Bergen County Pre Trial Intervention Program: N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12

Pre Trial Intervention is a diversionary program that affords certain individuals the opportunity to walk away from their indictable (felony) charges without a criminal record. This program is often referred to as your “one get out of jail free card”. If it is determined that you are eligible, the judge will place you on probation and so long as the you do not violate any of the terms imposed, the judge will dismiss the charges upon completion. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced criminal defense firm and has been getting individuals into the Pre Trial Intervention program throughout Bergen County for over fifteen years. Here is some important information with regards to the program, including what exactly determines your eligibility.

Who is Eligible for the Pre Trial Intervention Program?

Traditional, only defendants charged with low level, non-violent indictable (felony) offenses were able to be apply, let alone be admitted into the program. However, that has changed over the years and now regardless of the charges, a defendant may make application to be admitted into program. The acceptance into the pre trial intervention program will be a joint decision by the probation departement and the prosecutor assigned to your case. With that being said, basically the only factor that will outright ban a defendant from participating in the program. That factor being that  the defendant had previously completed a PTI program (whether in this state or another state) or has received/participated in the a conditional discharge program.
The probation department and the prosecutors office will look to the following factors to determine whether the defendant should be eligible for the for the pre-trail intervention program:
(1) The nature of the offense;
(2) The facts of the case;
(3) The motivation and age of the defendant;
(4) The desire of the complainant or victim to forego prosecution;
(5) 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;
(6) 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;
(7) The needs and interests of the victim and society;
(8) The extent to which the applicant’s crime constitutes part of a continuing pattern of anti-social behavior;
(9) The applicant’s record of criminal and penal violations and the extent to which he may present a substantial danger to others;
(10) 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;
(11) Consideration of whether or not prosecution would exacerbate the social problem that led to the applicant’s criminal act;
(12) The history of the use of physical violence toward others;
(13) Any involvement of the applicant with organized crime;
(14) 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;
(15) 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;
(16) Whether or not applicant’s participation in pretrial intervention will adversely affect the prosecution of codefendants; and
(17) 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.
Basically, whether the defendant will be accepted into Pre Trial Intervention Program will be determined by considering the defendants amenability to correction, responsiveness towards rehabilitation and obviously, the underline nature / facts of the offense involved. It should be noted here, that just because the defendant resides outside the state of New Jersey, it does not automatically make the defendant ineligible for the program. Therefore, if a defendant who resides outside the state would otherwise be eligible for enrollment, the defendant will be accepted and the program director will arrange for the defendant to receive their probation in the State in which they reside. Further, if the defendant is denied enrollment into the pre trial intervention program, the defendant has the absolute right to appeal that decision, by filing a formal motion and requesting an oral argument on the issues.

Over 100 Years of Combined Experience on Staff

This is fantastic program that will afford a defendant the ability to avoid the traditional methods of prosecution and allow them to participate in a program where in which if completed the pending felony charges would be dismissed. If you or someone you know has any questions with regards to their eligibility please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation.