Most states have pretrial intervention programs that provide an alternative to prosecution for defendants who meet certain criteria. New Jersey defendants who are charged with an indictable offense for the first time, may be eligible to participate in the statewide Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). To find out if you are eligible, it is best to speak to an experienced lawyer about your options.
Who Is Eligible for PTI in New Jersey?
Only individuals who meet the eligibility
criteria for approval may participate in PTI. The program is meant to deter
future criminal behavior by providing defendants with a one-time opportunity to
avoid conviction. The county prosecutor and PTI director decides whether a case
qualifies for PTI and provides recommendations to the court. In addition to
their recommendations, each case is evaluated based on the following criteria
under New Jersey’s PTI statute:
- Adult: PTI is designed for adults, aged 18 years or older.
- Indictable offense: A defendant must be charged with an indictable offense or a felony, such as forgery, drug possession, and certain driving under the influence (DUI) offenses to qualify for enrollment.
- First-time offender: Participants must have no prior criminal record and must not be on probation or parole.
- Third-degree and fourth-degree felonies: Only those charged with less serious third-degree and fourth-degree crimes will typically qualify for PTI.
- First time participating in PTI: Defendants may only participate in the PTI program once; those who have already completed the program are not eligible to participate again.
Prosecutors and program directors will
consider the following when deciding whether to recommend an applicant’s enrollment
- Nature of
- Facts of
amenability to the rehabilitative process.
- Whether the
applicant’s participation in the program would adversely affect the prosecution
- Whether the
defendant presents a substantial danger to others.
Once admitted into the program,
participants must adhere to certain conditions. Supervision under the PTI
program typically lasts between six months to three years and consists of
imposed conditions, such as random drug testing, community service, and restitution.
Only those who satisfy all the conditions
of the program for the predetermined amount of time will be eligible to have
the charges against them dismissed; defendants who violate the conditions will
be terminated from PTI.
Benefits of PTI
There are many benefits of the program.
Some main benefits include:
charges: Instead of going
through the traditional justice process of prosecution and potential
imprisonment, defendants who complete the PTI program qualify for automatic
dismissal of all charges against them.
- No record: The PTI program affords defendants an
opportunity for a fresh start. Once participants successfully complete the
program, the charges against them are dropped and they retain no record of
resolution: PTI provides an
opportunity for expedient resolution of cases, which is in the best interests
of all parties involved.
- Waived fees: Traditional court proceedings can be
expensive. Participants who complete PTI can avoid these costs as well as any
fines they would have had to pay if they were convicted.
services: Defendants have a
unique opportunity to take advantage of PTI rehabilitative services in order to
get their life back on track and avoid future convictions.
Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Lawyers at Aita
Law, LLC Help Defendants Avoid a Criminal Record Through New Jersey’s Pretrial
If you have been charged with an indictable offense in New Jersey, contact one of our experienced lawyers to discuss your eligibility for the Pretrial Intervention Program. Our skilled Cherry Hill criminal defense lawyers at Aita Law, LLC may be able to help you get the charges against you dismissed. Contact us online or call us at 856-287-7800 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Haddonfield and Marlton, New Jersey, we also represent clients in Camden County, Cherry Hill, and throughout South Jersey.
KENNETH D. AITA, ESQUIRE
Mr. Aita has successfully defended thousands of criminal cases. When you or a loved one is charged with a crime, it is an extremely daunting and frightening time. Criminal charges and convictions can have devastating effects on your life. You can be fired from your job, you can hurt your ability to get employment in the future, and most importantly could lose your precious freedom. Mr. Aita not only has the experience and expertise to represent you, but the compassion and understanding to help you through this difficult and confusing process. In a criminal case, everyone is against you; the police, the judge, and certainly the prosecutor, whose job is to get convictions. Mr. Aita is not only your skilled legal advocate, but is in your corner to protect you against the vast government resources that are against you. Make no mistake, fighting a criminal case is a war. You need an attorney willing to go to battle. Mr. Aita is in the trenches every single day tirelessly fighting for justice for his clients.