Written by attorney Elliot S Stomel


The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides first-time offenders with an opportunity for an alternative to ordinary prosecution. PTI seeks to provide early rehabilitative services when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense charged and the rehabilitative needs of a defendant. Further, the rehabilitative model emphasizes that social, cultural, and economic conditions often result in a defendant's decision to commit crime

What Are The Benefits of the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)?

If PTI is successfully completed, there is no record of conviction and the defendant avoids the stigma of a criminal record. Early intervention allows rehabilitative services to be provided soon after the alleged offense, in an attempt to correct the behavior that led to the offense. Many of the costs associated with the formal court process are eliminated through acceptance into PTI. The program provides early resolution of a case which serves the interests of the victim, the public and the defendant. PTI reduces the burden on the court and allows resources to be devoted to more serious criminals.

What are the Conditions for Participation In Pretrial Intervention?

Supervision under the PTI program may average from one to three years. Certain standard conditions are imposed on those accepted into PTI, such as, random urine monitoring, and assessments for fees, penalties and fines. Additional conditions may also be imposed to require the performance of community service, payment of restitution, and submission to psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations with compliance to recommended treatment programs. If a defendant successfully completes all the conditions of PTI, then the original charges are dismissed and there is no record of conviction. If a defendant does not successfully complete the conditions of PTI, then the defendant is terminated from the PTI program and the case is returned to the trial list.

Who is Eligible for Pretrial Intervention (PTI)?

Any defendant who is charged with an indictable offense may apply; however, there are certain admission guidelines set forth in the Court Rules. PTI is designed for adults and New Jersey residents, but others may apply. Only defendants charged with criminal or penal offenses in New Jersey may apply. An individual is not eligible if the likely result would be a suspended sentence without probation or a fine. PTI generally excludes defendants who have been previously convicted or who have previously been granted a diversionary program or conditional discharge.

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