New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program offers specific defendants the ability to avoid a criminal conviction and instead enter into a supervised program that has the potential of leading to a complete dismissal of the charges against them, and a clean record. The program does not mean that the person who has been accused faces no consequences for the wrongdoing of which they have been accused: The rules are strict, and a person accepted into the pretrial intervention program is likely to have to participate in programs ranging from random urine monitoring and community service to the payment of restitution and completion of drug or alcohol treatment programs. The idea behind the Pretrial Intervention Program is to offer first-time offenders an alternative to prosecution and jail with the hope that it will set them on a better course for the future. It is a rehabilitative model that “strives to solve personal problems which tend to result from the conditions that appear to cause crime, and ultimately, to deter future criminal behavior by a defendant.” In order to qualify for participation in the New Jersey Pretrial Intervention Program, a defendant charged with an indictable offense must meet eligibility requirements including:
To be included, participants must agree to certain conditions, including supervision for a period of between six months and three years by the state’s Probation Division and acceptance of the conditions specified in their case, which may include random urine monitoring, drug and alcohol evaluations, treatment programs and payment of fees, penalties and fines. In exchange for this level of compliance, participants can receive tremendous benefits, including avoiding the stigma of a criminal record and correction of behaviors that might have led to further offenses in the future. To participate in the Pretrial Intervention Program, an application must be submitted no later than 28 days after indictment. The defendant will have an interview with a staff member of the Criminal Division of the Superior Court, who will provide a written report detailing the reasons for their decision to admit or reject the individual into the program. If you would like to learn more about your eligibility for this program as well as the legal services we can provide to those accused of a crime, contact our office today to set up an appointment.