What is Pretrial Intervention in New Jersey?
Hudson County PTI Attorneys
Pretrial Intervention is a Statewide Program in New Jersey that offers an alternative supervisory treatment to incarceration for certain criminal offenders. This alternative form of adjudication is typically offered for those offenders who have not no previously committed a criminal offense in New Jersey or any other jurisdiction, though exceptions may be had for repeat offenders. PTI is intended for 3rd and 4th degree offenses, but prosecutors may make an exception for 1st and 2nd degree offenses when the facts or weaknesses of the specific case demand it. 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 and without a criminal record. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Hudson County, NJ criminal defense firm. Our office has been convincing prosecutor’s and Judge’s for over a decade that their clients deserve an opportunity to participate in the PTI program rather than be scared with felony criminal record or worse yet sent to a State prison. If you have any questions with regards to how the PTI program works or whether or not your eligible, please contact our Jersey City office at (201) 309-1800. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have. Now here is some important information on the PTI program, including eligibility.
What is Pretrial Intervention in Hudson County, NJ?
Generally, there are considered to be five “purposes” of Pretrial Intervention. First, is rehabilitation. The purpose is to provide applicants on an equal basis with opportunities to avoid ordinary prosecution by receiving early rehabilitative services or supervision when the services or supervision can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior by an applicant. The second purpose is to provide an alternative to prosecution for applicants who might be harmed by the imposition of criminal sanctions as presently administered. When such an alternative can be expected to serve as sufficient sanction to deter criminal conduct, then that alternative should be pursued. The third purpose is to provide a mechanism for permitting the least burdensome form of prosecution possible for defendants charged with victimless offenses. The fourth purpose is to provide assistance to criminal calendars in order to focus expenditure of criminal justice resources on matters involving serious criminality and severe correctional problems. The New Jersey Criminal Justice system, as it stands today, is overburdened with a high caseload and insufficient representatives to handle these cases. Pretrial intervention helps to ease these courts suffocating under the expenses of these costly adjudications. Lastly, the fifth purpose is to provide deterrence of future criminal or disorderly behavior in a program of supervisory treatment. The deterrence occurs as a consequence of the person being in the short term rehabilitative or supervisory program, which deters the person from future misconduct.
Am I Eligible for Pretrial Intervention in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Criminal Code lays out certain criteria which the State must consider in determining whether or not to recommend an applicant for participation in a Pretrial Intervention Program. These criteria include the following:
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
The decision of whether or not a Defendant is eligible for the pretrial intervention program will be determined by the Hudson County Probation Department and the Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor assigned to the case. The prosecution has the authority to outright reject the Defendant, even if the probation department recommends that the Defendant for the program. If this happens, defense counsel is able to file an appeal of that decision. If an appeal is filed, both parties will file a brief on the issue and then the matter will be set for oral argument. After oral argument, the Judge can either override the rejection or remand it back to the prosecutor’s office for reconsideration. This is where an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can make a difference.
Hudson County NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys
The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Hudson County criminal defense firm, we have over 100 years of cumulative experience on staff. In addition, our office also has four former prosecutor’s on staff with over twenty-five (25) years of combined experience. We have been representing Defendant’s charged with various criminal offenses including terroristic threats, stalking, theft, shoplifting, aggravated assault, marijuana distribution in towns like West New York, Bayonne, Hoboken, Kearny, Jersey City and North Bergen for over fifteen years. If you would like to speak to any one of our Jersey City NJ criminal defense attorneys, please contact us directly at (201) 309-1800.