The Trial Section
The Trial Section represents the largest legal section of the Prosecutor’s Office.
The goal of the Trial Section is to promote justice through the effective and expedient resolution of criminal matters impacting both victims individually, as well as the public generally.
This section is staffed by teams of Assistant Prosecutors who are responsible for the prosecution of cases from the point at which an indictment has been returned by an Ocean County Grand Jury until the matter is resolved, either by plea or trial. This includes all court events including: arraignments, status conferences, plea negotiations, trials and sentencing as well as motion practice. The criminal courts in New Jersey have apportioned an individual caseload to each of its sitting judges. Each judge is then responsible for all of the various phases of litigation pertaining to its court’s caseload. There is a team of Assistant Prosecutors assigned to each criminal courtroom. The teams are staffed by a Trial Team Leader who is either Senior or a Supervising Assistant Prosecutor and two additional Assistant Prosecutors. Each member of the team has a personally assigned inventory of cases. The Trial Section operates under the direction of the Chief Trial Attorney.
Each team is also staffed with a Trial Detective. The Trial Detectives perform all of the post-indictment investigation which is required on the cases. This can take the form of obtaining additional information about the case, documents, photos and statements of witnesses; all of which are acquired to enhance the successful prosecution of the cases. The trial detectives also take on the critical job of physically locating all of the witnesses for the Assistant Prosecutors and participating in the preparation of those witnesses for trial. The Trial Detectives are supervised by a ranking detective.
Occasionally, certain cases involving crimes of the first and second degree, as well as crimes of violence, are assigned to an Assistant Prosecutor for vertical prosecution prior to Indictment in order to foster stability and consistency of representation for the victims as close to the initiation of the criminal investigation as possible.