The Laws of Bail in New Jersey: Know the Rules

What is the Purpose of Bail in NJ?

In the state of New Jersey (NJ), the purpose of bail is similar to that in other American states; bail refers to money that is used as payment to the court for the release of an individual who has been detained for a particular charge or crime. In this case, bail is not a court fee. Instead, the bail is used to also guarantee that the same individual who was detained will return for his/her first scheduled court date.

How is Bail Determined in NJ?

Generally, the bail will be set by a judge who has reviewed the information relating to a specific criminal charge of a defendant (the individual being question and/or potential charged for committing a crime). In specific, the judge will determine the amount of bail and the type of bail that needs to be paid in order to guarantee that the defendant will return for court dates set thereafter. In New Jersey, judges are allowed to use any of the following factors in choosing the conditions of bail for individuals accused of committing a crime:

  • Severity of the criminal charges
  • Defendant's criminal record and/or history
  • Most probably sentence if the accused is convicted
  • Relationships and ties to the community
  • Potential of the accused to be a danger to others

What Types of Bail Exist in NJ?

Once bail has been set, the judge must determine what type of bail will be applied to the individual who has been accused. There are a few different types of bail, such as bail bonds, cash-only bail, 10 percent cash bail, and/or release on own recognizance (ROR) bail.

  • Bail Bond: A bail bondsman will be appointed to act as the guarantee for the defendant so that he/she appears in court for all scheduled dates.
  • Cash-Only Bail: The defendant will need to pay the full amount of the bail in cash.
  • 10-Percent Cash Bail: The first 10 percent of bail must be paid in cash upfront, but the other 90 percent of the bail amount must only be paid if the defendant does not appear for all scheduled court dates.
  • R.O.R. option: This requires the defendant to sign an official promise to pay the court the full bail amount if he/she does not appear in court on all scheduled dates.
What Forms of Bail Exist in NJ?

In addition to the different types of bail, there are also various forms of bail that can be used to represent the various situations in which bail would be required. In NJ, you can find the following forms of bail:

  • Federal Bail: The accused is being held in jail for federal crimes.
  • Immigration Bail: The accused is being held in jail for violating immigration laws.
  • State Bail: The accused is being held for committing crimes that are dealt with by the municipal, superior, and/or state appeal courts.
  • Out of State Bail: The accused is being held in a jail outside of New Jersey, but he/she has violated state laws.
  • Open Warrants Bail: There is a warrant for the arrest of the accused due to previous crimes that have been committed. Thus, the accused is not being held in jail.
  • Child Support Bail: In this case, a bail bond cannot be used to help an individual get out of jail; instead, only cash can be paid to ensure that the accused is released.
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