In New Jersey, people charged with crimes may be able to enter into the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program rather than go through the traditional prosecution process. PTI is not available in all circumstances, however. Instead, certain factors are assessed in determining if PTI is appropriate, as discussed in a recent New Jersey case. If you are accused of committing a crime, it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney regarding your available options.
Facts of the Case
Reportedly, the defendant was charged with multiple crimes, including unlawful possession of a knife, terroristic threats, and resisting arrest. The prosecutor that was assigned to the case offered a plea deal to the defendant that required the defendant to apply to PTI and to submit to a mental health evaluation. The defendant then applied to PTI. His application was denied, however, on the grounds that his alleged crime took place in a church, and the PTI director felt that acts that violated the sanctity of churches needed to be deterred.
It is alleged that the State then adopted the PTI director’s findings and cited other factors for the denial of PTI, such as the defendant’s inability to be monitored through PTI. The defendant appealed the denial of PTI, but his appeal was denied. He then pleaded guilty to the resisting arrest charge in exchange for the dismissal of his remaining charges. After his sentencing hearing, he appealed the trial court’s ruling regarding PTI.