Violations of PTI and Conditional Discharge in NJ

Burlington NJ PTI Violation LawyersPre-Trial Intervention (PTI) and conditional discharge are two valuable diversionary programs available to certain criminal defendants, usually first-time offenders, in New Jersey. Participation in each program involves personalized requirements and conditions. If you successfully comply with the conditions of PTI or conditional discharge, your charges will be dismissed after a period of probation. If you violate these conditions, you can face serious consequences.

If you have violated the terms of your PTI or conditional discharge or you have been accused of violating the conditions, you may have a number of questions about what happens next. This article explains the process and possible results of Pretrial Intervention and conditional discharge violations in New Jersey. For more information and a free consultation about your specific case, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison anytime. We can be reached online or by calling 856-245-5240.

What happens if I violate conditions of PTI or conditional discharge in NJ?

Common conditions for participation in the diversionary programs of PTI and conditional discharge include submitting to drug testing, maintaining employment or enrollment in an educational program, completion of community service, attending required counseling sessions, and paying restitution to victims.

If you violate the terms of PTI, the judge has several options. The court can allow you to continue PTI with the same conditions (this is, of course, the most ideal outcome), order you to go to drug or alcohol treatment, mandate counseling, extend your probation period, or remove you from the program. If you are removed from the program, the original charges against you will be reinstated and you will face them in court.

If a judge determines that you violated the terms of your conditional discharge, they may order you to continue your sentence of conditional discharge, extend the duration of your conditional discharge, modify or expand the conditions on your conditional discharge, or terminate your participation in the program, resulting in the reinstatement of your original charges.

Is there a hearing for a PTI or conditional discharge violation?

Yes. You are entitled to a hearing to defend yourself against allegations that you violated the terms and conditions of PTI or conditional discharge. In assessing whether you violated the conditions of PTI, the court will consider: (1) whether you willfully violated the conditions, (2) whether you are still a suitable candidate for PTI; and (3) whether dismissal from the program or modification is warranted.

PTI Violation Lawyer in Burlington NJ

If you have been accused of violating the terms and conditions required for your participation in PTI or the conditional discharge program, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. You will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations against you and if your defense lawyer can demonstrate that you did not violate the terms and conditions of PTI or conditional discharge, you will be able to stay in the program and avoid the reinstatement of your original charges.

Do not go to a hearing on your alleged violations of PTI or conditional discharge alone. You usually can only participate in a diversionary program like this once. Your hearing is an opportunity to present your best argument and possibly avoid being terminated from the program. Contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm today at 856-245-5240 to review your case and defend you against these allegations. We defend clients accused of violating PTI and conditional discharge in Mt Laurel, Mt Holly, Cinnaminson, Burlington, Bordentown, Cherry Hill, Camden, and throughout the South Jersey area.

Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Working on New Drug Treatment Program

Drug Court Attorneys Burlington County NJThe Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office is currently developing a new program to help people who are addicted to drugs receive treatment, as opposed to facing drug charges for marijuana, heroin, cocaine, opioids like Oxycontin, and another controlled dangerous substances (CDS).

The program, entitled “Straight to Treatment,” is designed to offer people who are addicted to drugs a chance to receive treatment without being afraid they will be arrested. Under the program, a person can go to a participating police station, turn in any drugs in their possession, and receive assistance in finding a drug treatment program. Scott Coffina, the Burlington County Prosecutor, began working on the concept for the program because he felt the need to fight the drug epidemic on several fronts, including access to drug treatment programs.

At this time, there is not a launch date for the program because it is still in the planning stage, but officials hope the program will begin later this year. Evesham Township is the first town to approve participation by their police department in the program once it begins.

One of the challenges that programs like these often encounter is the availability of drug treatment providers. The ideal situation is to have the person enter a treatment program the day they come into the police station seeking help. However, this can be a difficult challenge when no treatment providers are willing or able to accept a new patient. The program designers are working on a way to ensure that people will be able to enter a program when they decide to seek assistance voluntarily. Right now, Oaks Integrated Care in Mount Holly, NJ, has entered an agreement with the township to help provide referral services and screening services for those who want to enter the program.

Drug Court Program in Burlington County, NJ

Although the aforementioned program has yet to be implemented, Burlington County currently offers several other diversionary programs for individuals who have already been arrested and charged with drug offenses. Drug Court is a prime example of a program available to non-violent offenders in Marlton, Mount Holly, Cinnaminson, Moorestown, and throughout Burlington County.

