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PTI Rejection Appeal

July 9, 2012

The Law Firm of Randolph H. Wolf recently represented an individual that was charged with Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39:4-50, and Assault by Auto in the Third Degree, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2), following an accident in which the client’s car veered into another lane, causing a collision with another motor vehicle. The client expressed remorse as a result of the accident and has since abstained from drinking altogether.

Up until the present offense, the individual had never been arrested nor been charged with any criminal offenses. As such, Mr. Wolf felt that the individual would make the ideal Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”) program candidate. Despite the fact that the client’s probation officer recommended the individual for acceptance and the victim consented to the client’s admittance, the prosecutor rejected the client’s PTI application. The prosecutor based her decision on the fact that the client knew that he had an alcohol problem and has sought treatment in the past, yet still intentionally consumed large amounts of alcohol and got behind the wheel of his car.

Mr. Wolf appealed the prosecutor’s rejection, filing a brief on the client’s behalf in which he argued that the prosecutor abused her discretion in rejecting the client’s application. He first noted that the prosecutor was mistaken as to the facts of the case and that, at the time of the accident, the client was not aware that he had a drinking problem nor had he undergone any previous counseling or treatment for any alcohol-related condition. As such, he argued, the prosecutor based her decision on facts unsupported by the record. Additionally, he argued that the prosecutor erred in failing to weigh both the positive and negative factors regarding the client’s admission into PTI. Instead, he argued, she merely addressed those factors that she considered to be negative. A full and fair consideration, he noted, would have resulted in the client’s acceptance into the program.

The case is currently pending before the court. If you have recently been rejected for PTI, please note that you have only 10 days in which to appeal that decision. Contact the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf today for more information.

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