NJ PTI: Everything You Need to Know in 5 Minutes!

NJ PTI Is A Quick Way To Be Done With Your Criminal Charges

NJ PTI - Overview

NJ Pretrial Intervention (PTI) is “generally” for first-time offenders. In rare cases, someone with a prior felony conviction may find a way to get into the program. If you’re facing an indictable charge, PTI is one way to avoid prison & keep your record clean. PTI is a diversionary program that imposes conditions that you must satisfy. Although the PTI program may take up to three years, it’s way better than going to prison and getting a criminal conviction.

PTI Eligibility

Now, not all crimes are eligible for PTI.
Just because you have a clean record, doesn’t mean that you’ll get into NJ PTI.
For example, if they charge you with Aggravated Assault because you put someone in a coma, chances are that you will not get admitted into the NJ PTI program.

Think of it this way:
The vast majority of first-time offenders with 3rd or 4th-degree felonies will be eligible for PTI.
If you’ve been charged with a serious 1st or 2nd-degree felony, NJ PTI is a long shot. As your criminal lawyers, we would have to work out a plea deal with the prosecutor to get your felony charges downgraded. This is not an easy thing to do but we’ve done it.

Your eligibility for NJ PTI will depend on a number of factors:

  • The nature of the offense;
  • The facts of your case;
  • Your age & motivation;
  • Whether or not the crime is of a “violent nature”

One of our Hudson county clients was facing first-degree aggravated sexual assault. The case took two years & after we finished our investigation, we were able to successfully challenge much of the evidence against our client. As a result, we got his first-degree charges downgraded to fourth-degree charges & he was admitted into PTI.

PTI - