It is vital to retain a Monmouth County criminal defense attorney to protect your rights in Pre-indictment court. This court, located in Freehold, is a pretty fast-paced and slightly hectic place. However, while receiving a summons to appear for a pre-indictment conference in Freehold can be nerve-wracking, you might consider yourself lucky.
Cases that are scheduled for pre-indictment court are usually relatively recent charges. Typically, once the file is sent to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for review, it will be screened, and if appropriate, sent to the PIP court team. The pre-indictment conference court is held in Judge Scully’s courtroom, in the East Wing of the second floor of the Monmouth County Courthouse.
The session begins with your attorney conferencing your case with the assistant prosecutor handling your case, and sometimes with the judge as well. Next, Judge Scully will take the bench, usually around 10:30 and take attendance. Matters are then heard by the Court as they are ready.
This Court is an opportunity to resolve your case at an early juncture. An experienced pre-indictment court attorney can usually secure the best plea offer possible for you at this hearing. If that deal is unacceptable to you, you can simply inform the court and you will likely be excused. Usually, first-time defendant’s will plead not-guilty to allow them to apply to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (“PTI”).
Sometimes however, defendant’s maintain their innocence and let matters take their course. In such cases, your matter will be presented to a grand jury of 23 people. If the Grand Jury returns an indictment against you, your case will be assigned to a different judge’s court and put on the track toward trial.