Pre-Trial Intervention Programs for First Time Offenders
Criminal charges in New Jersey can be potentially life-changing. Amongst the many penalties for a conviction, the most serious often include hefty jail or prison sentences. However, many first time criminal offenders with a clean record may be eligible for what is known as Pre-Trial Intervention Programs (PTI’s). Pre-Trial Intervention Programs are one type of diversionary program which can help first-time offenders avoid many of the consequences of a felony conviction. However, not all individuals or charges are eligible for PTI’s, and an understanding of the law can mean the difference between spending time in prison and walking free.
Today, our criminal defense attorneys will be defining diversionary programs, the pre-trial intervention program, discuss when these programs may be applicable, and how using PTI’s can be beneficial to first-time offenders.
Passaic County, NJ Pre-Trial Intervention Programs Available to First Time Offenders
Your Passaic County criminal defense attorney may recommend seeking a Pre-Trial Intervention Program if the following is true:
You have been charged with a third or fourth-degree felony. First and second-degree felonies are generally not eligible for diversionary programs. Disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, and municipal ordinance violations may be eligible for different diversionary programs dependent on the circumstance
You have never been convicted of a crime in New Jersey. The PTI program is only eligible for first-time offenders.
You have not used PTI or similar diversionary programs in the past. It is important to understand that participating in a diversionary program in the past may also preclude you from participating in the Pre-Trial Intervention program.
You are not currently under parole or on probation. However, exceptions may be granted in this case dependent on your individual circumstance.
Clifton PTI Lawyers: Criminal Charges Eligible for Diversionary Programs
As previously stated, Pre-Trial Intervention Programs may be applied to any third or fourth-degree felony charges in New Jersey. This is a critical distinction, as it may be possible for a qualified Clifton PTI lawyer to have higher charges downgraded from first or second to allow for participation in a PTI program. This is one of many reasons why the grading of charges is so important. Examples of criminal charges which may apply include but are not limited to:
- Simple Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Marijuana Possession
- Narcotics Possession in a motor vehicle
- Prescription Drug Possession
Wayne Diversionary Program Attorneys Identify the Benefits of Pre-Trial Intervention Programs
If your application to the PTI is successful, participants will be put on a probation period which generally ranges from one (1) to three (3) years. During this time, it is the responsibility of the participant to avoid getting arrested, convicted of any other crimes, or breaking the terms of their probation in any way. At the end of this probation period, your criminal charges will be dropped and you will not receive a mark on your criminal record.
While there will be no criminal conviction on your record, the record of your original arrest will still exist. Thankfully, a Clifton criminal defense attorney should be able to have that arrest record expunged six (6) months after successfully completing the PTI program. At this point, it will be as if you were never arrested from a public perspective.
Contact our Woodland Park Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
The criminal defense attorneys of The Montanari Law Group help clients seek PTI and other diversionary programs throughout Passaic County communities including Woodland Park, Paterson, Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, West Milford, and all of Northern New Jersey. We understand that understanding your legal rights is not always clear for those facing criminal charges. Lean on our experience to seek the best possible outcome for your case, including successful Pre-Trial Intervention participation, reduced charges, or dismissed charges.
To learn more about how we can best serve your criminal defense needs, please contact us online or through our Woodland Park, NJ office by calling (973) 233-4396 today for a free and confidential consultation.