Update: In September 2013, New Jersey extended Pre-Trial Intervention to Municipal Courts
If you are being charged with a crime and the prosecution has pretty strong evidence to convict, there is a possibility that you may be eligible for a program that can help you avoid a criminal record. Pre-trial intervention (PTI) is a program that is generally offered to first-time offenders as an alternative to full prosecution under the law.
PTI is a way that the court offers rehabilitation to a person being charged with a first offense for a crime. There are very strict guidelines to qualify for PTI and there are certain crimes where PTI will not be offered. The court will take into account several factors of a defendant’s background and consider whether those issues played a role in the commission of the crime.
The goal of PTI is to deter any future criminal acts by the defendant once the program has been successfully completed. The good news for defendants is that once the program is completed successfully they will not have a criminal record. This program also helps the court resolve the matter early without a lengthy court process.
What Does A Pre-Trial Intervention Program Consist Of?
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, PTI can involve drug testing, community service and compliance with recommended treatment programs such as anger management or drug and alcohol treatment. If an individual does not successfully complete the program then the case will be brought back to the court calendar and the judge can decide how to punish the defendant if convicted.
PTI is available for adult defendants that generally reside in the State of New Jersey. If a person has a previous criminal record they usually will not be eligible for the PTI program. Also if a person has used PTI once before or another similar diversionary program like Conditional Discharge they will not be eligible for PTI.
How Can I Enter A Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
To see if you qualify you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney that practices in New Jersey. An attorney can help guide you through the process and argue your case for admission in court. The application process is not simple and includes an interview with the Criminal Division of the Superior Court. If you have committed a first offense for a crime in New Jersey or you made an attempt to apply for PTI and was denied call The Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.