Pretrial Intervention (PTI), is a discretionary, diversionary program
available to offenders with minor criminal histories and/or first-time
offenders who are charged with third or fourth degree offenses. More
serious offenses require prosecutorial permission to apply. PTI is designed
to provide suitable defendants with an opportunity to avoid ordinary
prosecution by receiving early rehabilitative services and to relieve
the overburdened criminal calendar of less serious offenses.
PTI is generally
appropriate for non-violent offenders for whom participation in a program
of minimally supervised probation should result in rehabilitation and
in future criminal conduct.
PTI enrollment can
last between one and three years. A guilty plea is not required for
admission. The Probation Department administers the program but PTI
applications are screened and approved by assistant prosecutors. Conditions
of the program can include drug/alcohol evaluations, counseling, urine
monitoring, restitution, community service or other requirements likely
to assure rehabilitation and recompense the victim.
If an individual
successfully completes PTI, the original criminal charges are dismissed
and no conviction appears on the individual's criminal history. If an
individual does not complete the program successfully or is charged
with a new offense, the original charges are generally restored to the
trial calendar. PTI is only available once during an individual's
lifetime. If an assistant prosecutor rejects an applicant for PTI, the
defendant may appeal this decision to a superior court judge who will
determine if the prosecutor abused his/her discretion in rejecting the
The Statute that
governs PTI policies, admission criteria and termination procedures
is N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 et. seq.