Passaic County NJ Pretrial Intervention Program Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Totowa, New Jersey
When you are facing criminal charges for a felony offense in New Jersey, you may have more legal options than you think. New Jersey affords certain eligible defendants the opportunity to enroll in diversionary programs such as Pretrial Intervention (PTI), conditional discharge, and conditional dismissal, as an alternative means by which to have their charges dismissed. Pretrial Intervention is a diversionary program that applies to indictable offenses, meaning charges that are handled at the Superior Court level. If you are charged with an indictable (i.e., felony-level) offense and you secure in enrollment in PTI, your charges are suspended while you complete a probationary period, after which the charges against you are dismissed.
Alissa Hascup is a highly skilled criminal defense attorney who has assisted many clients with resolving their cases through the Pretrial Intervention Program. With offices in conveniently located in Totowa and Denville, NJ, Ms. Hascup regularly handles cases in Paterson, Wayne, Clifton, Totowa, Little Falls, and throughout Passaic County. She is a former assistant county prosecutor with first-hand knowledge about both sides of the legal system, and she uses this invaluable insight to achieve superior results for clients charged with offenses such as distribution of marijuana, burglary, unlawful possession of a weapon, and aggravated assault. If you have been charged with a felony and are wondering if you may be eligible for Pretrial Intervention (PTI), contact Alissa Hascup today at 862-257-1200 to discuss your case and receive a free consultation.
New Jersey Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)
New Jersey law regarding the Pretrial Intervention Program can be found in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 and Court Rule 3:28, which contain the rules and guidelines of Pretrial Intervention regarding eligibility, admission, rejection, appeals, and more. The purpose of PTI is to encourage rehabilitation and to allow individuals who successfully comply with its provisions to avoid having a criminal record. The PTI brochure is available here.
Who is Eligible for Pretrial Intervention
In order to be considered eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program, you must meet a variety of criteria. First, you must be charged with an indictable offense, typically a third degree crime or a fourth degree crime. First degree and second degree crimes, as well as drug distribution offenses involving Schedule I or Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substances, official misconduct charges, violent crimes (including domestic violence offenses, crimes committed while subject to a temporary or permanent restraining order, and crimes involving violence or the threat of violence), and organized criminal activity offenses are typically ineligible but may be considered with the approval of the prosecutor. Next, you cannot have previously used a diversionary program such as PTI, conditional discharge, or conditional dismissal. Also, you cannot have completed a prison sentence, probation, or parole in the last 5 years. Typically, PTI is an attractive option for first-time offenders who want to avoid a criminal record, as well as the time and risk involved with taking their case to trial. PTI is also an attractive option for offenders that are not citizens of the United States.
NOTE that a guilty plea is normally not required as a condition of enrollment in PTI. HOWEVER, PTI admission will be conditioned on a guilty plea for the following types of individuals: (1) those charged with a crime of the first or second degree; (2) those who have a prior conviction for a first or second degree crime; (3) those charged with a crime of domestic violence; and (4) those charged with a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense involving domestic violence if the offense was committed while the subject to a temporary or permanent restraining order.
Factors Considered for Enrollment in PTI
When considering your application for PTI admission, prosecutors and program directors are instructed to consider the following factors:
- The nature of the offense;
- The facts of the case;
- The motivation and age of the defendant;
- The desire of the complainant or victim to forego prosecution;
- The existence of personal problems and character traits which may be related to the applicant’s crime and for which services are unavailable within the criminal justice system, or which may be provided more effectively through supervisory treatment and the probability that the causes of criminal behavior can be controlled by proper treatment;
- The likelihood that the applicant’s crime is related to a condition or situation that would be conducive to change through his participation in supervisory treatment;
- The needs and interests of the victim and society;
- The extent to which the applicant’s crime constitutes part of a continuing pattern of anti-social behavior;
- The applicant’s record of criminal and penal violations and the extent to which he may present a substantial danger to others;
- Whether or not the crime is of an assaultive or violent nature, whether in the criminal act itself or in the possible injurious consequences of such behavior;
- Consideration of whether or not prosecution would exacerbate the social problem that led to the applicant’s criminal act;
- The history of the use of physical violence toward others;
- Any involvement of the applicant with organized crime;
- Whether or not the crime is of such a nature that the value of supervisory treatment would be outweighed by the public need for prosecution;
- Whether or not the applicant’s involvement with other people in the crime charged or in other crime is such that the interest of the State would be best served by processing his case through traditional criminal justice system procedures;
- Whether or not the applicant’s participation in pretrial intervention will adversely affect the prosecution of codefendants; and
- Whether or not the harm done to society by abandoning criminal prosecution would outweigh the benefits to society from channeling an offender into a supervisory treatment program.
The Pretrial Intervention Program Period of Probation
With the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can become enrolled in Pretrial Intervention through a multi-phase process. During the PTI probationary period, you will have a probation officer to whom you report. You may also be required to submit to mandatory drug testing, community service, to pay fines, and to maintain employment. The probationary period can extend to up to 3 years. If you successfully complete the period of probation, the charges against you are dismissed and you will avoid having a conviction on your criminal record.
Contact Denville NJ PTI Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Passaic County, Morris County or elsewhere in New Jersey, you may be eligible for participation in the Pretrial Intervention Program. Alissa Hascup is a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer who has successfully assisted countless clients with enrollment into PTI. To discuss your case with Ms. Hascup today, call 862-257-1200.