TRIAL CASE DISPOSITIONS, DOWNGRADES & DISMISSALS
Following the filing of a complaint and the first court appearance, the Prosecutor's Office determines whether to pursue a criminal complaint. Prosecutors determine if cases have merit and sufficient evidence to pursue a conviction. The Prosecutor's Case Screening Unit reviews police reports and interviews victims and witnesses to determine if the original charges will be prosecuted. If there is insufficient evidence the charges are downgraded to disorderly persons offenses and sent to the municipal courts for a hearing or dismissed.In Essex County, each court schedules a pre indictment disposition event. Defendants are offered a pre-indictment Plea Bargain, and if they elect to accept the offer, they enter a plea and are sentenced without going through the Grand Jury process.