New Jersey Constitutional Rights Afforded to Criminal Defendants in Court

Defendants in New Jersey Criminal Courts are afforded certain New Jersey Constitutional rights that authorities cannot violate.

In fact, the New Jersey State constitution affords individuals charged with crimes in the State of New Jersey greater constitutional protections than the Federal Constitution.

What are the most basic constitutional rights that individuals enjoy?

Due Process; Due Process is a basic constitutional right that all individuals enjoy that affords them a proper Notice of a hearing and an actual Hearing before a sentence may be imposed upon them;

Right to a Trial and Right to an Attorney;

Right to Remain Silent;

Right to a speedy trial after arrest or indictment - prevent prosecution delay or lengthy incarceration;

Right to confront witnesses;

Right to appeal.

However, the most fundamental New Jersey constitutional rights that exist in criminal law are each individual's right against self incrimination - right to remain silent - and the right to privacy.

Indeed, the cornerstone of New Jersey criminal law defense and practice is based on these fundamental rights.

Q. Should the Court hold a probable cause hearing in my case?

That Depends.

Probable cause is a "Well Grounded Suspicion" that a crime has been committed.

Probable cause does not mean that a crime has been committed but rather is a procedural step that allows police to arrest a defendant or issue a complaint and summons to appear in court to face certain charges.

If indicted, then no, a probable cause hearing is unnecessary because the indictment eliminates the need for a probable cause hearing.

However, in the absence of an indictment, a probable cause hearing in connection to a criminal allegation is triggered whereby a defendants may be represented by counsel and have their counsel confront witnesses brought against them.

Should you have any questions about New Jersey Constitutional rights, please do not hesitate to contact us.