Our law firm represents individuals charged with different crimes and offenses in the state of New Jersey. Many of these allegations pertain to what the Garden State classifies as “indictable” offenses. Indictable offenses are heard in New Jersey’s Superior Court, but prior to indictment the state may attempt to resolve the matter through a plea at the Superior Court or even the Municipal Court level. Prior to a pre-indictment conference, serious charges such as the illegal possession with the intent to distribute drugs (CDS) or the illegal possession of a handgun, could cause the state to seek detention.
In New Jersey, unlike Pennsylvania, it is a cashless bail system and a court will determine whether or not a person should be held in pre-trial confinement or detention based on a public safety assessment. Prior to determining detention, however, the state must establish probable cause for the allegations. If the state cannot establish probable cause it creates a major issue for the prosecution and the case could be dismissed for a lack of evidence. While the prosecution is not required to provide the defense with full discovery prior to a detention hearing, it must provide a copy of the complaint along with an affidavit of probable cause. If the affidavit references a video, the state must summarize the videos’ content.
It is important to understand that the prosecution’s summary does not always fairly and accurately depict what is displayed in the video. In most situations, video evidence is shot from a considerable distance and is nearly impossible to identify a suspect from a video alone. The prosecution in almost all situations will need to present additional evidence in the form of witness statements or some other direct or circumstantial evidence.
If you’re charged with a crime in Pennsylvania or New Jersey it is important that your defense attorney demand that the video evidence be shown at these proceedings because it will directly influence a finding of probable cause.
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