New Jersey Prosectorial Screening
Following the filing of a complaint and the first court appearance, the prosecutor’s office in each county determines whether to pursue a criminal complaint.
Prosecutors must decide if cases have merit and sufficient evidence to pursue a conviction against the defendant. The prosecutor’s Case Screening Unit reviews police reports and interviews victims and witnesses to determine if the original charges will be prosecuted.
If there is no sufficient evidence to proceed, the charges are downgraded to disorderly persons offenses and remanded or sent to the municipal courts for a hearing or dismissed.