Monday, July 25, 2016

Remand of criminal charges to municipal court

      Some Criminal cases are downgraded cases are ordered, or "remanded" back to the local municipal court for disposition.
    The   Prosecutor’s Office has broad discretion to determine the appropriate disposition for a complaint. The Prosecutor’s office may handle a criminal complaint in several different ways. The complaint may be administratively dismissed, remanded to municipal court, or prosecuted in Superior Court.
       Administrative Dismissal: A complaint may be administratively dismissed for several reasons, mainly because there is insufficient evidence to proceed. In some instances, a complaint is dismissed at the request of the victim. However, a victim’s request to dismiss a complaint is not always honored. Once a criminal complaint is signed, the complaint is prosecuted on behalf of the State of New Jersey, not the individual who signed the complaint. When deciding whether to dismiss a complaint, several factors are considered including, but not limited to, the following: (1) the nature and extent of the defendant’s prior criminal history; (2) the severity of the crime; and (3) whether the defendant has other pending charges.
         Municipal Remand: A complaint is remanded to municipal court when the Prosecutor’s Office determines that the complaint can be adequately dealt with in municipal court. When a complaint is remanded to the municipal court, the original charge is amended to a disorderly persons offense and the complaint is returned to the municipal court. All further proceedings are handled in municipal court. Once a case is remanded to municipal court, the municipal prosecutor generally handles the complaint. However, in certain instances, a disorderly persons offense is retained by the Prosecutor’s Office and is heard in Special Remand Court, which is like a municipal court but can hear cases from throughout the County.

        All complaints charging crimes are immediately referred to the County Prosecutor's Office for review. Once received, the Prosecutor's Office reviews the complaint, obtains any police reports that were prepared concerning it and, where indicated, contacts the complainant/victim and/or investigating police officer for further information and comment. If the Prosecutor's Office determines that the complaint can be adequately dealt with by the local municipal court, the crime charged in the complaint will be amended to state a disorderly persons offense and the complaint will be returned to the municipal court for trial. Source