Passaic County Criminal Court

Passaic County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Passaic County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Passaic County.

Passaic County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Passaic County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Passaic County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Passaic County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Passaic County Criminal Court

Passaic County Criminal Court

Who can help me in Passaic County?

For general information about your case the Passaic County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Passaic County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

Passaic County Required Court Appearances

In Passaic County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

The Right to Trial by Jury

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Where will Passaic County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Passaic County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Passaic County.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Passaic County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Passaic County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Passaic County. The Passaic County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.

Passaic County Criminal Court Locations

  • Passaic County Superior Court

    Address: 77 Hamilton Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
    Phone: 973-247-8000

  • Passaic County Superior Court – Civil Division

    Address: 77 Hamilton Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
    Phone: 973-247-8176

  • Passaic County Superior Court – Criminal Division

    Address: 77 Hamilton Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
    Phone: 973-247-8344 Fax: 973-247-8401

  • Passaic County Superior Court – Family Division

    Address: 401 Grand Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
    Phone: 973-247-8459

  • Passaic County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 1810 Macopin Road, West Milford, NJ 07480
    Phone: 973-881-4760

  • Passaic County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 900 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07013
    Phone: 973-881-4760

  • Passaic County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 77 Hamilton Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
    Phone: 973-881-4760 Fax: 973-523-3449

  • Passaic County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 475 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ 07470
    Phone: 973-881-4760

  • Passaic County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 445 Lafayette Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506
    Phone: 973-881-4760

  • Bloomingdale Municipal Court

    Address: 101 Hamburg Turnpike, Bloomingdale, NJ 07403
    Phone: 973-838-0127

  • Clifton Municipal Court

    Address: 900 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07013
    Phone: 973-470-5860 (Traffic) Fax: 973-470-5924

  • Haledon Municipal Court

    Address: 510 Belmont Avenue, Haledon, NJ 07508
    Phone: 973-790-0500

  • Hawthorne Municipal Court

    Address: 445 Lafayette Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506
    Phone: 973-427-4767 Fax: 973-427-4194

  • Little Falls Municipal Court

    Address: 225 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424
    Phone: 973-256-2400 Fax: 973-256-8130

  • North Haledon Municipal Court

    Address: 103 Overlook Avenue, North Haledon, NJ 07508
    Phone: 973-423-0232

  • Passaic Municipal Court

    Address: 330 Passaic Street, Passaic, NJ 07055
    Phone: 973-365-3975

  • Paterson Municipal Court

    Address: 111 Broadway, Paterson, NJ 07505
    Phone: 973-321-1515

  • Pompton Lakes Municipal Court

    Address: 25 Lenox Avenue, Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
    Phone: 973-835-0143 Ext. 236 Fax: 973-835-7401

  • Prospect Park Municipal Court

    Address: 106 Brown Avenue, Prospect Park, NJ 07508
    Phone: 973-790-7902 Ext. 527 or 528 Fax: 973-790-6632

  • Ringwood Municipal Court

    Address: 60 Margaret King Avenue, Ringwood, NJ 07456
    Phone: 973-962-6146 Fax: 973-962-6018

  • Totowa Municipal Court

    Address: 537 Totowa Road, Totowa, NJ 07512
    Phone: 973-956-1006 Fax: 973-956-5667

  • Wanaque Municipal Court

    Address: 579 Ringwood Avenue, Wanaque, NJ 07465
    Phone: 973-839-3000 Ext. 7119

  • Wayne Township Municipal Court

    Address: 475 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ 07470
    Phone: 973-694-1800 Ext. 3210

  • West Milford Municipal Court

    Address: 1480 Union Valley Road, West Milford, NJ 07480
    Phone: 973-728-2750

  • Woodland Park Municipal Court

    Address: 5 Brophy Lane, Woodland Park, NJ 07424
    Phone: 973-345-8100 Ext. 102 Fax: 973-345-9791

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