Circuit_Court_BenchIf you or a loved one are charged with a felony that goes to county court, but you have never been convicted of a criminal offense in New Jersey or anywhere else before, you may be eligible for PTI or Pre-Trial Intervention. PTI is an alternate sentencing program; a probationary period for between one and three years that criminal defendants with no prior record are eligible for, depending upon the facts and circumstances of their individual case. PTI involves an application process through the criminal division in the county where you were arrested. If the criminal division approves you for the PTI program, the prosecutor’s office in that county has an opportunity to review your PTI application to make a decision whether they approve or disapprove.

Ultimately, it ends up before the judge where your case is assigned. The reason that PTI is a very important program here in New Jersey is it’s the one program that if successfully completed by a criminal defendant, meaning you pay the fines associated with your case and you stay out of trouble and report to probation for that one to three year period, at the end of that period of time, your case is dismissed. This means you have no record of conviction on your criminal history. Although all third and fourth-degree cases are eligible for application to PTI and even some second-degree cases, it is not something that is regularly just signed off on by the criminal division or prosecutor’s office in the county where you were arrested. Consultation prior to arraignment with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and see if you or loved one is eligible for PTI is an absolute must prior to going to court.

Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding your case, call the law office to set up a free initial consultation.