Why doesn’t New Jersey give an accused person the right to a preliminary hearing?

Unlike Pennsylvania, New Jersey’s criminal procedure is based on a grand jury system. At a Grand Jury, a New Jersey prosecutor will present evidence to a group of 23 citizens who have been selected from voter registration. These individuals will hear the evidence and determine if there is a sufficient amount to indict the person for the crimes. If there is not sufficient evidence, the grand jury may decide to either dismiss the case or charge the person with a less serious offense, which would be downgraded and remanded to New Jersey’s Municipal Court within the county where the offense allegedly occurred.

 
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Alfonso Gambone is a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney dedicated to protecting your rights.