Thanks to the New Jersey’s Bail Reform and Speed Trial Act, the situation for defendants can move along quicker regarding bail. It’s especially beneficial to the poor, seeing as bail for minor crimes has been eliminated. But how long can you be held in a New Jersey jail without bail?
With the new Act in place, which is focused on solving a big overcrowding problem, an accused must have a bail hearing within 48 hours. This also means that discussions need to take place over weekends if the rule is going to be applied effectively.
In some cases authorities would wait until Friday to arrest a suspect, knowing they won’t be able to see a judge before Monday morning. But this tactic won’t be of any use for authorities any longer thanks to the new act.
As for the changes regarding getting bail, a new risk assessment tool is being used. This tool consists of analyzing the defendant and the case, which must determine if a pre-trial release should come with a price. Also, if a judge allows the defendant to go, the prosecutor has to argue and provide evidence if they want the judge to reconsider.
The reason why this new act was put in place was mentioned earlier, namely overcrowding. At the moment there are many poor people in jail, waiting months or even years for a court date, only because they couldn’t find a bail bondsman. In turn, these people lose their jobs and relationships, despite their possible innocence.
How well the new system is going to function remains to be seen, because even though it’s hugely welcomed, there are many challenges involved. For example, proceedings have been slowed down slightly under the new rules, but this is bound to change.