In New Jersey, when you are charged with a serious criminal offense that is classified as a felony, your case will be heard by a grand jury. When the case is presented to the grand jury that is when the decision of whether to indict you is determined. However, before your case is heard by a grand jury, the prosecutor may offer you a chance to appear at a pre-indictment conference. Essentially, this opportunity can help you prevent harsh penalties and reach a lesser sentence. This is because the prosecutor will usually present a plea deal to resolve the case before it is brought before a grand jury. If you receive a notice informing you that a pre-indictment conference has been scheduled, it is imperative to retain the legal services of a seasoned Bergen County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you seek a favorable outcome.
What is the pre-indictment court?
As mentioned above, after being accused of a crime, before you reach the Grand Jury, the prosecutor may offer you an opportunity to resolve indictable offenses at a pre-indictment conference. Pre-indictment court (PIP) is a special type of court that happens at the preliminary stage before the case has been presented to the grand jury. During a pre-indictment conference, the prosecutor will often offer a plea deal. If you accept a plea deal you will likely have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely depending on the circumstances of your case. However, in exchange for a lesser sentence, you must agree to a guilty or no-contest plea. In most cases, depending on the severity of the offense, it is in the best interest of a defendant to accept a plea deal. If the case reaches the grand jury you may be charged with a maximum sentence. Nevertheless, if the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence against you, it may be better for your case to be heard before a grand jury. However, if the prosecutor has a substantial amount of evidence against you, it may be in your best interest to accept a plea deal. This can help you face a more lenient sentence than you would if your case was presented before a grand jury. Ultimately, whether to accept a plea deal depends on the specific circumstances of your situation. It is critical to have an experienced Bergen County criminal defense attorney on your side to help you navigate the complexities of pre-indictment court and advise you on whether taking a plea deal is your best option.
In the unfortunate event that you or someone you care about has been charged with a serious criminal offense, it is critical to consult with one of our determined and skilled attorneys. Our firm is prepared to fight on your behalf to seek the best possible outcome for your case. Allow our firm to defend your rights and interests today!