STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. AMED INGRAM A-1787-16T6Defendant appealed from an order detaining him pretrial pursuant to the Bail Reform Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 2A:162-15 to -26. The State presented the complaint-warrant, the affidavit of probable cause, the Preliminary Law Enforcement Incident Report and the Public Safety Assessment to establish probable cause for defendant's arrest and grounds for detention. Collectively, the documents demonstrated that a firearm had been discharged, police officers personally observed defendant in possession of a gun and seized the weapon and spent shell casings. Pretrial Services recommended that defendant be detained, or released with the highest level monitoring, including electronic monitoring.
Defendant objected, arguing a live witness with knowledge of the incident sufficient to permit meaningful cross- examination was required. The judge overruled the objection, considered the State's proffered evidence and entered the order of detention.
On appeal, defendant argued that permitting the State to establish probable cause by proffer and without calling a witness violated his due process rights and the Act. The Court disagreed and affirmed the detention order, finding that allowing the State to proceed by proffer did not violate due process or the Act. However, the court noted that at detention hearings under the Act, the judge retains discretion to reject the adequacy of the State's proffer and compel production of a "live" witness.