Pre-Trial Operations and Grand Jury
While the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office has numerous specialized units, Pre-Trial Operations is where most cases originate, are screened, and processed through the criminal justice system by an experienced cadre of assistant prosecutors.
The unit reviews every indictable complaint that is filed in Hunterdon County. The intake process includes obtaining discovery expeditiously for the assistant prosecutors' review.
The staff continues to review and assign cases and present them to the court at a Pre-Indictment Conference (PIC) and/or to the Grand Jury. The current team of assistant prosecutors works diligently to effectively and justly process pre-indictment cases in an effort to meet the Administrative Office of the Courts' speedy trial goals with a target of resolving or indicting cases within 60 days (or 30 days when the defendant is incarcerated). The unit has put together a comprehensive plan which has decreased and controlled pre-indictment back log to its lowest level in years. Hunterdon County is currently among the top-ranking offices regarding processing both pre-indictment and post-indictment cases. In addition, Criminal Justice Reform has been fully implemented.
The unit also has assisted in training newly hired detectives. Prior to beginning the academy, detectives have been assigned to the Pre-Trial Operations Unit to gain knowledge of office procedure and file preparation. These detectives have found this to be a valuable experience and an asset in helping them learn the skills necessary to become well-rounded investigators. They have helped the unit by providing additional support in compiling complete and comprehensive files for the assistant prosecutors.
Initially, when any indictable complaint is filed by a citizen, local municipal officer or State Police, the complaint is reviewed by a detective and an assistant prosecutor.
Complaints are reviewed and assigned based upon nature of the crime and distributed to an experienced assistant prosecutor staff member. Their respective detective and support staff prepare and process each case from PIC, through Grand Jury to trial or disposition.