New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) offers first-time offenders an opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution through the criminal court system. If accepted into the PTI program, a defendant will not be prosecuted, can avoid going to jail, can avoid a conviction, won’t have to pay for a trial, and will be able to have their criminal arrest record expunged. Recognizing that certain kinds of criminal behavior often leads to repeated encounters with the law, the PTI program offers rehabilitative services in an effort to reduce levels of recidivism. The PTI program addresses underlying personal and socio-economic realities that create conflict and distorted ethical incentives. As a result, the PTI program helps first-time offenders link to develop an understanding of underlying issues associated with cultural, social, and economic issues that lead to destructive, criminal behavior.
Who is Eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program?
Not all first-time offenders are eligible to participate in the PTI program. While each case is different, participation in the PTI program is governed by the following considerations:
- First-time offender without a prior criminal record
- The age of the defendant – PTI is for adults, not juveniles
- Defendants charged with an indictable offense, often non-violent in nature
- The intention or motivation of the defendant in committing the crime
- The wishes of the victim and society’s interests
- Parolees and those on probation are usually excluded from PTI
- Defendants who have previously participated in a diversionary program are usually excluded
- Defendants charge with 1st and 2nd degree felonies are usually excluded
How does the Pretrial Intervention Program Work?
If accepted into the PTI program, a defendant will be placed under supervision of the probation department for one to three years. Participants will be expected to submit to random urine tests and agree to pay mandatory financial penalties. In some cases, a participant may be required to perform community service, submit to drug and alcohol treatment, undergo a psychological evaluation, and pay their victims restitution. After the successful completion of the PTI program, the original charges against a participant are dismissed and no record of a conviction recorded.
Should a participant fail to complete the PTI program, he or she is terminated from the program and their case is returned to court for trial.
Applying for the PTI Program
An application must be filed with the Criminal Case management Office in the county where you have been charged. A $75.00 application fee is required. You should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to determine if you qualify for PTI and when you should apply. An application can be filed any time after the filing of charges. However, once you have entered a formal plea, your application should be filed no later than seven days after your original plea. Someone from the Criminal Division of the Superior Court will interview you and a written report will be prepared indicating the decision to admit or reject you into the PTI program. The prosecutor and your defense lawyer will receive a copy of this report. If the Criminal Division recommends your admittance and the prosecutor agrees, you will be required to abide by the conditions set forth in your PTI program.
If you are not accepted, you can appeal the decision to the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Court Division.
Questions? Contact Cherry Hill PTI Attorney Steven A. Traub
If you’ve been arrested for the first time and charged with an indictable offense, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about the PTI program. If the court grants your request to enter the program, you can avoid a criminal trial, conviction, and jail while receiving help to avoid a run-in with the law later. For more information regarding the PTI program, contact Cherry Hill criminal defense lawyer Steven A. Traub today. Click Here For A Free Consultation