New Jersey takes domestic violence cases very seriously and thus the state has set up special bail conditions and rules for defendants facing criminal charges involving domestic violence. For instance, violations of domestic violence restraining orders are reviewed with the same severity as serious violent indictable offenses. Moreover, if a defendant has been arrested and charged with an indictable domestic violence offense, only a New Jersey Superior Court judge will set the bail. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(b), non-indictable domestic violence bail matters should be handled by a Superior Court judge, unless otherwise approved by the Assignment Judge.
In domestic violence cases some special rules apply:
- 1) The judge must consider the defendant’s prior record before setting bail.
- 2) By statutory requirement the bail must be set within 12 hours of arrest.
- 3) Once bail has been set, it may not be reduced without first noticing the county prosecutor and the victim.
- 4) The same judge who originally ordered bail is the only one who can reduce the bail, unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are available to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth on the record.
- 5) The victim’s address is to be kept confidential.
- 6) A copy of the bail order, specifying conditions of bail/release, including restraints, must be given to the victim forthwith.
- 7) Bail orders on domestic violence cases must capture
- a. the gender of the parties,
- b. the relationship of the parties,
- c. the relief sought, and
- d. the nature of the relief granted.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime of domestic violence including harassment, simple assault, or terroristic threats then it is important you know what you are facing and your options. Contact our office at (908) 838-0150 to speak with an experienced domestic violence lawyer who can answer your questions and address your concerns during a free initial consultation.
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