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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
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Rule 3:9-1. Prearraignment Conference; Plea Offer

  • (a) Prearraignment Conference. After an indictment has been returned, or an indictment sealed pursuant to R. 3:6-8 has been unsealed, a copy of the indictment, together with the discovery for each defendant named therein, shall be either delivered to the criminal division managers office, or be available at the prosecutors office, within 14 days of the return or unsealing of the indictment. After the return or unsealing of the indictment the defendant shall be notified in writing by the criminal division managers office to appear for a prearraignment conference which shall occur within 21 days of indictment. At the prearraignment conference the defendant shall be: informed of the charges; notified in writing of the date, place and time for the arraignment/status conference; and, if the defendant so requests, be allowed to apply for pretrial intervention. The criminal division managers office shall not otherwise advise the defendant regarding the case. The criminal division managers office, shall ascertain whether the defendant is represented by counsel and, if not, whether the defendant can afford counsel. If indicated that the defendant cannot afford counsel, the defendant shall be required to fill out the Uniform Defendant Intake Report. If a defendant does not appear for a prearraignment conference, the criminal division manager shall notify the criminal presiding judge who may issue a bench warrant. A defendants attorney seeking discovery shall obtain a copy of the indictment and discovery from either the criminal division managers office, or the prosecutors office, no later than 28 days after the return or unsealing of the indictment. No prearraignment conference shall be required where the defendant has counsel and the criminal division managers office has established to its satisfaction: (1) that an appearance has been filed under Rule 3:8-1; (2) that discovery, if requested, has been obtained; and (3) that defendant and counsel have obtained a date, place and time for the arraignment/status conference.

  • (b) Plea Offer. Prior to the arraignment/status conference the prosecutor and the defense attorney shall discuss the case, including any plea offer, and any outstanding or anticipated motions and discovery issues and report thereon at the arraignment/status conference. Any plea offer to be made by the prosecutor shall be in writing and forwarded to the defendants attorney.

  • Arraignment/Status Conference; In Open Court. The arraignment/status conference shall be conducted in open court no later than 50 days after indictment. The judge shall advise the defendant of the substance of the charge and confirm that the defendant has reviewed with counsel the indictment and the discovery. The judge shall inform all parties of their obligation to redact confidential personal identifiers from any documents submitted to the court in accordance with Rule 1:38-7(b). The defendant shall enter a plea to the charges. If the plea is not guilty counsel shall report on the results of plea negotiations, and such other matters, discussed pursuant to R. 3:9-1(b), which shall promote a fair and expeditious disposition of the case. At that time, the dates for hearing of motions and a further status conference, if necessary shall be scheduled according to the differentiated needs of each case. Each status conference shall be held in open court with the defendant present.

  • (d) Pretrial Hearings. Hearings to resolve issues relating to the admissibility of statements by defendant, pretrial identifications of defendant, sound recordings, and motions to suppress shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, be held prior to the pretrial conference and, upon a showing of good cause, hearings as to admissibility of other evidence may also be held pretrial.

  • (e) Pretrial Conference. If the court determines that discovery is complete; that all motions have been decided or scheduled in accordance with paragraph (d); and that allreasonable efforts to dispose of the case without trial have been made and it appears that further negotiations or an additional status conference will not result in disposition of the case, or progress toward disposition of the case, the judge shall conduct a pretrial conference. The conference shall be conducted in open court with the prosecutor, defense counsel and the defendant present. Unless objected to by a party, the court shall ask the prosecutor to describe, without prejudice, the case including the salient facts and anticipated proofs and shall address the defendant to determine that the defendant understands: (1) the States final plea offer, if one exists; (2) the sentencing exposure for the offenses charged, if convicted; (3) that ordinarily a negotiated plea will not be accepted after the pretrial conference and a trial date has been set; (4) the nature, meaning and consequences of the fact that a negotiated plea will not be accepted after the pretrial conference has been conducted and a trial date has been set; and (5) that the defendant has a right to reject the plea offer and go to trial and that if the defendant goes to trial the State must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the case is not otherwise disposed of, a pretrial memorandum shall be prepared in a form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts. The pretrial memorandum shall be reviewed on the record with counsel and the defendant present and shall be signed by the judge who, in consultation with counsel, shall fix the trial date. No admissions made by the defendant or defendants attorney at the conference shall be used against the defendant unless the admissions are reduced to writing and signed by the defendant and defendants attorney. The court shall also inform the defendant of the right to be present at trial, the trial date set, and the consequences of a failure to appear for trial, including the possibility that the trial will take plce in defendants absence.

Note: Source-R.R. 3:5-1. Paragraph (b) deleted and new paragraph (b) adopted July 7, 1971, to be effective September 13, 1971; paragraph (b) amended July 29, 1977 to be effective September 6, 1977; paragraph (a) amended and paragraph (b) deleted July 21, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (a) amended July 14, 1992 to be effective September 1, 1992; first three sentences of former paragraph (a) amended and redesignated paragraph (c), last sentence of former paragraph (a) amended and moved to new paragraph (e), new paragraphs (a), (b), (d) and (e) adopted July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraph (e) amended July 12, 2002 to be effective September 3, 2002; paragraph (c) amended July 16, 2009 to be effective September 1, 2009.


Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
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Kenneth Vercammens Law office represents individuals charged with criminal, drug offenses, and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets including drivers charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal and Driving While Suspended.

Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

Criminal and Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. DMV [Division of Motor Vehicles] or have your license suspended. Dont give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal motor vehicle violations.

When your job or drivers license is in jeopardy or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Schedule an appointment if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter.

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