The Trial Division of the Prosecutor’s Office handles most of the County’s adult criminal prosecutions and is primarily responsible for additional case screening, Grand Jury preparation and presentation, and the trial or disposition of those indictments in one vertical process. The Director of the Trial Division supervises the Trial Division and works closely with the Directors of Case Screening and the Appellate Section in matters relating to the Trial Division. The Trial Division is composed of three Trial Teams. Each Trial Team consists of six Assistant Prosecutors, two Investigative Paralegals, a Grand Jury Secretary, two Trial Secretaries, and a Discovery Secretary.
A Trial Team Leader directly supervises each Trial Team. Trial Teams handle caseloads assigned to two Superior Court judges. Assistant Prosecutors are responsible for reviewing cases before presentation to the Grand Jury, trial preparation, and resolution of the file be it through a guilty plea or trial. Assistant Prosecutors handle sentencings, violations of probation, motions, and any other court appearances. They are also responsible for routine court-related matters such as initial appearances, bail reviews, and extraditions.
The Trial Division receives most files from the Case Screening Unit and from municipalities which forward criminal complaints to the Division for review. Other cases are referred to the Trial Division by other units within the Prosecutor’s Office and by the New Jersey State Police. Occasionally, cases are direct presentment matters requested by local police departments. These cases require approval from the Director of the Trial Division before being opened for presentation.
Investigative Paralegals work under the supervision of the assigned Assistant Prosecutors and are primarily responsible for the preparation of Grand Jury presentations. Investigative Paralegals compile all reports, documents, test results, and other necessary items for the presentation of cases to the Grand Jury. Investigative Paralegals also assist the Assistant Prosecutors with witness interviews, preparation of routine motions, and other related trial functions.
Two other units fall under the supervision of the Trial Director and the Director of the Case Screening Unit: Pre-Indictment Plea (PIP) Court and Drug Court. PIP Court, a program designed as an alternative to Grand Jury presentment for primarily non-violent third and fourth degree offenses, is staffed by one Assistant Prosecutor. Drug Court, a sentencing court focusing on the rehabilitation of narcotic offenders, is staffed by one Assistant Prosecutor.