Mount Laurel Detention Hearing Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Protect Clients’ Rights and Interests in Detention Hearings in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
The detention hearing is a crucial part of your criminal defense. The outcome of the hearing will determine whether you will remain in jail pending trial or be released so that you can assist in your defense in a meaningful way. Being arrested for a crime can be a disorienting experience. You may be quickly rushed through processing at the police station, before spending a few hours or overnight in a jail cell until you are brought before the court for a detention hearing to determine whether you will be detained in jail during your criminal case. Although recent efforts have been made to expand the availability of pretrial release to defendants, your release is not guaranteed. Only by having a knowledgeable Mount Laurel detention hearing lawyer to defend your rights and interests can you give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome to your detention hearing.
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The outcome of a detention hearing can have serious consequences on the next few months of your life until your criminal trial, including being subject to serious restrictions on your life or even being placed in jail until your trial, regardless of your innocence. You need an experienced Mount Laurel detention hearing lawyer such as myself, Attorney John B. Brennan, who will fight to help you keep your freedom during your criminal case. I have decades of experience in New Jersey’s criminal justice system, including 25 years serving as a prosecutor; I’ve seen how the prosecution approaches detention hearings and argues for a defendant’s detention, so I know what arguments work to counter the state’s case for your detention and help secure your release.
Contact me today for a free consultation to discuss how I may be able to help you secure your pretrial release at your detention hearing so that you can get back to your family and your life as soon as possible following your arrest.
What Happens at a Detention Hearing
At a detention hearing, the court considers whether to release a criminal defendant during the proceedings of his or her criminal case. Both the defendant and the prosecution can argue for pretrial release, or the prosecution may oppose the defendant’s release, but the decision is up to the trial court. However, except for certain serious and violent crimes, there is a presumption in favor of granting a defendant’s pretrial release.
The trial judge will consider documents presented at the detention hearing, most important of which is the Public Safety Assessment (“PSA”). The PSA offers an opinion on the risk that a defendant poses, providing information about a defendant on factors such as whether the charged offenses were violent in nature, whether the defendant has a prior criminal history, the defendant’s age, or whether the defendant had previously failed to appear in court.
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The court will consider the PSA, the arguments of the defendant or defense counsel and the prosecution, and any other information presented by the parties in determining whether to release a defendant pending trial. If the court decides to grant a defendant pretrial release, it can do so in one of three ways:
- Release on recognizance — this is granted only if the court finds that the defendant will appear in court when required, does not pose a danger, will not obstruct justice, and will comply with any condition of release
- Release on conditions — this is granted if a defendant’s appearance in court or safety with the public cannot be guaranteed without certain conditions, such as refraining from committing new crimes, maintaining stable housing or employment, or avoiding contact with all victims and potential witnesses
- Release on bail — although rarely imposed in recent years, a court may choose this option if non-financial conditions will not likely ensure the defendant’s appearance as required or prevent him or her from obstructing or attempting to obstruct justice
If the court determines, based on clear and convincing evidence, that no conditions or bail will ensure the defendant’s appearance, preserve justice, or protect public safety, it may order that the defendant be detained pending trial.
When You Are Facing Pretrial Detention, A Dedicated Mount Laurel Detention Hearing Lawyer at The Law Office of John B. Brennan Can Help
Even when you are charged with a crime that carries a presumption of pretrial release, you need experienced legal representation to ensure that you maintain your freedom during your criminal proceeding. I have the expertise to persuasively make various arguments in favor of your release, including:
- The information in your Public Safety Assessment supports finding that your release poses no risk to the public
- Your charges are unlikely to result in your conviction (challenging the weight of the state’s evidence)
- The state’s evidence does not overcome the legal presumption for pretrial release (if applicable)
- Your circumstances support granting your pretrial release (including little or no criminal history, ties to the community, gainful employment, need to support your family, etc.)
Once you are placed into pre-trial detention it can take several years before you eventually get to trial in your case — that is a long time to spend in jail, especially if you are ultimately acquitted on your charges. When you choose me to help you with your case, you can trust that I will fight to help you keep your freedom while you defend against your criminal charges.
Contact Mount Laurel Detention Hearing Lawyer John B. Brennan to Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case
If you or a loved one are facing the possibility of pretrial detention, you deserve a knowledgeable, effective Mount Laurel detention hearing lawyer who will fight to help you keep your freedom during the proceedings of your case. Contact my office today to set up a case evaluation to discuss how I can help you protect your rights and your freedom.
Frequently Asked Questions about Detention Hearings in New Jersey
Although the judge has discretion whether or not to detain a defendant pending trial, if the PSA and the parties’ argument recommend against detention and there is a legal presumption in favor of pretrial release, the judge must provide a factual explanation in support of his or her decision to order detention. An order of detention may be successfully appealed if it can be established that the judge abused his or her discretion by failing to offer a rational explanation, disregarded established practices, or considered impermissible factors in deciding to order detention.
Absolutely. Even if a presumption against detention applies to your charges, the prosecution may want to argue in favor of your detention. You need an experienced attorney who will bring all the evidence in support of your release to the court’s attention. You are entitled to appointed counsel at every stage of the proceeding. The Public Defender’s Office is staffed with quality lawyers. The thing that a Public Defender cannot provide to you, due to the sheer number of cases that they have, is personalized attention to your case. The detention hearing is a crucial stage of your defense because that hearing will determine whether you can continue to live a normal life while defending the charges against you on the outside, free, or spend that time in jail without having been convicted of anything.