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How Does The Bail System Work in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, bail is determined by using a public safety assessment (PSA), which was created to help judges make informed and fair decisions about releasing defendants on bail.

What is Bail?

No one wants to be stuck in jail; it can be a scary and lonely place. Bail provides an option for those in jail awaiting trial. After being arrested, the person is given the option to pay bail to the court (depending on the crime) to be released from jail. Bail is a cash payment that acts as collateral so the defendant can wait for their court date from home rather than wait behind bars.  

How Does Bail Work in New Jersey?

Judges have the freedom to arrange the bail to be whatever amount. In New Jersey, bail is determined by using a public safety assessment (PSA), which was created to help judges make informed and fair decisions about releasing defendants on bail. 

To decide on a fair bail amount, the judge will consider some of the following factors: 

  • The severity of the crime: The more serious the criminal offense and the more charges against the defendant, the higher the bail amount will likely be. 
  • The likelihood of conviction: The bail may be higher if the defendant is much more likely to be proven guilty of their crimes. 
  • The likelihood of reoffending: The judge will consider the defendant’s possibility of committing another crime.
  • Flight risk potential: If the court believes the defendant is likely to leave the area or will fail to return for their court date, the bail will be higher, or there may not be a bail option at all. 
  • Your mental state: If there are concerns about the mental well-being of the defendant, the judge may not allow for bail as they could be a hazard to themselves or the public. 
  • Ties to the community: The judge is more likely to set bail if the defendant has relatives and connections in the community, which makes them more likely to stay close. 
  • Your employment status: If the defendant has proof of stable employment, the bail amount may be lessened. 
  • Your financial situation/resources: If there is proof the defendant has ample financial resources to pay bail, the bail may be higher.  

Bail Jumping in New Jersey

If the defendant fails to show up for their court date, they are what some refer to as bail jumping. When a defendant skips court, they forfeit their bail, meaning they will never get their money back, and a warrant will immediately be issued for their arrest. After being brought back to court, a judge will decide the next course of action. Often, the judge will revoke the option for bail, and the defendant must wait for their next court appearance in jail. 

Turn to The Law Office of Edward J. Hesketh For Your Criminal Case

If you’re looking for a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, look no further than the Law Office of Edward J. Hesketh. We are a full-service law firm specializing in protecting and defending the rights of individuals during their criminal case and at their bail hearing. 

To schedule a free case consultation, contact us today at (908) 243-0800 or complete a quick form. We look forward to speaking with you!