New Jersey offers a diversionary program for first-time criminal defendants called Pretrial Intervention (PTI). There is no good reason to have a criminal conviction on your record. PTI is an opportunity for people with no record to avoid a conviction. Prosecutors have the discretion on which charges to prosecute, downgrade or dismiss. Prosecutors have the power on who to prosecute, they also have the power to decide who to divert into PTI.
PTI is a wonderful opportunity. If you are accepted into PTI, your case is put on hold. After you complete the conditions of the PTI program and do not pick up any new charges, your case will be dismissed. You should consult with an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney to see if you are eligible to apply your case to the PTI program.
PTI Eligibility in NJ
PTI is a diversionary program in NJ strictly for first-time offenders. In order to be eligible, you cannot have a previous diversion in NJ or any other state, including municipal court. PTI admission is usually restricted to people charged with non-violent offenses. Defendants charged with second degree offenses or with co-defendants are not eligible, unless their attorney can submit “compelling reasons” to convince the prosecutor and the Criminal Division Manager they are qualified candidates for PTI.
The PTI Application Process in NJ
You must apply for PTI within fourteen days of your arraignment, unless your attorney obtains an extension. There is a non-refundable application fee of $75 payable to the State. If you are not accepted into PTI, the application fee is not returned. The factors considered include the nature of the case, the interests of society and any victim, whether there is a pattern of criminal or anti-social behavior, criminal record and violations, and whether the applicant can benefit from PTI. If your application to PTI is rejected, your attorney can still appeal this decision when the prosecutor’s rejection was an abuse of discretion or relevant information for your case was not considered. A knowledgeable NJ criminal defense attorney knows not only how to apply you to PTI, but also how to appeal any rejection, if necessary.
If you successfully complete the PTI program, the charges against you will be dismissed.
Contact My Office Immediately
I am a New Jersey criminal trial attorney board certified by the NJ Supreme Court. New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention laws are extremely complex. If you or a family member would like to apply to PTI, contact me immediately so I can review your case advise you as to your eligibility. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.