How is bail set in New Jersey?
Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of individuals are sitting in jail awaiting trial because they are unable to make bail. They may wait in jail for months for even minor charges, while those charged with more serious offense could wait for far longer. Jurisdictions across the country are beginning to take notice of the detrimental effects of the traditional bail system. Reforms are being implemented in many areas, including New Jersey.
Traditional Bail May Discriminate Against the Poor
Supporters of bail reform urge that the current bail system leaves poorer individuals in jail, while those with more access to funds and property go free—regardless of whether they are charged with the same offense. It is not uncommon for judges to set bail based just on the alleged crime, without regard
The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court using the least restrictive means possible. It seems that this central message has been lost along the way for judges in some areas. It is illegal for a judge to purposefully assign a high bail as a way to keep someone in jail, yet this practice is committed daily.
New Jersey is one of
Setting Bail in New Jersey
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you will appear in court for a bail hearing. At the hearing, the judge will review several factors, including:
- The seriousness of the crime you are charged with;
- Whether you have a criminal record;
- How long you have lived in the area;
- Your past bail obligations and whether you fulfilled bail conditions;
- Whether you have a job; and
- Your financial situation, among other factors.
Your New Jersey criminal defense attorney will help to ensure your bail amount is reasonable and constitutional.