Newark, NJ- This Tuesday, New Jersey voters will head to the polls. Aside from choosing representatives, voters will be asked to vote “Yes” or “No” on Public Question 1, a ballot initiative that, if approved, will make sweeping changes to the state’s bail system and how it is granted to criminal offenders.
Currently, under the New Jersey Constitution, any person accused of a crime must be given bail. The rules apply in many other states too, like in Costa Mesa, which is in California. But should Public Question 1 get the majority vote, judges would have the discretion to deny a person bail if that person is charged with a violent crime, is a risk of fleeing before appearing in court, or is a repeat offender. If you have been given bail recently then you should probably check out a website like http://www.1stchoicebailga.com/ which can teach you more about bail bonds and who can help you.
New Jersey statutes already give judges broad power to levy high, and often prohibitive bail amounts, restrict the terms of bail of the offender’s release and impose stringent bail requirements. If Public Question 1 is approved, judges will be given the blanket power to deny bail to almost anyone accused of a crime.
Denying a person bail deprives him or her of a fundamental Constitutional right and makes it much more difficult to present a compelling defense. The right to bail is a constitutional right and one of the basic foundations of the American justice system. A person who was been accused of a crime has the presumption of innocence. A person shouldn’t be punished for a crime they didn’t commit or before the charges are adjudicated. Bail allows a person to remain free until they enter a plea or appear in court. Depriving a person of the right to bail based on the nature of the crime or prior criminal history is punitive, which is not the purpose of bail. If you are just looking for more information on bail bonds you could visit the website of one of many gwinnett county bonding companies in Georgia.
Building a criminal defense takes time and communication between the accused and his or her New Jersey criminal attorney. Being locked away makes it difficult for the accused to communicate with family, friends and attorneys. The accused must have an active role in the defense and if he is not allowed to post bail he can participate as meaningfully in the defense.
Each defense strategy is unique, and the way I will approach your case depends on the charges you are facing and the evidence the prosecution plans on presenting. As a case develops and new evidence is discovered, I need to discuss any new developments with my clients. When clients are in jail, it is harder to see them, harder to have privacy and harder for them to call the office.
Without bail, defendants are forced to languish in jail for months or years, separated from their families and at risk of losing their jobs. Few people can afford to lose their jobs and and pay for a quality criminal defense lawyer. That means they must rely on a public defender and taxpayer funds. The many advantages of a private defense lawyer are effectively taken away.
Any time spent behind bars can be soul-crushing, denying them the support of their friends and family. The longer the accused sits in jail, the more desperate they become to get out. Sometimes this means abandoning a worthwhile defense in favor of a plea bargain.
Plea bargains can go either way. In some cases, these bargains may benefit the accused, but in many cases agreeing to a deal can be detrimental to the accused in the long run. Unfortunately, people are willing to damage their reputation and clean criminal record just so they can get out of jail not realizing down that down the road that decision could prove to be a mistake.
There is also real concern that giving judges the discretion to deny a person bail could lead to incidents of abuse. A person could be denied bail based on bias or the absence of a defense attorney to represent the accused at the earliest stage in the process when bail is set.
As a criminal defense attorney serving New Jersey, I understand how important it is to have an open line of communication with my clients. The ability to discuss the details of the case affects the quality of the defense. The right to bail is a Constitutional right and an essential aspect of criminal defense. We should not be willing to deny this right or the ability to participate in one’s defense to score political points.