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Ken is a NJ trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He has been selected to write the new ABA book: DUI and Drug Possession Defense".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bail in Domestic Violence Cases

Bail in Domestic Violence Cases

Violations of domestic violence restraining orders should be reviewed with the same severity as high impact offenses. Once a defendant has been arrested and charged with an indictable domestic violence offense, a Superior Court judge will set bail. Non-indictable N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(b) bail matters should be handled by a Superior Court

judge, unless otherwise approved by the Assignment Judge. In domestic violence cases some special rules apply: 10

1. A judge cannot set bail without considering the defendant's prior record.

2. There is a statutory requirement that bail be set within 12 hours of arrest.

3. Once bail has been set, it may not be reduced without prior notice to the

county prosecutor and the victim.

4. Bail shall not be reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally

ordered bail, unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are

available to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth on the


5. The victim’s address is to be kept confidential.

6. A copy of the bail order, specifying conditions of bail/release, including

restraints, must be given to the victim forthwith.

7. Bail orders on domestic violence cases must capture

a. the gender of the parties,

b. the relationship of the parties,

c. the relief sought, and

d. the nature of the relief granted.

Where relief is sought or granted, a uniform record of this information must be kept for the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to file mandated periodic reports to the legislature. See P.L. 1991, c. 261 and the "Domestic Violence Procedures Manual."

f. When Bail is Set

Bail is initially set either contemporaneously with the issuance of a warrant, subsequent to the issuance of a warrant but prior to the first appearance, or at the first appearance. However, if bail was not set when an arrest warrant was issued, the person who is arrested on that warrant shall have bail set without unnecessary delay, and no later than 12 hours after arrest