Have you been charged with a criminal offense such as heroin possession, marijuana distribution, cocaine possession, shoplifting or credit card fraud? Does that criminal offense carry the potential for incarceration at the Atlantic County Jail or a separate New Jersey State Penitentiary? There may be a diversionary program available to help you avoid going to prison for these charges. Depending on the degree of your charges, your prior record, and the circumstances of your offense you may be eligible for what’s known as the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. This diversionary program was created to afford certain first-time offense an alternative to incarceration and a criminal record. PTI is typically offered typically provided to those offenders who have not been previously convicted committed a criminal offense in New Jersey or any other jurisdiction. For those defendants facing the criminal justice system for the first time, Pretrial Intervention may be a blessing as it could keep or your loved one out of prison.
Am I Eligible for Pretrial Intervention in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Pretrial Intervention requires that certain criteria be considered before a person may be admitted into the diversionary program. Specifically, these factors that are considered are as follows:
1. Nature of Offense
- Generally, persons charged with a first or second-degree crime or with sale or dispensing of Schedule I or II controlled dangerous Substance, and if not drug dependent should not be considered for application except on joint application with the prosecutor. Persons charged with an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of parole ineligibility, such as the Graves Act, are also subject to a presumption of PTI ineligibility. However, exceptions may be made for these instances.
2. The Facts of the Case
3. Age and Motivation of Defendant
- Pretrial Intervention is designed to deal only with adult defendants who are above the age of eighteen as well as juveniles between the ages of sixteen and eighteen whose cases have been treated as if they were adults.
4. Desire of Victim
5. Character and Personal Problems of Defendant
6. Likelihood of Rehabilitation or Change
7. Needs and Interest of Victim and Society
8. Pattern of Anti-Social Behavior
9. Prior Record
- Although a prior conviction is not an absolute disqualification, ordinarily such a conviction will bar entrance into the program
10. Assaultive or Violent Crime
11. Prosecution would Exacerbate Problem
12. History of Use of Violence
13. Involvement in Organized Crime
14. Public Need for Prosecution
15. Defendant’s Involvement with Others
16. Impact on Codefendants
17. Harm to Society by Abandoning Prosecution
If you or someone you love are facing indictable charges in Atlantic County, all is not lost. Contact an experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney about your pending charges and find out what can be done to avoid some of the more serious consequences like imprisonment and the stigma of a criminal record. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a criminal defense firm experienced at handling any indictable or non-indictable matter you may be facing. For immediate assistance and a free initial consultation, contact our lawyers at (877)450-8301.