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 [email protected].

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!

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