GRAND JURIES TO RESUME, EXCLUDABLE TIME, AND DISCOVERY MODIFICATIONS FOR CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS IN LIGHT OF COVID-19
October 8, 2020
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey has issued its Ninth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The updated provisions are as follows:
- Reinforcing that grand juries will be selected virtually, and confirming that before December 1, 2020 all counties will have the capacity for virtual grand juries;
- Permitting in-person grand juries, either in court locations, or, if court locations are not available, then in non-court locations as coordinated by the County Prosecutor, with court approval;
- Concluding pre-indictment excludable time in phases, starting with defendants who were arrested and committed to jail before the onset of COVID-19;
- Effective November 1, 2020, relaxing Rule 3:13-3(a) on a temporary basis so that defendants detained more than 90 days are provided discovery sooner; and
- Provisionally adopting new Rule 3:4-7 (“Pre-Indictment Hearing”), to provide a hearing involving the presentation of at least one witness, without adding excludable time attributable to the defendant.
With grand juries beginning to be selected virtually, all counties being required to have the ability to select grand juries virtually, and in person grand juries being permitted, this means preindictment criminal matters that have been stalled since COVID-19 will begin to move again. Further, those who have been incarcerated preindictment can now get discovery sooner and excludable time will be done in phases. The time is now to act and hire an experienced attorney to defend you and your rights.
At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in Superior Court for all criminal matters We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to uphold their constitutional rights, and ensure law enforcement follow proper procedures to legally make an arrest.
We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing criminal charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties.
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