New Jersey’s attorney general, due to grave concerns among county prosecutors, has requested that the state’s court system add gun possession and other related crimes to its list of offenses that come with the automatic recommendation of jail time. This change comes on the heels of the state’s new bail system, which has not been well received by the state’s law enforcement community. Public defenders and civil liberties advocates, on the other hand, have complained about this recent request for change and warn that making moves to alter the reforms so soon could undermine the bail reform’s effectiveness.
New Jersey Bail Reform
In January, New Jersey implemented major criminal justice transformations when it moved away from the cash bail system and toward a system in which judges perform a risk assessment of suspects. This assessment examines the charges defendants face along with their criminal record to determine if jail time is necessary. These bail reforms were put in place to help ensure that violent suspects are jailed while awaiting trial and that suspects of minor crimes don’t have to do jail time simply because they can’t afford to post bail.
Under this reform, however, things have not all gone well. Some quickly released suspects have gone on to engage in further criminal activity before even coming to trial. Some criticizers claim that there is a gun possession loop-hole that they believe allows defendants who are charged with possession of an illegal firearm to be released too easily. This release involves a new program for Pretrial Services that can allow those charged with gun possession to be released under court staff supervision – of varying degrees.
Tougher Pretrial Sanctions for Certain Crimes
Many are requesting tougher pretrial sanctions for crimes that are considered more dangerous. The way the new reform works is that defendant’s cases are processed through an algorithm known as the Public Safety Assessment that weighs each suspect’s risk of flight along with the relative danger to the community that he or she represents. This assessment informs the judge whether the defendant should be released into Pretrial Services or be held without bail. While the final decision is always left up to the judge, certain serious offenses come with a presumption of jail. There is an outcry for this list of offenses to be expanded to include more serious crimes, including illegal gun possession and other weapons crimes.
If You’ve Been Charged with Illegal Gun Possession in New Jersey, Call 732-238-8686 Today for More Information
If you’re facing an illegal gun or weapons charge in New Jersey, you need experienced legal guidance. Recent bail reforms and pending modifications leave things in a precarious legal state. Protect your right not to be jailed while you await trial and contact David C. Barry, Attorney at Law. David will help protect your rights throughout the legal process. For a free initial consultation regarding your New Jersey weapons charge, call David at 732-238-8686 or contact him online today.