Nobody wants to face a criminal charge and prosecution. If you are facing prosecution in Atlantic County, New Jersey, then you are facing the potential of jail time and a criminal conviction. One option to potentially avoid a conviction and incarceration is that of pre-trial intervention. Those who complete pre-trial intervention stand to have their cases dismissed entirely. To be placed in pre-trial intervention, you must request it in writing and have it accepted by the prosecutor's office. The prosecutor is authorized by state law to individually examine applications for pre-trial intervention and determine who is admitted. If you have questions about your situation, then it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What is Pre-Trial Intervention?
Pre-trial intervention is a monitoring program that operates like probation. The main difference is that pre-trial intervention occurs before a conviction is entered, not after as with typical probation. All pre-trial intervention requests must be directed to the prosecutor's office. The prosecutor has the discretion to decide whether someone qualifies for pre-trial intervention and must give all responses in writing. The judge overseeing the case also needs to agree to place an individual on pre-trial intervention. Once everyone is in agreement, the judge will place the defendant in pre-trial intervention and will typically also assign a probation agent. The probation agent will directly monitor the defendant and his or her progress and report back to the judge. If you are a first-time offender who is not considered violent, then you stand the best chance to be admitted into pre-trial intervention. Expect to be ordered to submit to drug testing, community service, and any other conditions that the court sees fit.
Who Qualifies for Pre-Trial Intervention?
Pre-trial intervention in New Jersey is governed by the New Jersey Criminal Statutes at 2C:43-12. This statute outlines the general eligibility requirements of those who are seeking to be admitted to a pre-trial intervention program. The prosecutor uses these guidelines when assessing a case and determining whether to grant pre-trial intervention to a defendant. If the defendant appears to be a good candidate based on the outline requirements, then pre-trial intervention can be granted. If you are not a first-time offender, then it will likely be very difficult to be accepted into a pre-trial intervention.
What Factors Are Considered in Determining Pre-Trial Intervention?
Under the statute listed in the previous section, prosecutors have a lot of discretion in examining the facts and circumstances of a case to determine who should be granted pre-trial intervention. The main factors that a prosecutor will examine includes:
- The alleged facts and circumstances of the crime
- What the criminal intent of the defendant was
- If the defendant was violent
- The age of the defendant
The prosecutor can also assess other relevant factors when determining whether to grant a defendant the opportunity on pre-trial intervention. If there is a victim alleged, then his or her opinion relating to pre-trial intervention may also play a role in being accepted.
What Are Some Other Pre-Trial Intervention Rules?
Important things to remember about pre-trial intervention include:
- Pre-trial intervention is a one-time thing. Don't expect to be accepted into pre-trial intervention more than once.
- Those facing domestic violence or misconduct of a public official charges are unlikely to be accepted into pre-trial intervention and must show why an exception should be made.
- All decisions related to pre-trial intervention must be put in writing and given to the defendant.
- Any appeals of pre-trial intervention decisions must go to the Superior Court. Judges in the Superior Court must evaluate whether the prosecutor abused their discretion by denying pre-trial intervention to an individual. If the judge believes the prosecutor abused their discretion, then the decision against pre-trial intervention can be reversed.
An individual who completes pre-trial intervention can seek the expungement of the related arrest records six months after the pre-trial intervention is completed. Make sure you understand all of the rules and requirements of pre-trial intervention before you apply.
How Does Pre-Trial Intervention Work in Atlantic County?
For all criminal prosecutions in Atlantic County, New Jersey, the Atlantic County Prosecutor maintains the authority to determine who can enter pre-trial intervention. Pre-trial intervention is generally unavailable for first- and second-degree criminal offenses as well as drug trafficking offenses. Third- and fourth-degree criminal offenses stand the best chance to be granted pre-trial intervention.
Pursuant to state law, pre-trial interventions in Atlantic County can last as long as three years. All pre-trial intervention contracts are signed by the prosecutor, the judge, the defendant, and their attorney. Once a defendant completes his or her obligations under the pre-trial intervention contract, their case will be dismissed according to the agreement. If a defendant violates any of the terms of their pre-trial intervention contract, then they can be removed from pre-trial intervention and placed back on the regular criminal calendar where they started. This will also result in the full reinstatement of all the original criminal charges.
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have legal questions about the potential of being granted pre-trial intervention in Atlantic County for your case, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. You have limited time to request pre-trial intervention from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office. Make sure you know all of the factors that the prosecutor requires when examining a case for pre-trial intervention. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you obtain pre-trial intervention for your case. This knowledge and experience will help put you in the best position to be successful in your case. To learn why attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm is the right choice to defend you, call us at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.