How Long Can You Be Held Without Bond in New Jersey?
To secure pretrial release, also called bail, criminal defendants must be able to post bond. If defendants cannot post bond, they might be held in custody for a long time.
If you do not post bond, you can be held until your trial is over. How long defendants can be held without bond might vary from case to case, but it could be anywhere from several weeks to months or longer. Bail may include the money you must pay to secure your pretrial release, and the bond is how that money is posted, often by a bail bond company. It is not a criminal offense to be unable to post bond, but you might be held in jail nonetheless. If your bail is too expensive for you to post bond or if you were denied bail, our team can help you push for a reconsideration of your bail.
Nobody should be made to sit in jail without being convicted of a crime. Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you argue for fair bail so you can post bond. For a free case review, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (609) 257-4019.
What is Bond and What Happens if I Do Not Pay it in New Jersey?
The terms “bond” and “bail” are heard together so often that they are often used interchangeably. However, these terms mean very different things in the legal field, and both are important for the pretrial release of criminal defendants.
Bail is difficult to sum up as it encompasses a number of details and factors. Most people understand bail as the amount of money an accused criminal defendant must pay to the court to be released before trial. While this is true, bail also includes terms and conditions the defendant must abide by while they are released. A violation of these terms might cause the court to revoke bail and put the defendant back in jail, and there is no refund on the money spent on bail.
A bond is an instrument by which the defendant is released from jail under the terms set by the court. In the past, a bond has typically included a certain sum of money determined by a judge. While cash bond is still possible, bail reform laws favor cashless bail.
If someone cannot post their bond for release, they must be held in jail until they can post bond or until their trial. Our East Brunswick criminal defense attorneys can help you if your loved one is currently held without bond.
How Long Can You Be Held if You Do Not Pay Bond in New Jersey?
One of the most controversial aspects of our justice system is bail and pretrial release. The purpose of bail is to ensure that defendants show up to court and do not run as soon as they are released from custody. However, there is a legal and ethical dilemma surrounding what happens to defendants who cannot post bond.
Defendants who cannot post bond are usually held in jail until trial. Unfortunately, most trials are not scheduled until weeks or sometimes months after bail is determined. This means you can be held without bond for weeks or months without ever being convicted of a crime.
Although you might be held for a long time without bond, your right to a speedy trial must be protected. According to Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey Rule 3:25-4(b), you can only be held in jail for 90 days without being indicted. The indictment often happens after bail is determined and involves a 23-member grand jury deciding what formal charges should carry over to trial. If you are not indicted in this 90 days time frame, our Mt. Laurel criminal defense lawyers can argue for your release.
If you are indicted within 90 days, there is a second time frame that prosecutors and courts must abide by. Under Rule 32:25-4(c), prosecutors have 180 days to commence a trial on your charges following the indictment. If those 180 days come and go with no trial, we can argue that you should be released from jail and that your rights to a speedy trial have been violated.
Reasons Why You Might Not Pay Bond in New Jersey Criminal Cases
The concept of bail is rather contentious, to say the least. Bail reform laws seek to make cash bail a thing of the past, although cash bail is still possible in New Jersey. As it stands now, cash bail is only imposed as a last resort to ensure defendants show up for court. When cash bail is imposed, it may be very expensive, and some defendants cannot afford it.
It is common for defendants to remain in jail while they await their trials because they cannot afford to post bond. The purpose of cash bail is to make skipping bail a very expensive mistake, thus incentivizing defendants to show up for court no matter what. Unfortunately, this poses a serious problem for people in poverty, and indigent defendants are often disproportionately affected by the high cost of bail.
In other cases, the judge might deny the defendant bail altogether. Under N.J.S.A. § 2A:160-24, bail may be granted as long as the defendant is not charged with an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment. Essentially, you can be denied bail if your charges are severe enough. If the cost of bail is too high or you believe you were unjustly denied bail, our New Jersey bail attorneys can ask the court to reconsider your bail conditions.
Call Our New Jersey Bail Attorneys for a Free Initial Case Evaluation
If you were charged with a criminal offense, you should be afforded a bail hearing where our Trenton criminal defense attorneys can argue for the least restrictive bail possible. In many cases, defendants can be released without paying any money. For a free case review, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (609) 257-4019.