The Union County Prosecutor’s Office Grand Jury Unit is responsible for preparing, investigating, and presenting matters involving indictable criminal offenses to a grand jury panel. These panels ultimately make decisions regarding whether to indict defendants; if and when defendants are indicted on criminal charges, the cases against them typically proceed to be resolved either via a plea agreement or a criminal trial.
Union County empanels two separate grand juries. One panel hears investigative matters such as homicides cases, incidents of sexual assault, complex narcotics investigations, and child abuse cases, which are generally investigated by the various units of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. This panel sits on Wednesdays and Fridays. The second panel hears the vast majority of felony offenses, including but not limited to attempted murders, burglaries, robberies, aggravated assaults, carjackings, narcotics offenses, and weapons offenses. These cases originate in and are investigated by our local municipal police departments with the assistance of the assistant prosecutors from the Elizabeth, Suburban, and Plainfield projects. This panel sits every Tuesday and Thursday.
Both the investigative and regular panels sit year-round, and each grand jury is empanelled for nine weeks, or a total of 18 sessions.