What is Pretrial Intervention?
Pretrial Intervention, more commonly referred to as “PTI”, is a diversionary program in New Jersey that allows certain individuals to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution and be placed on a probationary period. That probationary period, which can range anywhere from six months to three years, comes with several standard conditions that the probationer must abide by. The two main conditions are reporting to their probation officer as directed and remaining arrest-free. In addition to the standard conditions, the probationer may also have several special conditions imposed as well, they can include entering a guilty plea as a condition of entering PTI, anger management, community service, drug counseling, mental health counseling, no victim contact, and restitution. If the probationer is able to complete the term, without violating any of the conditions, the charges will be dismissed outright.
Can my PO Violate my PTI?
A Defendant can violate PTI in a variety of different ways. Some of the most common violations that we see in Monmouth County include but are not limited to the following:
- Getting Arrested for a New Crime
- Failing to Report to Probation Officer as Directed
- Failing a Drug Test
- Failing to Pay Restitution
- Violating a No Victim Contact
- Failing to Complete
- Community Service
- Anger Management
- Drug Treatment
- Mental Health Treatment
Although anyone of the aforementioned incident(s) could technically be a violation of PTI, some are taken more seriously than others. In addition, in order to be “violated”, the probation officer must file a formal violation of PTI report with the Court. Once that occurs, the case will be placed back on the court docket for disposition.
What Happens if I Violate PTI?
Once a violation of the PTI report has been filed with the court, the individual is entitled to a formal termination hearing. During this hearing, it will be up to the Judge to determine whether or not the individual did in fact violate the terms of PTI. Traditionally, the probation officer will be called upon to testify as to exactly what the individual did to violate PTI and would be subject to cross-examination as well. If the judge concludes that the individual violated the terms of PTI then the individual will formally be removed from the program. What happens next will be determined by how the individual entered PTI: with or without a plea.
Pretrial Intervention Without a Plea Violation in New Jersey:
- If the individual was not required to enter a plea of guilty to a charge as a condition of entering the program, the case is sent back to the trial court and the case will proceed through the normal course. In other words, the case will be litigated through traditional court proceedings.
Pretrial Intervention With a Plea Violation in NJ:
- If the individual was required to enter a plea of guilty to a charge as a condition of entering the program the case will be sent to the trial court and listed for sentencing. Unlike a PTI violation without a plea, the individual under these circumstances is not entitled to litigate the case and all that is left is for the individual to be sentenced. Furthermore, depending on the type of plea entered, a negotiated sentence could have been predetermined as well.
PTI Violation Lawyer in Freehold NJ
If you or a loved one has violated the pretrial intervention program and are facing a formal termination hearing, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The courts take PTI termination hearings very seriously, as it tends to show them that the individual did not take their “lenient” sentence seriously. PTI is geared to give an individual an opportunity to show the court that they can be rehabilitated. So when someone doesn’t take that opportunity seriously and violates the program, the court tends to take a more aggressive approach. If you are scheduled for a PTI termination hearing and would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys today, then please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online. As always, our initial consultations are free of cost, so if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us. We serve all of Monmouth County, including Howell, Tinton Falls, Holmdel, Middletown, Freehold, Englishtown, Manalapan, Marlboro, Hazlet, Aberdeen, and Atlantic Highlands.