After a person is arrested in New Jersey, they are taken into custody at a county jail or other holding facility.  In most cases, it is possible for the person to be released in exchange for bail.  Once a person has posted bail, they are free to leave the facility where they are being held in custody – on certain conditions.  In this article, our Atlantic City drug possession lawyers explain the consequences of getting arrested while out on bail in New Jersey.

What Are the Consequences if You Are Arrested or Criminally Charged After Being Released on Bail?

When a defendant is released on bail, he or she is expected to comply with certain conditions, one of which is refraining from criminal activity and avoiding any additional charges or arrests.  If you are arrested or charged with another crime while you are out on bail, your bail can be revoked (or dramatically increased), meaning you can be returned to custody, losing your freedom and all the privileges that came with it.

There can also be several other negative consequences of being arrested after you have been released from custody on bail.  For example:

  • If you are acquitted, your bail money (which may be thousands of dollars) will be returned after criminal proceedings conclude – if, that is, you complied with all court rules and requirements while your case was ongoing.  Since you violated the conditions of bail, you (or the person who posted bail on your behalf) will forfeit the money instead of having it returned.
  • If you are ever charged with another crime in the future, your history of failure to comply with the conditions of bail will work against you.  After learning about your previous actions, the judge will have little reason to believe you will comply with court orders and should be released.
  • A new charge can complicate and undo some of the progress your attorney has made on the original case.  For example, if plea bargaining was underway, the prosecutor might decide to revoke or alter the original deal.
  • You will face an additional set of criminal penalties if you are convicted of the new charge.

What Crimes Have Restrictions on Bail in New Jersey?

Under N.J.S.A. § 2A:162-12, the following crimes are all subject to special restrictions on bail when charged in the first or second degree:

There are also restrictions on bail for crimes involving domestic violence, such as stalking, harassment, assault, or sexual assault committed against a cohabitant like a spouse or family member.  In such cases, the following rules apply:

  • A copy of the defendant’s bail conditions must be given to the victim of the alleged crime.
  • Bail can only be reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally set bail for the defendant if certain conditions are met.
  • Bail must be set within 12 hours of the arrest.
  • It is mandatory for the court to evaluate the defendant’s prior record.

In all cases, regardless of what the defendant has been charged with, the court will consider the following factors when setting bail:

  • The nature and severity of the crime the defendant has been accused of committing.
  • The defendant’s reputation in his or her community.
  • How long the defendant has lived in the community.
  • Financial factors related to the defendant’s employment and income.
  • Whether the defendant has a history of prior offenses, including any violations of previous bail orders, which again emphasizes the tremendous importance of refraining from criminal activity or any other violations of your bail conditions.

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Contact A New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney for a Free Consultation

If your spouse or one of your family members was arrested in New Jersey, it is critically important that they have dedicated and aggressive legal support from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect their rights while fighting to have the charges dropped or the case dismissed.

The skilled Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych have more than 45 years of experience representing defendants charged with disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) and indictable crimes (felonies) in Atlantic County, Cape May County, and the surrounding area.  We are happy to answer any custody- or bail-related questions you might have about matters like:

You might also be interested in looking up some bail bond companies in Atlantic City.

If one of your loved ones is in custody, call our law offices right away at (609) 616-4956 to see how we may be able to help.  Your initial consultation is free of charge, and we will keep your information confidential.