How Does PTI Work?
PTI is one of the most widely used Probationary Program in NJ.
In this amazing blog, we will answer your most important questions.
There’s also a great video to help you understand etc.
Take a minute to learn about NJ’s best diversionary program
What is PTI?
PTI stands for Pretrial Intervention.
Pretrial Intervention is a “diversionary” program.
It’s a way for you to avoid a trial and avoid getting a criminal conviction.
If you get into PTI, you avoid a criminal trial and you won’t have a conviction.
(PTI is the fork in the road that gives you a “second chance”)
You get placed on probation for 1-3 years.
Once you complete PTI, ALL of your criminal charges get dismissed.
You will not get a criminal conviction on your record.
The only thing left for you to do is to expunge your arrest.
More about this later…
Most common PTI questions:
– Who can get PTI?
– Does PTI show up on a background check?
– Can I get into the program on my own & without an attorney helping me?
– If accepted into PTI, what are the typical conditions of probation?
– If the case gets dismissed after completing PTI, can my criminal record get erased?
– What happens if my application for PTI gets denied?
– Can I still get PTI if I lose at trial?
– Is the application fee for PTI expensive?
Who Can Get PTI?
Not everyone qualifies for PTI.
In New Jersey, PTI is limited to first-time offenders.
PTI is designed for persons charged with 3rd & 4th degree crimes.
Sometimes, we can help a client charged with 2nd degree crimes admitted to PTI but this is an uphill battle.
If you ever used a Conditional Discharge for CDS possession, you can never get PTI for the new criminal charges.
We know…it’s a bummer!
Who Decides If I Can Get PTI?
Applications for PTI are reviewed by the County Prosecutor, Superior Court Judge, and the County Criminal Division Manager.
Prosecutors & Judges look at many things.
They look at your charges and your prior history.
If your case involves a victim (aggravated assault) then they look at your victim’s injuries.
Most importantly, they consider whether or not you are a person who deserves a second chance.
Practice tip: This is where it is important for you to hire a good lawyer.
(A good lawyer will study your particular situation and make the case for you.)
We show everyone that you absolutely deserve a second chance.
Does PTI show up on a background check?
If you successfully complete PTI, then the original charges are dismissed!
This means that you altogether avoided a criminal conviction. (No criminal record)
IMPORTANT: If you fail PTI, then you’re back to square one. You wasted your chance to avoid trial and now you’ll be facing a criminal conviction and prison. (For real this time)
Can I get PTI without a lawyer’s help?
We will answer this question with a question:
You could remove your cavity without a dentist’s help, but would you want to?
If I get into PTI, what happens next?
Your PTI program will be tailored to your rehabilitative needs.
In other words, if you committed a crime while you were drunk or high, then you’ll probably receive substance abuse treatment.
If you have anger issues, then you’ll attend anger management counseling.
If your charges involved guns or bullets, then you’ll lose your gun permit.
The bottom line is that you need to work on some area of your life.
Most importantly, you cannot get in trouble during your probationary term.
Once I complete PTI, will I have a criminal record?
If you successfully complete the program, the charges filed against you will be dropped and dismissed.
Congratulations! No felony convictions will appear on your record.
Once you successfully complete the program, you will be notified by the court that your PTI period is completed.
You have to wait six months from that date to apply for an expungement to have the arrest and PTI completion removed from your record.
What happens if my application for PTI is denied?
You can appeal the denial of your PTI application but it’s best to always use a lawyer for appeals.
Things become very complicated…even for us lawyers.
Can I still get PTI if I lose at trial?
Nope. The law recently changed.
If you choose to go to trial (and waste everyone’s time) and got convicted,
then you can’t get PTI.
Is the PTI application expensive?
Not at all. The fee is only $75.00 (seventy-five).
The more expensive part is hiring the right lawyer to help you do it right.
Give us a call. We offer free consultations.