickly. If you are not taken into custody, but rather released on your own recognizance, you will receive a notice to appear in person at the Middlesex County Superior Court for your first appearance. If you are taken into custody, you may appear before the judge telephonically from the Middlesex County Jail in North Brunswick. In some cases, you may be brought to the court itself.
If you are arrested on a weekday, there is a good change that your first appearance and detention hearing—if the prosecutor has filed a motion for detention in your case—will occur on the same day. During this time, the judge will inform you of the charges against you and, with the counsel of your lawyer, you will enter a guilty or not guilty plea.
The judge will also determine whether you should be released or detained while waiting for your trial. New Jersey’s new bail reform system requires that a defendant be released unless the court determines that no condition or set of conditions could reasonably assure that the defendant will not threaten public safety, fail to appear in court, or obstruct the criminal justice system. To make this assessment, the judge will consider the defendant’s Pretrial Safety Assessment (PSA), which is generated by factors that indicate a defendant’s risk of failing to appear, new criminal activity, and new violent criminal activity. The PSA score is considered together with the Decision Making Framework (DMF) that provides recommendations for conditions of release before a defendant’s trial.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a CJP Hearing in Middlesex County?
During CJP court, your attorney has the opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor and have the charges against you downgraded or even dismissed. Your lawyer may be able to speak with the prosecutor and, using negotiation and advocacy skills, highlight the strengths of your case and the weaknesses of the case against you. It is therefore very valuable to be represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands the law, the criminal justice system, and how to effectively advocate on your behalf.
The criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law have years of experience representing clients at Central Judicial Processing hearings in Middlesex County and throughout New Jersey. If you have been charged with an indictable offense such as aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, intent to distribute marijuana, heroin possession, burglary, or eluding police, our experienced criminal attorneys will fight for you. Our firm has been securing successful results for clients in New Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and surrounding areas for years. Call us today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation about your case and find out how we can help.