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Criminal Adjudication
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Toto, Hon. Michael

Judge Michael Toto

Criminal Adjudication

Fall, 2016

Rutgers Law School-Newark

Warrant vs. Summons

Warrant given when there is a presumption of jail if convicted (presumed for 1st or 2nd degree crimes
Presumption against jail if convicted in 3rd or 4th degree crimes

Complaint- submitted by police to prosecutor (after persons arrest)

Essentially notice pleading; bear facts


No discovery prior to arraignment (?)
Grand Jury: 23 but 12 must decide

No defense; prosecutor chooses witnesses

Need probable cause- is there enough factual evidence to convince reasonable person to believe that the individual committed the offense

Provision of Counsel

Accused are entitled by the Constitution to be afforded effective/adequate counsel


Made to ensure the Defendant returns to court

Liberty Interest: Accused has a right to liberty and be free before the trial:

Bail should only be set for the amount required to ensure the accused returns to stand trial

NJ about to undergo bail reform
Setting Bail: Johnson

Now (old guidelines):

Cannot refuse bail because harm may inure to third party (In NJ only; feds allow consideration)
Factors to consider “Johnson Factors”

Strength of the states case Seriousness of the charge
Prior record on bail (J2)
Physical or mental health condition of Defendant (J3)
Connection to community (J4 length of time)
Family ties (5)
Employment status and record of employment (6)
Any community members vouching? (7)
Other factors indicating D’s mode of life or ties to the community that bear on the likelihood of appearing (8)

Unspoken: risk of re-offense
May also argue that an indigent cannot afford a high bail

Soon (new guidelines): not tested

Objective risk assessment for risks of flight and harm

No bail needed for 3rd and 4th level offenses

Bail hearing within 48 hours
Trial within 180

Person released without any bail if no trial within 180
Some circumstances may permit an extension up to 2 years

Bail Source hearing

Used to determine the source of the funds are kosher

Bail should be reasonably calculated to be no hire than necessary to ensure defendant’s return

Was bail excessive?
Did it come within acceptable range?

Types of bail:

ROR- no monetary bail; free on own recognizance
Full Cash
10% Option
Detained without bail

Conditions of Bail:

No victim contact
Live with parent
No travel beyond state/country
Psychological evaluation
Maintain employment
Drug testing
No new offenses
Ankle bracelet
Report to court
Surrender passport/drivers license

Case Screening

Prosecutors have a lot of discretion in determining whether or not to bring charges

Prosecutors can also decide venue (municipal vs. superior)
Whether to admi

ly challenge if a juror should have been deemed ineligible to sit on the jury
Jury is not selected by prosecutor; they are randomly selected

Turning over grand jury information:

Information available to Defense by right:

Ultimate vote
Other evidence: footage, reports, evidence, DNA

Information available upon approval of judge:

Instructions to grand jury by judge and/or prosecutor

Defendant must turn over:

Statements obtained from states witness’

Does not turn over:

Statements obtained by 3rd or nonparties

Prosecutor is not required to present potentially exculpatory evidence to grand jury

Truly exculpatory evidence must be presented

Individuals can be subpoenaed to appear at GJ

Others can also be appended during GJ hearing by “direct indictment”

That’s where the jury decides to indict someone who was not presented to them based on what they heard

Exculpatory Evidence:

Prosecutor must present evidence that:

Directly negates an element of the crime
Clearly exculpatory

Must contain some indicia of reliability required