NJ Public Safety Assessment
Expert NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys Fighting for Your Pretrial Release
Being arrested is a traumatic occurrence. However, the anxiety of not knowing how long you will be incarcerated can make it unbearable. When an individual is taken into custody, they must undergo a Public Safety Assessment (PSA) evaluation by pretrial services to determine their risk level before trial. Obtain assistance from our seasoned New Jersey criminal defense attorneys, who are former county prosecutors, and have questions answered 24/7.
What is A PSA?
The PSA employs an algorithm to evaluate risks associated with conceding pretrial release using data acquired from nine factors based on past historical records:
– Violence connected with the current offense
– Pending charges
– Previous disorderly persons and indictable convictions
– Prior violent crime convictions
– Failures to appear within the last two years
– Failures more than two years ago
– Previous sentences of incarceration exceeding 14 days
Measuring Risk in A PSA
There are two types of risks in a PSA that utilize a scale ranging from one to six, with one being the score and six the worst:
1. Risk of new criminal activity after release.
2. Risk of failure to appear on charges.
A defendant’s risk score may increase if they possess an extensive criminal record regarding crime activity and failure to appear; there is also a significant enhancement in score when involved in violent crimes referred to as New Violent Criminal Activity (“NVCA”).
Risk Scores Analysis Table:
Score | Risk of Failure to Appear | Risk of New Criminal Activity
0 | 0 | 0
1 | 16% | 14%
2 | 19% | 25%
3 | 25% | 31%
-4 |37% |-38%
5 | 53% | 46%
6 | 65% | 50%
Releasing a Defendant Via PSA
While the PSA supplies suggestions on pretrial release, there are no rules requiring the same score to translate solely into pretrial release. Some imposed conditions vary as well. For instance, the Decision Making Framework (“DMF”), established by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Court, directs that someone ought to be released unless the new charge involves a life imprisonment offense such as murder, leader of a narcotics trafficking network, human trafficking or aggravated sexual assault.
The DMF orientation shows that one shouldn’t receive a recommendation for release if:
– The new charge involves an offense like carjacking, first-degree robbery, possession of firearms for unlawful purposes, certain persons not possess a firearm, escape, unlawful possession of a weapon and assault involving prior convictions.
– Someone has at least two pending cases besides those resulting in recent arrests relating to newer charges.
– A defendant was rated six on their Non-Compliance Assessment (NCA) or Failure to Appear (FTA) score.
PSA Decision-making Chart
NJ PSA Decision Making Framework
Generically recommended for Release ROR/Level1
Life Imprisonment Offense
Detention is predetermined
Multiple Pending Cases
Agg. Sexual Assault
First Degree RobberyCarjacking
Possession of Firearm for Unlawful Purposes
Certain Persons Not Allowed To Possess A Firearm
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
Violence with Prior Conviction
No recommendation for release
NCA or FTA Score of 6
No recommendation for release
Pretrial Monitoring Levels
If released from custody, the court may impose conditions that a defendant must comply with. The following Pretrial Monitoring Levels are available:
– ROR (No conditions)
– Level I: Phone reporting once monthly.
– Level II: Combination phone and in-person reporting, alternating methods every two weeks
– Level III: Weekly In-Person and telephone reporting
– Level III Plus: Similar to Level III but includes electronic monitoring
How the Court Utilizes PSA?
At the initial appearance, a Superior Court judge utilizes the PSA tool to provide recommendations granting pretrial release. Although significant, the recommendations by Pretrial Services do not override those made by judges regarding release and any imposed conditions. It is essential to have competent attorneys like Todd Spodek Law Group working with your case, especially if experiencing pre-trial concerns. A proficient criminal defense lawyer can argue on your behalf on matters involving Public Safety Assessment effectively.
Contacting Todd Spodek Law Group
Our highly experienced NJ criminal defense lawyers can assist you with evaluating Public Safety Assessment risk factors in your case. Please call us for a free consultation at 212-300-5196, as we are always willing to help our clients efficiently.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS