HomePrint FriendlyEmail Page

Go To Search
Click to Home
About the CountyDepartmentsNew ResidentsOur MunicipalitiesOfficialsHow Do I...?
Trial Section
The Trial Unit, currently headed by Senior Assistant Prosecutor in Charge, Jason F. Statuto, handles the majority of cases post Indictment.  The Trial Unit is responsible for prosecuting violations of New Jersey’s Criminal Statutes. The Trial Unit is comprised of a number of two person trial teams.  Each sitting Criminal Judge will have a trial team assigned to that Judge’s Court.

Trial work involves the review of Grand jury transcripts and police reports in order to formulate plea offers, writing briefs in opposition to motions filed by defendants such as motions to suppress evidence or preclude identifications, and appearing before the courts for testimony and oral argument on those motions.  The Trial section also appears for arraignments (initial appearance where defendant is advised of the charges against him/her), status conferences (discussion of the case and negotiations with defense counsel and the court in order to try to resolve the matter before trial), motions and ultimately trial.  The Trial section handles all types of cases such as thefts, drug cases, sexual assaults, arson and homicides, even taking cases from the specialized units to trial.

The Trial Section is also called upon to handle Municipal appeals (matters heard initially in the municipal court which defendants ask for further review by the Superior Court.)  These involve cases such as D.W.I., minor thefts and assaults as well as motor vehicle violations. Most cases require review of the municipal court transcripts and police reports in order to file briefs, and then appearances for oral argument before the Superior Court judge.

Additionally, the Trial Unit handles Post Conviction Relief (PCR) applications.  These are requests by a convicted defendant for the court to review the matter because of an alleged grievance raised by the defendant.  These matters usually address ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims as well as claims of errors in the proceedings which were not or could not be raised on direct appeal.  These matters also require the filing of briefs and argument before the court. 

The members of the Trial Unit work closely with the Office of Victim Witness Advocacy to provide for the special needs of victims, including keeping the victim/victim’s family informed at all stages of the criminal justice process.
The prosecutors assigned to the Trial Unit, in addition to court assigned responsibilities, provide legal advice to investigating detectives and patrol officers from all the municipalities including the Sheriff’s Department throughout the investigative process.  Additionally the attorneys are responsible for reviewing, and approving for presentation to the courts, applications for Search Warrants and Communication Data Warrants (examination of phones, computers etc for electronically transmitted data such as instant messaging, chats, text).