Please note: New Jersey recently voted to legalize recreational marijuana, but the law itself is still being written. If you are facing any marijuana-related criminal charges, we encourage you to call our office at 908-643-6801 or contact us online to discuss how the new law may affect your case.
Not every client wants to opt for pretrial intervention, but it is an option. Pretrial intervention is a program in which the client pleads guilty to the charge, and agrees to meet certain conditions, in exchange for the state’s promise that once certain conditions are met, the record of conviction will be erased. PTI is a rehabilitative program that is available to those charged with indictable crimes in Union County and throughout New Jersey.
Example: I had a client who was charged with 4th degree possession of marijuana, and was facing 18 months in prison for the crime. He agreed to PTI and in doing so he plead guilty and agreed to be drug tested for 1 year. The guilty plea was put on hold by the state for the one year period. When the year had passed and the drug testing was successfully completed, the state terminated the record of the conviction.
Who is eligible for PTI?
PTI is for indictable offenses only, like a second, third or fourth degree crime. If a person is charged with a municipal offense like possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and wants to opt for a diversionary program, conditional discharge is the applicable program for such minor offenses. Pretrial intervention is for more serious crimes. I have over 35 years of experience working with defendants who qualify for diversionary programs.
- Anyone charged with an indictable offense may apply
- Prosecution’s consent not required to apply
- Usually first time offenders
- People on parole or probation are usually not eligible unless the prosecution consents, and the parole and probation department has been consulted.
- Those who have previously been admitted to a diversionary program like PTI or Conditional Discharge are usually not eligible.
Why Should I Choose PTI?
Not every client wants to choose a diversionary program. Sometimes clients want to have their day in court, especially clients who believe they’re innocent of the crimes they’re accused of. However, if PTI is successfully completed, the results are very favorable, and include:
- No record of conviction
- Elimination of most costs
- Quick resolution of case
What are the Conditions of PTI?
In order to successfully complete PTI so that the state will erase the conviction, certain conditions that are set out by the court must be complied with. The possible conditions include any combination of the following.
- Supervision 6 months to 3 years
- Random urine tests for some
- Fees, penalties, and fines
- Community service
- Submission to psychological programs
- Drug programs
- Maintaining a job
- Staying in School
If a defendant does not meet all conditions of PTI, then the program is over, and the original charges are proceeded with as if the defendant never entered PTI.
How do I Apply for PTI?
The defendant must apply within 7 days after he enters a plea (guilty or not guilty). The defendant will be interviewed, and the interviewer will write a report either accepting or rejecting the defendant. If rejected, the defendant may appeal to the judge for entry into PTI. If accepted, the report is sent to the prosecutor and the defense counsel for their consent. Finally, the report goes to a judge who makes a final decision, though the judge usually accepts, and sets the conditions for PTI. If PTI is successfully completed, six months later, the defendant can have the conviction erased.
Your PTI Attorney
I know that being charged with a crime is a terrifying experience, and you are probably frightened and concerned of what your consequences might be. I understand how you feel and urge you to contact me today so I can explain your options. You probably have a lot more of them than you are aware, and together we can get the results you need to move forward with your life. Contact me today for a free initial consultation at 908-643-6801 . I am happy to answer any questions you may have about your case. You may call anytime and have your consultation by phone or in person at your convenience.
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The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo law firm defends individuals accused of marijuana crimes throughout New Jersey including all the towns of Union County, Elizabeth, Westfield, Cranford, Garwood, Mountainside, Linden, Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, Kenilworth, Union, and Scotch Plains ,Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Essex County and Somerset County.