If you are facing a criminal charge in Union County, New Jersey, then you are likely looking into how you can avoid ending up with a criminal conviction. One potential option is that of pre-trial intervention. If you successfully complete pre-trial intervention, then your case will be dismissed, and you will avoid a criminal conviction. Not all cases qualify for pre-trial intervention, and all cases require prior approval. If you have questions about pre-trial intervention in Union County, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can give you the proper advice and guidance.
What is Pre-Trial Intervention?
Pre-trial intervention is a prosecutor-directed program that allows certain people to be placed into a period of supervision in front of the judge that can result in the permanent dismissal of all charges. Individuals are granted pre-trial intervention on a case-by-case basis. Placement in pre-trial intervention requires approval from both the prosecutor and judge. First-time offenders who are nonviolent are the most likely to be granted the chance to be placed in pre-trial intervention. Common requirements of pre-trial intervention include things like drug testing, community service work, and restitution payment. A guilty plea may or may not be required to be placed into pre-trial intervention. After successful completion of pre-trial intervention, an individual has the opportunity to have the record of the arrest and case expunged once six months have passed after the dismissal.
Who Qualifies for Pre-Trial Intervention?
Pre-trial intervention in New Jersey is generally governed by state law. The New Jersey statute that governs pre-trial intervention can be found at 2C:43-12 of the New Jersey Criminal Statutes. Under this law, pre-trial intervention is specifically limited to those who have don't have any prior criminal convictions. A determination must also be made whether the individual is violent or likely to re-offend before granting pre-trial intervention. All cases that apply for pre-trial intervention are evaluated individually before a decision is made. Any individuals that commit a crime of violence are generally unlikely to be granted pre-trial intervention treatment. The intended purpose of pre-trial intervention is to allow the court to operate more efficiently while putting the focus on more serious cases before the court. Correct usage of the pre-trial intervention program can result in a positive outcome for everyone involved in a case.
What Factors Are Considered in Determining Pre-Trial Intervention?
There are some important factors that are examined by prosecutors in determining whether to grant an individual that opportunity at pre-trial intervention. The most prevalent factors examined are:
- The nature of the incident
- The defendant's intent relating to the incident
- The circumstances of the incident
- The age of the defendant
- The alleged victim's opinion on the case
Prosecutors will examine several other factors when assessing a case for pre-trial intervention. The seriousness of a case will be a major determining factor in whether pre-trial intervention is granted by a prosecutor or not.
What Are Some Other Pre-Trial Intervention Rules?
Pre-trial intervention in New Jersey has a number of rules that are important to be aware of, including:
- You only get one chance to be admitted into a pre-trial intervention program once during your lifetime. You will most likely not be able to get a pre-trial intervention a second time.
- Domestic violence and misconduct of a public official charged are generally ineligible for pre-trial intervention. These charges face an automatic presumption against admittance and will require a greater showing of why an individual should be admitted.
- All decisions about whether an individual is accepted into pre-trial intervention must be in writing and delivered to the defendant.
- The New Jersey Rules of Court govern all appeals of pre-trial intervention decisions.
- Pre-trial intervention appeals are heard and decided by Superior Court judges. Appeals are decided based on the abuse of discretion standard. For a judge to overturn a lower court's decision, it must be shown that the prosecutor abused their discretion in denying admission to pre-trial intervention.
There are several other factors that are considered when a prosecutor decided whether to admit an individual into pre-trial intervention. Understanding the important factors in your case can go a long way towards being placed in pre-trial intervention.
How Does Pre-Trial Intervention Work in Union County?
For criminal charges in Union County, the Union County Prosecutor's Office makes the determination of who is placed into pre-trial intervention. This office generally will consider pre-trial intervention to those who are charged with third- or fourth-degree criminal offenses. Those who are charged with a first- or second-degree charge, or a charge of drug distribution, face a presumption against being placed into pre-trial intervention. Pre-trial intervention in Union County can last up to 3 years. Your criminal charges are fully dismissed once you finish all of the terms of your pre-trial intervention successfully. The biggest victory of pre-trial intervention is keeping a criminal conviction off of your criminal record. If you are accepted into pre-trial intervention, then you will sign a contract with the prosecutor and court agreeing to abide by all the required terms.
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have questions about the likelihood of pre-trial intervention for your case, then it is important to speak to an experienced defense attorney. It is important to recognize what the Union County Prosecutor's Office is looking for when evaluating a case for placement into pre-trial intervention. Understanding what they are looking for will put you in the best position to be placed into the program. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm are both experienced and knowledgeable about the pre-trial intervention process and will help put you in the best position in your case. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice to help defend you, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.