Pre-Trial Intervention

The Pre-Trial Intervention Program is found in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12. It is available only in the Superior Court for persons charged with indictable criminal offenses. It is ordinarily limited to individuals who have not been previously convicted of crimes. It is not available to persons who have previously been diverted into any supervisory treatment program such as Pre-Trial Intervention or Conditional Discharge or for 1st or 2nd degree crimes.

Application is made through the county probation department. If the probation department approves the application it is then reviewed by the county prosecutor who can either approve or decline the application. An appeal of a rejection can be made to a Superior Court judge specially assigned to hear these appeals.

The factors which are considered for acceptance into the PTI program are the nature of the offense, the motivation and age of the defendant, the wishes of the victim, the likelihood that the defendant can be helped by proper treatment, the applicant’s prior criminal record, and whether the crime was violent in nature. Drug offenders who demonstrate a willingness to enter treatment are usually considered good candidates for PTI.

Once accepted the prosecutor and the defendant enter into a supervisory treatment agreement. An order is entered by the Court placing the criminal prosecution into an inactive status for up to 3 years. The normal time period is one year.

Upon successful completion of the program and all prescribed treatment the criminal charges are dismissed. Six months after the order of dismissal is entered a petition of expungement can be filed to erase the criminal history of arrest.

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