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Understanding the guidelines and operations of pretrial intervention programs

Those charged with a crime in New Jersey may qualify for the Pretrial Intervention Program. The PTI offers alternatives to the traditional criminal process.

The purpose of the PTI model is to provide rehabilitation to those charged with criminal offenses. An intervention program attempts to give the person other ways to deter future crimes.

Pretrial intervention eligibility

There are various conditions for eligibility into the program. Eligible defendants will meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years or older or a juvenile charged as an adult
  • Residents of New Jersey
  • Non-residents who prove they can receive supervision and counseling

If you had a prior diversion, you may not be eligible to apply again. If your charges involve crimes with mandatory minimum incarceration periods, you need the permission of the prosecutor to apply for the program. Prior convictions and domestic violence allegations may also require the prosecutor’s permission ahead of time.

Officials will assess your criminal history during the application process. They consider the type of crime and whether you committed the crime in conjunction with organized criminal activity. The court may also consider the opinion of the victim.

Pretrial intervention process

If you require consent, the prosecutor will respond within 14 days. When entered into the program, you may have an opportunity to maintain innocence unless admission is part of an effective intervention. You have to enter a guilty plea for first or second-degree crimes or crimes you already faced convictions for. In some cases, you may require supervision and restitution. For example, you may have a community service requirement.

When faced with criminal charges, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and afraid for your future. Fortunately, New Jersey offers different options to help those with criminal allegations take control of their lives and impact their future. A pretrial intervention can alter your overall course.

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