Free Initial Consultation · 24 / 7

Recent News

One Judge in Essex County to Hear All Domestic Violence Detention Motions

Published: February 23, 2018

Client Reviews

  • After receiving a Restraining Order by an ex girlfriend accusing me of harassment which was false, I contacted the law firm. Chris helped to get the case dismissed as quickly as possible ... full review

    Stanley
  • He assured me that he would aggressively try to get this unsubstantiated TRO dismissed as well as the harassment charge. Sure enough he did just that and on such short notice that it left... full review

    a client
  • Travis was able to successfully get the TRO dismissed without even going to a trial, and i am truly thankful for Travis and his confidence and savviness when it pertains to the law. full review

    a client

Essex County CourthouseThe criminal court system in Essex County, New Jersey recently announced that one judge will hear all detention motions filed in domestic violence cases going forward. In all new domestic violence cases in Essex County, Superior Court Judge Ramona Santiago will decide whether defendants arrested and detained for domestic violence charges will be released pending trial or held in the county jail during the pendency of the matter. According to the acting Essex County Prosecutor, Robert D. Laurino, “It is important that we have a legal system that understands the nature of domestic violence, is responsive to victims, and fair in administering justice…” The announcement came shortly after Irvington resident Kareem Dawson reportedly shot and killed Tiffany Wilson, despite two prior arrests for alleged domestic violence offenses against Wilson and after being released from jail pending resolution of those domestic violence cases.

Since January 1, 2017, arrests in domestic violence cases in New Jersey are subject to bail reform provisions that may require the immediate incarceration of the accused until a judge determines whether to release the defendant. During the initial 48 hours after a defendant’s arrest in New Jersey domestic violence cases, the defendant’s information – essentially the criminal history and nature of the new offense – is analyzed to determine whether the defendant should stay in jail pending trial. Specifically, the courts utilize a Public Safety Assessment (“PSA”) score to recommend whether the accused should be detained pending resolution of the case. However, regardless of the PSA score, the county prosecutor can file a pre-trial detention motion asking the court to keep the defendant in jail for the duration of the case. And in domestic violence cases, whether the charges are for disorderly persons offenses or indictable crimes, the Attorney General’s Guidelines on bail reform and N.J.S.A. 2A:162-19(a)(6) permit the prosecutor to file for detention. If the prosecutor files a pre-trial detention motion in a domestic violence case within the first 48 hours of a defendant’s arrest, then the clock starts over and within 72 hours, there must be a detention hearing in court so that a judge can decide whether the defendant should stay in jail.

At the Tormey Law Firm, we have successfully handled a multitude of domestic violence pre-trial detention motions under bail reform and have succeeded in getting our clients released from jail even though the prosecutor requested detention. The bail reform clock requires a prompt response. When we receive a call saying a family member or friend was arrested due to domestic violence charges, we get into gear: we visit the client in jail to learn about the case, we contact the prosecutor to attempt to negotiate conditions of pre-trial release, and we prepare for court. Then, we go to court at the pre-trial detention hearing and zealously advocate for our client’s release.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence charges in Essex County or anywhere else in New Jersey, a lot needs to be done in a very short amount of time. Don’t hesitate to call the domestic violence defense team at the Tormey Law Firm. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.

Filed under: Domestic Violence

Visit Our Offices

With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Middletown, and Collingswood, our lawyers can represent you anywhere in New Jersey and are available immediately to assist you at (908)-336-5008

Hackensack / Bergen County

254 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

  • 201-556-1570
  • 201-556-1572
Hackensack Office

Morristown / Morris County

55 Madison Avenue Suite 400,
Morristown, NJ 07960

  • 908-336-5008
  • 201-556-1572
Morristown Office

Newark / Essex County

1 Gateway Center Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

  • 201-654-3464
  • 201-556-1572
Newark Office

for a free initial consultation Contact the Tormey Law Firm

Travis J. Tormey is a distinguished member of the legal community and a respected legal resource on domestic violence. He has been featured in a variety of prominent publications and media outlets, including CBS radio, Aol News, the Asbury Park Press, NJ.com, and the Daily Record. Mr. Tormey has also been recognized as one of the the top criminal attorneys under 40 years of age by the National Trial Lawyers Association and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Whether representing victims or the wrongly accused, Travis remains passionately committed to protecting the rights of the innocent.

Areas we serve

The Tormey Law Firm LLC handles restraining order cases in Bergen County (Hackensack), Morris County (Morristown), Passaic County (Paterson), Union County (Elizabeth), Hudson County (Jersey City), Middlesex County (New Brunswick), Somerset County (Somerville), Sussex County (Newton), Essex County (Newark), Hunterdon County (Flemington), Mercer County (Trenton), Monmouth County (Freehold), Warren County (Belvidere), Ocean County (Toms River), Burlington County (Mount Holly), and throughout NJ.

  • Tell us how we can help

  • Contacting our office does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not share any confidential information until such a relationship has been established.