The Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) in New Jersey Criminal Cases
New Jersey PTI Lawyers in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark
The Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) for first time offenders in New Jersey Criminal Cases
The Pre-Trial Intervention program (known as “PTI”) is a first-time offender program in certain New Jersey criminal matters. The PTI program is a Superior Court program so it must be used on indictable (felony) level crimes in the county in which you have been charged. Commonly, third degree and fourth degree crimes are the types of offenses that can be placed in the PTI program. Technically, you can get PTI on a first or second degree criminal charge but that is unlikely based on the severity of those types of charges. You can only use PTI once in your life so if you use it now, you will not be eligible for any diversionary program again in the future.
The NJ Criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have handled a number of PTI cases over the years and are available to assist you immediately at 201-556-1571. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
Can I apply for PTI?
To be eligible for PTI you must meet the following criteria:
- Never been convicted of a criminal offense before
- Never used a diversionary program before (either a conditional discharge, conditional dismissal or PTI)
- Be charged with a crime in which you are eligible
If you meet these criteria then you can apply for the PTI program in the county Superior Court in which you are charged. It is a $75 application fee. You will be interviewed by a probation officer for your PTI application. They will discuss the nature of your charges, your background, any employment status, and any other facts you wish for them to consider (like character letters, etc.). Probation will then make a recommendation to the county prosecutor’s office as to whether or not they think you are a good candidate for PTI. Then, the prosecutor’s office will accept or reject you from the program. If you are rejected, you have the right to appeal that rejection to a judge, known as a PTI appeal. If you are accepted, your case will then proceed to a judge so you can be placed into the PTI program. If you are placed on the program, you will be placed on probation for a period of 1-3 years. There will be certain standard conditions and special conditions of PTI you must comply with. If you successfully complete the program your charges will be dismissed at the end of your probation.
I have been recommended for the PTI program by probation and the prosecutor’s office, what happens next?
Once you have been recommended for PTI by the County probation department and the County prosecutor’s office, you must be placed into the program by a Superior Court Judge. The Judge will sign as order of suspension which will freeze or suspend your charges for the period of your probation (1-3 years). There are certain standard conditions of PTI you must comply with including:
- Remain arrest free
- Comply with your probation officer
- Do not move out of the State
- If you are leaving the State you must notify probation
- Maintain or seek employment or be enrolled in school
- If you receive a ticket or summons you must notify probation
In addition, based on the nature of your case, there will also be special conditions of PTI which could include the following:
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Community service
- Forfeiture of property (like a BB gun or weapon)
- Psychological counseling
- No contact with the victim
Your attorney and the court will review these conditions with you before you are placed into the PTI program. Then, the judge will sign the suspension order and you will be placed on PTI supervision.
I’ve been accepted into PTI and placed on PTI probation, what happens now?
Comply with all of your conditions and the charges will be dismissed. If you have met all the requirements, you can file a motion to have your PTI terminated early after half of the probation period has been served. Once you successfully complete PTI, the charges are dismissed and you have no criminal record. However, there is an arrest record which will show up on a background check. There is a six (6) month waiting period after you successfully complete PTI and you are eligible to expunge that arrest off of your record.
For more information, contact the NJ criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm LLC for immediate assistance at 201-556-1571. Our attorneys are available immediately at our offices to answer all of your questions.