Phone: (908) 475-6275
The Warren County Prosecutor's Office Trial Unit is responsible for prosecuting a wide variety of cases from shortly after charges are filed through final disposition. The Unit handles all indictable offenses prosecuted in Warren County except sexual assaults, child abuse, some major crimes, domestic violence violations and certain narcotics offenses, which are handled by specialized Units in the Prosecutorís Office.
The Unit is presently staffed by a supervising assistant prosecutor, two assistant prosecutors, one sergeant, one detective, a trial coordinator, and three clerical personnel.
All criminal complaints signed and filed in Warren County ís municipal courts by local police departments and agencies are immediately referred to the Warren County Prosecutor's Office for review. Early examination of these complaints and supporting reports results in some being referred back to municipal court or the Family Part of Superior Court for prosecution and some being recommended for dismissal. The remaining (approximately fifty percent of Warren County ís total case load) are assigned to the Trial Unit.
The mission of the Unit is accomplished primarily through the early development of a viable and complete case to encourage resolution at the Early Disposition Program (EDP) plea conference. Case preparation requires the cooperation of all Unit personnel, other Units in the office as well as other police agencies. The teams rely upon investigating officers or detectives at local or state police agencies to conduct thorough initial investigations, and to follow them up, if necessary. Thorough initial investigations permit rapid supplemental investigations.
The objective is to complete the file preparation so that it will support the negotiation of a reasonable plea agreement or other final resolution of the matter, or, be ready for immediate presentation to a grand jury so that there is no delay in the criminal prosecution process.
The Trial Unit assistant prosecutors develop and tender appropriate plea offers, accept guilty pleas, monitor admittance into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, and present argument at the time of sentence. If the matter is not resolved through the Early Disposition Program, it is immediately presented to the Grand Jury.
If the Grand Jury chooses to return an indictment, the Trial Unit assistant prosecutors prepare the case for trial and handle all pre-trial motions and procedures. These include preparing legal memoranda and briefs, interviewing and preparing witnesses, presenting testimony, arguing various types of motions, and presenting the case to a petit jury. Throughout this process, there are continuing efforts to resolve the matter through a plea agreement, but one that is more demanding than that offered in the context of the Early Disposition Program.
In addition to the foregoing, the Unit is also responsible for violations of probation, terminations from the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, numerous bail hearings, issuing and rescission of bench warrants, return of fugitives, restitution hearings and sentences.