Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”) is a diversionary program that allows defendants to avoid prosecution for an indictable criminal offense by completing a program of supervision. The term of PTI is typically one year although a court has authority to extend the period. Successful completion of Pretrial Intervention results in dismissal of the related charge. If you have been charged with a crime of the second degree, third degree or fourth degree and are interested in applying for PTI, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal lawyer. An attorney who is well versed in procedures for admission into the program will insure that you have the very best chance of admission. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, with over 100 years of experience and several prosecutors on staff, is well equipped to represent you in this capacity. To speak to one of the lawyers on our team anytime 24/7, call our Somerville Office or Bridgewater Office.
Application for Admission. PTI is initiated by an application by the defendant. This customarily occurs at the time of the pre-indictment conference although it may be filed anytime at least seven days prior to entry of the initial plea to the indictment.
Eligibility. Crimes of the fourth degree and third degree are eligibility for diversion through Pretrial Intervention. In terms of a second degree crime, an application can only be filed if consent to do so is provided by the prosecutor. It should also be noted that eligibility is limited to individuals who have not had the benefit of a diversion program previously (e.g. Conditional Discharge or PTI).
Evaluation of the Application. Initial consideration is the responsibility of the program director. If the director recommends that the defendant be admitted into the program, the application is then sent to the Somerset County Prosecutor for approval. The prosecutor has broad authority to reject the applicant and his/her decision may only be overturned if it is a patent and gross abuse of discretion. Provided this does not occur, however, the case is sent to a judge sitting in the Somerset County Superior Court in Somerville so that he/she may advise the defendant of the conditions of PTI and sign the order of postponement.
Entry of a Guilty Plea. There is no requirement that a defendant enter plea in order to gain admission into Pretrial Intervention unlike the municipal court program known as Conditional Dismissal. In fact, prosecutors are strictly prohibited from conditioning PTI on entry of a plea.
Standard Conditions of the Program. The standard conditions that must be adhered to during the postponement period include: (1) reporting to probation as directed; (2) remaining arrest free; and (3) abstaining from illegal drug use. Violation of any one of these conditions, for example, submitting a positive drug test, results in termination of participation and resurrection of the original criminal offense.
Flemington NJ Pretrial Intervention Attorney
If you are facing a criminal offense in Hunterdon County, your Pretrial Intervention application will be processed at the Hunterdon County Superior Court in Flemington. This is where you will meet with a member of probation and your request for entry into PTI will be reviewed by the director of the program and the prosecutor’s office. Our lawyers know the ins and outs of properly filing and securing entry. An attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is ready to immediately assist you in gaining admission. For a free initial consultation, contact our office any time of day or night.