Important Information About Pre-Trial Intervention in the State of New Jersey
The State of New Jersey has created a unique program with the objective of enabling certain eligible defendants the opportunity to have a rehabilitative path after committing certain crimes. The Pre-Trial Intervention Program is a discretionary program created by the Superior Court and governed by Rules 3.28. In order to learn more about whether your upcoming case could potentially be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, review the information below:
Background Information About the Pre-Trial Intervention Program
The purpose of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program is to be diversionary at the Superior Court for criminals who have committed crime. It is a program that provides a great deal of power to the Prosecutor to select certain eligible defendants who, if they complete the program successfully, will have their charges dismissed. This program is a very rare and special opportunity for a defendant to suffer less of the many detriments to serving a prison sentence.
Who Is the Ideal Candidate for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
The ideal candidate for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program is a defendant being convicted of low-level crimes that have the potential to be monitored by probation with particular conditions including periodic drug tests and keeping a job. Defendants who are able to take advantage of this program have the ability to be put on the path to have a law-abiding life free of poor criminal records and criminal sentences.
Is a Defendant Eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program More Than Once?
Defendants are only eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program once. If the defendant commits another offense, the opportunity never comes back again. There are other programs such as the Conditional Discharge for Drugs in Municipal Courts and the Conditional Dismissal Program for Non-Drug Offenses. What is important to understand is that if the defendant has already used either of these other programs, then they are typically ineligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.
How Can a Defendant Be Considered for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
Prosecutors have a great deal of power when it comes to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. To start the process, there is the first interview with a probation officer and then the probation officer will recommend a rejection or an entry to the program. If the probation officer rejects the defendant, the Prosecutor can still recommend the defendant to the program. However, if the Prosecutor rejects the defendant’s admission to the program, it can be very difficult to reverse their decision.
Do Defendants Have to Admit Their Guilt In Order to Be Admitted to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
After the Ray Rice case, New Jersey changed the rules after a video was leaked of him punching his wife. Previously, defendants did not have to admit their guilt to be admitted to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. However, after the controversial Ray Rice case, it is now required to admit guilt in order to be admitted to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. Conditional pleas are now required for first and second-degree crimes if the defendant had a previous conviction for first or second-degree crimes, third or fourth-degree domestic violence, or petty or disorderly persons if a temporary restraining order was existing.
How Can Defendants Have the Best Chance of Being Accepted to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
A defendant will have the most success with entering the Pre-Trial Intervention Program if they put their best foot forward from the beginning of their case and interaction with the Prosecutor. Typically, our firm recommends a Mitigation Package where we begin to show the complete representation of a defendant’s positive character. Our objective is to humanize our clients by preparing a brief with citations and exhibits to show our client is worthy of this special opportunity. A Mitigation Package is essential in order to mitigate the automatic negative impression a defendant has after they have committed a crime.
What Happens if a Defendant Fails Out of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
If a defendant fails out of the program, there is no going back and they will likely have sentencing. If the defendant commits another crime, then they also may be eliminated from the program. The Pre-Trial Intervention Program is designed for defendants to have the privilege of having a fresh start without the implications of serving a sentence. For this reason, the Pre-Trial Intervention Program is something that is a one-time opportunity and then is no longer an option.
How the Bianchi Law Group Can Help
At the Bianchi Law Group, our firm primarily focuses on cases related to Criminal Defense, Municipal Court Matters, and Domestic Violence. Both partners Robert Bianchi and David Bruno are former prosecutors who prosecuted a wide range of criminal and domestic violence cases. The Bianchi Law Group is equipped with experienced Criminal Defense attorneys in New Jersey to help individuals looking for a New Jersey lawyer to obtain the best possible representation and legal outcome for their case.
Former Prosecutors and Trusted by the Media
The Bianchi Law Group partners Robert Bianchi and David Bruno are former prosecutors who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of crimes in New Jersey and are certified along with only 250 other attorneys as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Robert Bianchi and David Bruno have extensive experience related to Criminal Defense cases in New Jersey. Robert Bianchi and David Bruno regularly appear as national legal analysts to comment and debate all most major news networks such as: Fox News, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Fox Business among others.
The Bianchi Law Group focuses on practice areas related to Domestic Violence, Criminal Defense, and Municipal Court matters. Contact us at 862-210-8570 to schedule a preliminary consultation to discuss how we can potentially assist you with your upcoming case.