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What to expect when you are arrested in New Jersey

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

There were 164,965 crimes committed in New Jersey in 2020, according to the State of New Jersey. This statistic is people convicted of a crime, not arrests.

A combination of state law and the Constitution governs criminal procedures. If law enforcement arrests you, knowing what you can expect from the court system is important.

Arrest and booking

Law enforcement officers do have the authority to detain you with or without a warrant, provided they have reasonable grounds to believe there was a crime. At the police station, they police book you. This involves recording personal information, taking fingerprints and conducting a background check.

If the charges are minor, they might release you on your recognizance, but you must appear in court, or the court will issue an arrest warrant for failure to appear, and they will arrest you again.

Initial appearance

After arrest, you appear before a judge for an initial appearance, usually within 48 hours. The judge informs you of the charges against you, advises you of your rights and determines bail conditions.

Bail and pretrial

Bail represents the monetary sum necessary for pretrial release, and you only forfeit the money or collateral if you fail to appear in court. The case proceeds to pretrial stages, including discovery, where the prosecution and defense gather evidence and exchange information.


If there is no plea agreement, the case goes to trial. During the trial, the defense and the prosecution present evidence, call witnesses and make arrangements depending on the circumstances of the trial; both sides make arguments.


During sentencing, the judge determines the appropriate punishment, including imprisonment, fines, probation, or other penalties.

It is important to note that criminal procedures can be complex, and the specific process may vary depending on the nature of the crime and other factors.