Anyone facing a criminal charge in Salem County, New Jersey, is faced with the possibility of a criminal record and being sent to jail. A potential option to avoid these unwanted results in known as pre-trial intervention. If an individual completes pre-trial intervention successfully, then he or she can avoid a criminal record and potential jail time. This is because criminal charges are dismissed by the judge when someone completes pre-trial intervention successfully. Each case is examined individually before it is accepted into pre-trial intervention. The prosecutor has the authority to grant or deny any application for pre-trial intervention. If you have legal questions about pre-trial intervention, then make sure you get the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What is Pre-Trial Intervention?
Pre-trial intervention is a program that is generally operated by the prosecutor's office and the court. It functions like probation but is done before a conviction is entered. The prosecutor's office determines who is accepted into pre-trial intervention, and the court will enforce any agreements made. After an application is filed, a prosecutor will examine the case to determine if pre-trial intervention is appropriate. Both the prosecutor and judge's approval are required to be admitted into pre-trial intervention. Those who are charged with nonviolent offenses for the first time are the most likely candidates for pre-trial intervention. If you are accepted into pre-trial intervention, then expect to be on probation to the court where you will be required to do things like drug tests and perform community service. You can also be required to regularly report to probation and make court appearances.
Who Qualifies for Pre-Trial Intervention?
New Jersey law dictates the general requirements and authority of the prosecutor's office to offer pre-trial intervention pursuant to New Jersey Criminal Statutes 2C:43-12. Those who have never been convicted or charged with a crime before are the best candidates for pre-trial intervention. The likelihood of the defendant getting in trouble again or potentially being violent is examined by the prosecutor when determining whether a specific defendant is a good fit for the program. Pre-trial intervention puts cases on a different prosecution track to free up the court's time and resources to focus on more serious cases.
What Factors Are Considered in Determining Pre-Trial Intervention?
Prosecutors must assess all of the relevant available facts and circumstances about a case when deciding whether to admit a defendant into pre-trial intervention. Most specifically, a prosecutor will examine:
- What the alleged facts and circumstances of the case are
- The criminal intent of the defendant
- The age of the defendant
The prosecutor can also examine any other relevant factors when determining whether to grant pre-trial intervention. If the case involved an alleged victim, then his or her opinion may be sought relating to pre-trial intervention.
What Are Some Other Pre-Trial Intervention Rules?
Those who are granted acceptance into pre-trial intervention are subject to several rules. Some important rules include:
- Pre-trial intervention is a first-time offender's program. Don't expect to get a second chance at pre-trial intervention.
- Pre-trial intervention is generally not granted for those facing domestic violence charges or the misconduct of public officials. Special circumstances must be demonstrated to a prosecutor to overcome the general presumption against granting pre-trial intervention to individuals facing charges of this nature.
- All pre-trial intervention decisions must be put in writing and given to the defendant.
- Any appeals of pre-trial intervention decisions made by prosecutors are governed by court rule.
- Superior Court judges have the authority to hear and decide appeals related to pre-trial intervention decisions. A judge must be convinced that the prosecutor abused their discretion when deciding against granting pre-trial intervention.
The defendant can have the records of their arrest expunged six months after the completion of a pre-trial intervention. Make sure you are aware of all of the rules related to pre-trial intervention to see if it is appropriate for your case. Any legal questions should be directed towards an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How Does Pre-Trial Intervention Work in Salem County?
If you are charged with a criminal offense in Salem County, New Jersey, then the Salem County Prosecutor's Office has the authority to decide who can enter a pre-trial intervention program for their case. Third- and fourth-degree offenses stand the best chance of acceptance into pre-trial intervention. First-degree, second-degree, and drug offenses are generally ineligible for pre-trial intervention treatment.
In Salem County, pre-trial intervention can last up to three years. After an individual completes all of the requirements of their pre-trial intervention, their case will be dismissed according to their pre-trial intervention agreement. All pre-trial intervention agreements in Salem County will be put into writing and signed by the judge, the prosecutor, the defendant, and their attorney. Pre-trial intervention contracts outline all of the required conditions that an individual must complete before they are released from supervision. If an individual violates any of the terms of his or her pre-trial intervention agreement, then the original criminal charges can be reinstated by the judge.
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have legal questions about pre-trial intervention in Salem County, then make sure you have those questions answered by an experienced defense attorney. The Salem County Prosecutor's Office has specific requirements for determining whether or not to place an individual on pre-trial intervention. Knowing what the prosecutor will require will help put you in the best position for acceptance into pre-trial intervention. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you obtain pre-trial intervention. They will lean on this experience to help put you in the best position to avoid a criminal conviction. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice to defend you, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.