Burlington County NJ Pre-Trial Intervention Program Attorneys
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Mount Holly, New Jersey
New Jersey provides several diversionary programs for first-time offenders charged with certain crimes. The Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) is one such alternative that allows you to have your criminal charges dismissed by successfully completing program requirements during a probationary term. If you are charged with a indictable crime (also known as a felony), you have no prior criminal record, and you have never used a diversionary program like PTI, conditional discharge, or conditional dismissal before, you may be eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to avoid a criminal record and any incarceration you may be facing, which is why it is essential to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about all of your legal options if you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey.
The NJ criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison have been helping clients resolve criminal charges such as heroin possession, intent to distribute marijuana, burglary, theft, and possession of prescription drugs for over 20 years. Led by Attorney Leonard Biddison, who has earned a Preeminent 5 out of 5 rating from Martindale-Hubbell, our diligent criminal defense lawyers stop at nothing to deliver the best possible results to our clients. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, or elsewhere in South Jersey, contact our office now at 856-427-6888 for a free consultation. We are available anytime to discuss your case and your legal options.
The Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI): The Basics
In order to apply for admission into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) in New Jersey, you must first confirm that you’re eligible. The criteria for PTI eligibility are as follows:
- You must be an adult (PTI does not apply in juvenile cases);
- You must be charged with an indictable offense (typically a third degree or fourth degree crime);
- You must not have not been previously convicted of a criminal offense; and
- You must not have used a diversionary program before (i.e. conditional discharge, conditional dismissal
More often than that, defendants who are already on probation or parole are not considered viable candidates for the Pre-trial Intervention Program. Also, individuals charged with first degree and second degree crimes are generally not accepted into PTI.
Applying for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program
After the first step of finding out if you are eligible, you must make an application to the Court for admission into the PTI program in the county in which your charges were filed. This process is best done with the assistance of an attorney. The application fee is $75. Once you submit an application for the Pre-trial Intervention Program, you will be interviewed by the probation department. A probation officer will inquire about your background, current job situation, the nature of the charges you are facing, and any other relevant factors.
Then, the probation department must determine that you are a good candidate for the Pre-trial Intervention Program and recommend you to the County Prosecutor’s Office. In order to gain admission into PTI, both the probation department and County Prosecutor’s Office must approve it in your case. If the County Prosecutor rejects your application, you are entitled to appeal this determination. If you are accepted into PTI, you will enter a term of probation and be required to comply with the program’s conditions. The term of probation can range from a minimum of one year to up to three years.
Conditions of the PTI Program in New Jersey
Once you become enrolled in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, the criminal charges are suspended while you are under supervision. This suspension will continue until the probationary period concludes. While on PTI probation, you must comply with the program’s requirements and any other conditions set forth by the Judge in your case. Some of the conditions of PTI may include: not being arrested or charged with another offense, paying fines and fees, performing community service, reporting to a probation officer, undergoing psychological testing, submitting to random urine tests, avoiding drugs and alcohol, seeking mental health counseling, notifying the probation department if you move or plan to leave the state, maintaining employment, being enrolled in school, making restitution payments, and/or having no contact with the victim in your case.
If you complete PTI during this probationary period, the original charges against you are dismissed. Six months after successfully completing the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, you can apply for an expungement to remove the arrest and underlying charges from your criminal record. If your expungement is granted, you can answer “no” to questions like “have you ever been arrested?” and have a clean record appear on a criminal background check. This is extremely important, particularly when you are pursuing employment opportunities or applying to institutions of higher learning.
Contact a Camden County NJ Pre-Trial Intervention Program Lawyer Today
For additional information and to find out if you may be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program in New Jersey, contact the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison at 856-427-6888. You can also reach out online to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer who can help.