New Jersey’s Drug Courts aim to help offenders who are addicted to drugs or alcohol overcome their addiction while resolving their criminal charges. The program began in 1996 with the Essex County Superior Court and the Camden County Superior Court. By 2000, the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges called for a comprehensive statewide proposal stating that drug courts should be adopted as a “best practice.” Drug courts offered a groundbreaking alternative to the original approach of dealing with the drug epidemic.

Today, drug courts offer offenders a way to change their lives while they are resolving a criminal charge. Each of the 21 counties in New Jersey has a drug court. Nonviolent offenders who are accepted into the program follow an intensive substance abuse treatment program as part of their probation sentence.

Probation officers and substance abuse experts closely monitor their progress to ensure they are complying with the program’s requirements, in addition to their probation requirements. Most drug treatment plans last between one and two years. Participants are expected to attend treatment sessions, meet with probation officers, and undergo random drug screenings. Since the inception of drug courts, thousands of individuals charged with drug crimes or drug-related crimes have found help with their addiction through New Jersey’s Drug Courts.

Arrested for Drugs in South Jersey? Our Experienced NJ Drug Defense Attorneys are Here to Assist You

If you have been charged with drug possession, distribution, or intent to distribute CDS in South Jersey, you should find out about all of your available options before deciding how to resolve your case. To learn more about your charges, the penalties you face, and potential ways to have your charges dismissed, contact the experienced drug defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison today. You can reach us by phone at 856-245-5240 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.

Source: “Prosecutor’s Straight to Treatment program takes next step in planning process.” Kelly Kultys. Burlington County Times. 20 March 2018.

Burlington County Launches Veterans Diversion Program

Mount Holly Veterans Defense LawyerBurlington County is implementing a new Veterans Diversion Program, which allows eligible veterans and active members of the armed services to resolve criminal charges through mental health services as opposed to the traditional legal process.

Current Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced the start of the initiative on Friday. The Veterans Diversion Program is based on a bill spearheaded by New Jersey State Senator Diane Allen of Edgewater Park and signed by Governor Chris Christie in May. Allen said she began working toward the legislation after an idea from a Municipal Court Judge in Moorestown. The intention of the program is to divert veterans and active-duty service members accused of non-violent crimes and lower-level offenses from being criminally prosecuted by providing them with counseling and treatment programs.

The process is as follows: if a person is arrested, police officers should ask them if they are former or active military. If a veteran or service member is charged with a criminal offense, they can apply for the Veterans Diversion Program and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether or not to grant their admission. When determining a person’s eligibility, the prosecutor’s office will consider the nature and circumstances of the offense, applicant’s criminal record (if any), and the likelihood that the person will respond well to treatment.

If the defendant is admitted into the Veterans Diversion Program program, they must agree to comply with the program’s provisions. Then, they must complete the requirements of the program during a period of probation. These include:

If a person successfully completes the program, which can extend from 6 months to up to 2 years, the initial charges are dismissed. Then, the person can also seek to expunge their entire criminal record of arrest(s) and criminal charges. In other words, you can start with a clean slate in the eyes of the law. This can be very important when applying for jobs or other opportunities moving forward. Notably, the Veterans Diversion Program is unique among diversionary programs in New Jersey because a person can use it more than one time if necessary.

This program is extremely beneficial in the Burlington County area, particularly because of its proximity to the Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst. Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst spans over 18 miles through a number of Burlington County municipalities, including Pemberton, Springfield, North Hanover, New Hanover, and Wrightstown. In fact, the Prosecutor Scott Coffina mentioned in his announcement that Burlington County has one of the largest populations of veterans and active service members in New Jersey.

Criminal Defense Lawyers for Veterans in Burlington County NJ

With so many members of the armed services in the Burlington County region, it is inevitable that some may have run-ins with the criminal justice system at some point. The important thing is that we honor these heroes with legal options like the Veterans Diversion Program. At The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison, our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys fight passionately on behalf of those who so selflessly fight for us. If you are a veteran or active member of the military facing criminal charges in Burlington County, New Jersey, contact us for a free consultation anytime at (856)-427-6888. We are happy to discuss your specific case, as well as the potential defenses and programs that we can use to have your charges dismissed.

For additional information related to this matter, access the following article: County unveils program to keep some veterans out of jail


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