Has a family member, loved one or friend been arrested recently? Is that person behind bars awaiting a detention hearing? If so, you must work closely with an experienced NJ criminal defense lawyer to provide persuasive information to the Court to secure that person’s release.

Normally, New Jersey detention hearings are conducted in open court with all parties present. Criminal defense attorneys conducting these hearings offer evidence, including documents, medical reports, and live witnesses, who can provide information to judges to support release of their clients from custody.

COVID-19 has changed all that.

Courthouses are now closed, but detention hearings continue via phone or video conference. This has significantly reduced the ability of lawyers to advocate for their client’s release.

A Simple and Effective Solution:

First, in advance, we directly email or fax your evidence to the judge presiding over the detention hearing. If we seek to have a witness provide evidence in support of our client’s release (which cannot be done in person) we prepare a certification, with exhibits, to be signed by the witness and forward that to the court. In certain instances we seek the court’s permission to include the witness remotely.

A judge recently ordered our client’s release – on first degree charges carrying 20 years in prison – despite the serious nature of the accusations and the fact that our client lived out of state. This was, in part, because we provided the name, address, and supportive information from a family member in New Jersey who was willing to allow the client to live in his home while the case was pending.

Second, given the current health emergency, we determine if the client has a medical issue requiring his or her release from custody. If so, we quickly seek medical records and a doctor’s letter supporting release. These documents should be incorporated in a certification and emailed or faxed to the court. Any evidence supporting discharge from custody must be provided to the judge who will make the decision on whether or not to release the client.

Third, prepare a “FACT SHEET IN SUPPORT OF RELEASE.” This should be a bullet point document that lists all of the factors supporting the release of the client. The bullet points should be strong, simple and the facts must be beyond dispute. When you argue for release, ask the judge to refer to the Fact Sheet while you do the same in your argument. The Fact Sheet In Support of Release should make reference to any of the supporting documents and certifications so the judge knows the source of the information.

Fourth: Take advantage of the serious medical issues caused by COVID-19 which are rampant in New Jersey’s jails. It’s no secret that correctional facilities are breeding grounds for the spread of the coronavirus. No one should be subjected to disease or perhaps death simply because he has been charged with a crime. Pretrial detainees should not be subject to punishment because the jails cannot control the spread of the disease.

Not everyone will be released from pretrial detention. But with aggressive and competent NJ counsel, chances are greatly increased.

If you are looking for the right lawyer, contact Schwartz & Posnock to discuss your matter. Our attorneys have the experience, know-how, and expertise needed to work with you and favorably resolve your NJ state or federal criminal case, Municipal Court matter, DUI or traffic case, or juvenile court proceeding. Visit our website at www.schwartzposnock.com to see our background, qualifications, and accomplishments. Then call us at 732-544-1460 or email us at info@schwartzposnock.com