New Jersey has provisionally adopted new Rule 3:4-7 (Pre-Indictment Hearing), to provide a hearing involving the presentation of at least one witness, without adding excludable time attributable to the defendant.
As part of an effort to keep people from languishing in jail awaiting indictment this new rule requires the Prosecutor to present at least one live witness in support of probable cause. At that hearing, unlike grand jury, defense counsel can be present and cross examine State’s witnesses. hearsay is permissible and the defendant does have the right to put on his or her own case. If the court finds a lack of probable cause, the charges will be dismissed. However, double jeopardy does not attach and the State can charge again.
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