When law enforcement and prosecutors work against you, everything becomes overwhelming. While being detained is frightening, it should not last long if you are not charged.
If prosecutors cannot press charges within 48 hours of your arrest, you must be released. If you do end up being charged with a criminal offense, your detention might be for a bit longer, depending on bail conditions. Prosecutors can be surprisingly quick to press charges, although the amount of time it takes for charges to be assessed after an arrest will vary from case to case. If you are arrested and ultimately released because charges could not be filed, you might be arrested again later if the authorities can find more evidence.
If you or someone you know has been arrested, you should immediately contact our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys. Being held for more than 48 hours without charges is a violation of your rights. Call (609) 616-4956 for a free case review with the team of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych.
How Long Can the Police Hold Me Before I Have to be Charged in New Jersey?
Criminal courts in New Jersey must follow specific rules regarding when trials and hearings occur. These rules are designed to ensure that defendants’ rights to speedy trials are not violated. According to Rule 3:4-2(a)(1), a defendant must be granted a first appearance in front of a judge within 48 hours of their detention. If charges cannot be pressed within 48 hours, the authorities must release you.
There might be circumstances in which you can be detained a bit longer than 48 hours. If the prosecutor files a motion for pretrial detention, you might be held for longer than 48 hours. If such a motion is filed, your first appearance will instead be at the same time as your pretrial detention hearing, where bail may be set.
Once you are arrested, it is important that you contact an attorney immediately. Our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys can help you navigate police questioning and the initial phases of the criminal justice process. If you believe your loved one had been detained for more than 48 hours, call a lawyer for help right away. If charges are pressed and a trial is in the works, we can begin preparing your defense strategy.
How Long Can I Be Held in Jail After I Am Charged in New Jersey?
What happens after you are charged depends on the specific details of your case. In cases where defendants are charged with minor disorderly persons offenses, they may be released fairly quickly after being charged. New Jersey now allows defendants to be released on bail without paying any money, and for relatively small offenses, bail might be determined fairly soon. If your charges are minor, our Ocean City criminal defense attorneys can help you argue to be released on your own recognizance.
If your charges are more severe indictable crimes – these are like felonies in other states – you might be detained for longer. Most defendants are released on bail, but you could be denied bail if you are perceived as a flight risk or threat to the community. If you are denied bail, you may be held until your trial is completed. In such a case, we can argue that your bail should be reconsidered.
If you remain detained after being charged, how long you remain in jail depends on how long your case takes. A complex case involving more serious charges may lead to a longer stay in jail. A simpler case with less serious charges might see you released sooner.
When Do Prosecutors Typically Press Charges in New Jersey?
Many defendants are surprised to find how fast prosecutors work to press charges. After an arrest, the police are very quick to reach out to prosecutors about the case. They may discuss what kind of evidence they have and details about the case, and prosecutors may make a decision about pressing charges soon.
The police often question defendants very soon after arresting them in the hopes of getting incriminating information they can pass along to prosecutors. If the interrogation process takes longer, you may be detained for longer. Our Haddonfield criminal defense attorneys can help you protect your rights during the interrogation process. Remember, anything you say to the police can be used against you.
How long it takes for prosecutors to press charges depends on your case. Sometimes, prosecutors press charges in only a few hours. This is more common when the police obtain evidence rather quickly. In cases where a deeper investigation is required, you might be released after 48 hours while the authorities continue to look into your case.
Depending on the results of the investigation, prosecutors might press charges days or even weeks later. Our legal team can help you push for an early release if law enforcement has very little evidence to support criminal charges.
Can I Be Arrested Again After Being Released Without Charges in New Jersey?
If the 48 hours deadline comes and goes without any charges, you are not necessarily out of the woods just yet. The authorities might still be investigating your case, and you could be arrested again later. If the police find new evidence to support charges, they may obtain an arrest warrant and take you into custody again. This time, prosecutors are more likely to press charges.
A police investigation and your arrest must follow strict rules. Our South Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you protect yourself during an investigation and prevent law enforcement from violating your rights. For example, if a search of your home or other private space is conducted, the police either need a warrant or a valid exception to the warrant rule. If neither exists, the search is illegal, and any evidence the police obtain can be suppressed.
Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help
If you or a loved one has been arrested or believe an arrest is imminent, contact our Sea Isle City criminal defense attorneys immediately. Waiting in jail for too long may be a violation of your rights. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case review.