What is a Pre-Indictment Conference in New Jersey Criminal Court?

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Archive for June, 2012

What is a Pre-Indictment Conference in New Jersey Criminal Court?

Have you or someone you know been arrested or charged with a crime and are scheduled for a pre-indictment conference in New Jersey Criminal Court?  For a free consultation please do not hesitate to call Corey P. Morano, Esq. at 201-598-5019 or email me at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com.

After and arrest on an indictable offense and sometimes before your first court appearance, the prosecutor’s office in each county determines whether to pursue a criminal complaint through a grand jury indictment. Prosecutors determine if cases have merit and sufficient evidence to pursue a conviction. In most counties, the prosecutor’s Case Screening Unit reviews police reports and interviews victims and witnesses to determine if the original charges will be prosecuted. If there is insufficient evidence, the charges are downgraded to disorderly persons offenses and “remanded” or sent to the municipal courts for a hearing or dismissed. In some counties, prosecutors pre-screen potential Superior Court filings before a complaint is signed.

In these cases they might schedule the Defendant for a Pre-Indictment conference, also called a pre-disposition conference, or even a “PIC.” Often this is an opportunity to make a quick deal on a potentially serious crime. Generally you take your chances in a hearing of this kind. If a plea bargain can’t be worked out in the conference, your case will be thrown back on the pile. From there you might find yourself indicted and facing a more serious dilemma, or downgraded back to municipal court.

Navigating a pre-indctment conference or a first appearance intake can be a stressful and confusing situation for anyway. If you are facing a criminal charge of any type, please feel free to give my office a call at 201-598-5019 for a free consultation now!

New Jersey Careless Driving Ticket vs. Reckless Driving Ticket: Understanding the Difference Between 39:4-96 and 39:4-97

The most important difference between Reckless Driving and Careless Driving in New Jersey is that a conviction for Careless Driving will earn you 2 points on your New Jersey Driver’s License and a conviction for Reckless Driving will earn you 5 points on your New Jersey Driver’s License. Below you can read more about the legal definition of both.

39:4-96.     Reckless driving; punishment 

39:4-96.  A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to Stock Photoendanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving and be punished by imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for a period of not more than 60 days, or by a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $200.00, or both.

On a second or subsequent conviction he shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three months, or by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500, or both.

Amended 1955,c.220,s.1; 1982,c.45,s.3; 1995,c.70,s.2.

39:4-97.     Careless driving 
39:4-97.  A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of careless driving.

Amended 1951,c.23,s.54; 1955,c.220,s.2; 1995,c.70,s.3.

Don’t forget about Unsafe Driving which can help keep you at 0 points in NJ, which you can learn more about here.

In addition to adding points to your license, Reckless Driving and Careless Driving Tickets can drive up your insurance premiums. Call me at 201-598-5019 or email me directly at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com for a free consultation and learn how to stay at 0points.