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Sometimes a person just needs a fresh start. Unfortunately, many people who are charged with crimes in New Jersey end up suffering long-term consequences that can derail their futures and make it impossible for them to move forward. One of the worst parts about standing trial for criminal charges in NJ is the fact that any punishment you receive, whether it’s a prison sentence or a heavy fine, will also wind up on your permanent record, creating serious difficulties in the future when you apply for a job or look for housing. The good news is that you may still be able to get that fresh start you deserve! If you are a first-time offender, it might be possible to get your case diverted into Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). This is a diversionary program that allows first-time offenders charged with a crime to complete rehabilitation and probation instead of being sentenced to prison time. Not only will PTI allow you to stay out of prison; at the conclusion of the program, your permanent record will remain clear of a criminal conviction.
The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC are ready to help you fight your criminal charges. We represent individuals accused of crimes across New Jersey, including Passaic County, Bergen County, Union County, Essex County, Hudson County and Camden County. Contact us today so that we can examine the details of your case and determine whether you might be eligible for PTI.
Eligibility for PTI:
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) is a diversionary program that allows individuals to avoid prison and keep their permanent records clear of a criminal conviction. Most first-time offenders are eligible for PTI if they have been charged with a non-violent crime. This can include drug crimes, theft crimes and some gun crimes. Generally speaking, the requirements for admission into PTI are that the defendant is charged with a non-violent offense, the defendant has no prior criminal record, and the defendant has not previously availed themselves of the PTI program in a criminal case.
Requirements of PTI:
The requirements of PTI vary, depending on the nature of the charges. For example, a person who has been charged with marijuana possession may be placed on probation and then ordered to undergo drug treatment instead of being sentenced to jail time. Whether you are charged with a drug crime or some other criminal offense, PTI typically works the same way: at the end of a specified period of probation and your successful completion of PTI program requirements, the court will dismiss the criminal charges against you.
When you are admitted into PTI in New Jersey, you will skip the trial entirely and go directly into the diversionary program. Instead of going through the typical criminal justice process and standing trial for your alleged crime, you will be allowed to go on some form of probation.
Although you will have to pay a fine and cover certain program-related expenses, your charge will be dismissed upon your successful completion of the program. This can make all the difference in the world when you apply for work because any completed PTI matter will reveal a dismissal, rather than a conviction on your record.
Upon successful completion of the program and a six-month waiting period, you will even be able to apply for an expungement, as long as you meet the additional criteria. If successful, you can remove the charge, arrest and dismissal from your record entirely.
If you have been charged with marijuana possession, shoplifting or even illegal handgun possession, you may be able to avoid the most severe penalties through admittance into a diversionary program like Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). The best thing you can do right now is speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who understands the nuances of criminal laws in New Jersey and who can let you know about your legal options. Contact the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC today to discuss your case or schedule a free consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Clifton, Cherry Hill, Newark, East Brunswick, Scotch Plains or Morristown. Depending upon the circumstances, it might be possible to secure your admission into a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). This would allow you to avoid prison and avoid ending up with a criminal record.