The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) was designed to provide individuals, usually those who are first-time offenders, with “opportunities for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution” [Source: New Jersey Courts]. One of the goals of PTI is to “render early rehabilitative services” which are meant to aid in resolving personal problems. This, in turn, is expected to “deter future criminal behavior.”
When a defendant is successfully admitted into a PTI program, which can last up to three years, he or she must comply with the terms required of them or face the potential penalties of the crime he or she was initially accused of committing. One of the ways a defendant can increase their chances of being admitted into the program is to retain an experienced Newark, NJ criminal defense attorney to represent them in their case.
What happens after the charges filed against a defendant are postponed?
Following the period of postponement, Rule 3:28 of the PTI Program says that the judge assigned to the case shall make one of the following dispositions:
- The complaint, indictment, or accusation that was made against the defendant may be dismissed given that the criminal division manager recommends this and the prosecutor along with the defendant consent to this disposition.
- The judge may “further postpone all proceedings against such defendant on such charges for an additional period of time as long as the aggregate of the postponement periods under the rule does not exceed thirty-six months.” In the event proceedings have been postponed, at the concussion of this period, the judge may not postpone the proceedings again, but instead will need to make a disposition that is accordance with the first or third disposition presented here.
- The court may proceed in the ordinary course and the judge designated to handle the case “shall afford the defendant a hearing.”
- Return the defendant to prosecution in the ordinary course. When this disposition has been reached, “no program records, investigative reports, reports made for a court or prosecuting attorney, or statements made by the defendant to program staff shall be admissible in evidence against such defendant.”
- “No statement or other disclosure regarding the charge or charges against the participant made or disclosed by a participant in pretrial intervention to a person designated to provide supervisory treatment shall be disclosed by such person at any time, to the prosecutor, nor shall any such statement or disclosure be admitted as evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding against the participant, provided that the criminal division manager shall not be prevented from informing the prosecutor, or the court, on request or otherwise, whether the participant is satisfactorily responding to supervisory treatment.”
The simple and most important takeway is that completion of the period of postponement and all the required conditions means the charges filed will be dismissed.
How do I know if my circumstances qualify me to be admitted into the PTI program?
To find out whether the criminal charges filed against you either permit or prohibit you from being admitted into the PTI program, contact The Law Office of Eric M. Mark today to speak with Newark, NJ criminal defense lawyer Eric M. Mark. Every case is different as are the circumstances surrounding it which means you will need to have a lawyer assess your charges and determine whether or not you can apply to participate in the PTI program. If you are ready to speak with a trusted defense lawyer now regarding PTI programs or have another question pertaining to the criminal charges that were filed against you in Newark, NJ, contact us now at 973-453-2009.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
201 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102