New Jersey Pretrial Intervention Lawyers
Whenever an application for PTI is rejected by the prosecutor or the program director (e.g. probation), the applicant may appeal the decision. We have summarized this process under Pretrial Intervention, however, some individuals may wish to review the entire text of Guideline 8, which sets up the general parameters for PTI appeal. Guideline 8 provides:
The decisions and reasons therefor made by the designated judges (or Assignment Judges), prosecutors and criminal division managers in granting or denying defendants’ applications for PTI enrollment, in recommending and ordering termination from the program or dismissal of charges, in all cases must be reduced to writing and disclosed to defendant.
A defendant may be accepted into a PTI program by the designated judge (or the Assignment Judge) on recommendation of the criminal division manager, and with the consent of the prosecuting attorney and the defendant. Applications that are recommended for enrollment by the criminal division manager and consented to by the prosecutor must be presented to the designated judge (or Assignment Judge) authorized to enter orders. If a defendant desires to challenge the decision of a criminal division manager not to recommend enrollment or of a prosecutor refusing to consent to enrollment into a PTI program, a motion must be filed before the designated judge (or the Assignment Judge) authorized to enter orders under R. 3:28. The challenge is to be based upon alleged arbitrary or capricious action, and the defendant has the burden of showing that the criminal division manager or prosecutor abused discretion in processing the application. No direct appeal can be filed to the Appellate Division challenging the actions of the criminal division manager or the prosecutor. The decision of the criminal division manager or prosecutor may be challenged at a hearing on defendant’s motion before the designated judge (or Assignment Judge) and, thereafter, defendant or prosecutor can seek leave to appeal from the court’s decision denying or permitting enrollment.
A defendant shall also be entitled to a hearing challenging a criminal division manager or prosecutor’s recommendation (following an initial or subsequent adjournment under Rule 3:28) that the prosecution of defendant proceed in the normal course. The decision of the court shall be appealable by the defendant or the prosecutor as in the case of any interlocutory order.
A defendant aggrieved by the decision of the designated judge or assignment judge respecting the joint decision of the criminal division manager and prosecutor to deny an application for participation in a pretrial intervention program may not seek appellate review thereof until after entry of judgment of conviction. A defendant may then seek such review even if the judgment was entered following a plea of guilty. However, a prosecutor whose denial of consent has been reversed by the designated judge or assignment judge may seek leave to appeal pursuant to R. 2:2.