Pretrial Intervention Programs in New Jersey

Breslow Law Offices in New Jersey is excellent at helping clients meet all pretrial diversionary programs’ enrollment requirements.

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If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid a conviction. You may have the option of applying for enrollment in the New Jersey pretrial intervention program (PTI). It provides alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system and can result in preventing the offense from being entered into your criminal record. It essentially allows for the opportunity to “wipe your slate clean,” as if the crime had never occurred. 

At the Breslow Law Offices, our dedicated attorneys will help you navigate New Jersey’s PTI program enrollment requirements so that you can get your life back on track. We have helped thousands of clients keep their criminal records clean. The criminal defense attorneys at Breslow Law Offices want to help you too. If you would like to get your record clean, contact us or call 973-239-8000.

What is a Pretrial Intervention Program?

A pretrial intervention program is also known as a diversionary program.  People enrolled in PTI programs can avoid a criminal conviction, jail time, and other punishments by participating in rehabilitation that may deter future criminal offenses. Examples include community service, counseling, and supervisory treatment. Generally, PTI applies to first-time offenders; however, there are exceptions. These programs can help defendants avoid the more harsh penalties associated with traditional prosecution and the criminal justice system. 

The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice requires that prosecutors and criminal division program directors consider 17 criteria when evaluating applications for pretrial diversionary programs. Some of these are:

  • Motivation and age of the defendant.
  • Existence of personal problems.
  • Facts of the case.
  • Needs and interests of the victim and society.

What are the Benefits?

One of the most significant benefits of completing a PTI program is that the offense is expunged or removed from your criminal record. Therefore, you would not be required to report it on documents such as applications for employment, housing, and rental agreements or scholarship applications. In short, the mistake or lapse in judgment will not follow you around for the rest of your life. 

In our experiences at the Breslow Law Offices, we have concluded that an overwhelming number of criminal cases can result from individual personal problems. Unfortunate circumstances may result from a difficult upbringing, mental health issues, or any number of other reasons. Enrollment in a PTI program can help defendants enter into counseling, supervision, and other treatment programs. Thus, the overarching goal is to provide early rehabilitative services and eliminate the underlying factors that often lead to criminal charges, effectively deterring future criminal behavior.

The whole of society benefits when individuals succeed in PTI programs. If low-risk, first-time offenders have to serve jail time, they may be influenced by more serious offenders. Upon release, this can, in turn, have a negative impact on the community. Furthermore, the successful completion of PTI programs preserves public safety and valuable public resources. 

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

Eligibility depends on several New Jersey State Rules. It’s important to know that a superior court judge acts on all matters related to pretrial intervention/diversionary programs. This is why it’s critical to talk to the criminal defense lawyers at Breslow Law Offices. We can offer expert legal advice on the NJ criminal justice system. 

To be eligible, you must first of all be:

  • 18 years or older at the time of the offense.
  • A juvenile at the time of the offense who is treated as an adult according to NJ state law.

Several types of indictable offenses may qualify for enrollment into PTI programs. Most are classified as third- or fourth-degree disorderly persons offenses. Although people who have been charged with first- or second-degree crimes may also meet eligibility requirements in some cases. Examples are: 

  • Drug possessions.
  • Weapons violations.
  • Burglary.
  • Shoplifting.
  • Domestic violence (under certain conditions). 
  • Driving While Impaired (DWI)-(under certain conditions).

In some cases, defendants must have a county prosecutor’s approval to be admitted to a PTI program. These include situations in which you have been charged with a crime that results in a jail sentence or a mandatory minimum period of probation ineligibility. 

Conditions for Participation in PTI Programs

If you get accepted, you can be in the pretrial intervention program for up to 36 months. Defendants are assigned to a probation officer who monitors progress and compliance. 

 Conditions for participation can include:

  • Random urine monitoring.
  • Community service.
  • Various types of treatment programs, including drug and alcohol counseling.
  • Payment of restitution.
  • Attendance at all required court dates. 

What if My PTI Application is Denied?

In some cases, an application for PTI can be denied. If this happens, you have the right to appeal the decision. You can count on Breslow Law Offices to provide extensive legal advice on how to move forward to assure the best possible outcome. If you wish to pursue an appeal, we will file a motion with the presiding judge of the criminal division or the judge to whom the case is assigned. We have an excellent track record of assessing the potential for success and winning appeals.  

Getting You Into the PTI Program- Start Today

Although it’s not required to have an attorney to apply for pretrial intervention, even the New Jersey Courts recommend that applicants retain an attorney to ensure a positive result. This is because the PTI application process is very complex. You need someone who can understand some of the confusing rules and deadlines.  The attorneys at the Breslow Law Offices in New Jersey are truly excellent at helping clients meet all pretrial diversionary programs’ enrollment requirements. We are one of the oldest and most experienced law firms in the State of New Jersey. Our passion is helping you return to a normal, productive, and happy life. Contact us for a free consultation by calling 973-239-8000

Reference List:

[1] State of New Jersey. 2019 New Jersey Revised Statutes Title 2C – The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice Section 2C:43-12 – Supervisory treatment – pretrial intervention. Retrieved from: https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2019/title-2c/section-2c-43-12/

[2] Camilletti, C. (2010). Pretrial diversion programs: Research summary. Retrieved from: https://bja.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh186/files/media/document/PretrialDiversionResearchSummary.pdf

[3] New Jersey Courts. (2019). Pretrial Intervention (PTI). [Brochure]. Retrieved from: https://njcourts.gov/forms/10304_pti.pdf?c=JRT.

[4] Pieper, S. (2016, October 16). Eau Claire(WI) Sheriff’s Office successfully employs pre-charge diversion. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://www.lexipol.com/resources/blog/eau-claire-wi-sheriffs-office-successfully-employs-pre- charge-diversion/.

[5] 3rd Millennium Classroom (n.d.) 3 Ways Pre-Trial Intervention Achieves Public Safety. Retrieved from: https://blog.3rdmil.com/3-ways-pretrial-intervention-achieves-public-safety

[6] State of New Jersey. 2019 New Jersey Revised Statutes Title 2C – The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice Section 2C:43-12 – Supervisory treatment – pretrial intervention. Retrieved from: https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2019/title-2c/section-2c-43-12/.

[7] State of New Jersey. (n.d.). Rules governing the courts of the State Of New Jersey. Rules 3:28. Pretrial intervention programs. Retrieved from:  https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/rules/r3-28.pdf.

[8] New Jersey Courts. (2019). Pretrial Intervention (PTI). [Brochure]. Retrieved from: https://njcourts.gov/forms/10304_pti.pdf?c=JRT.

[9] Ibid.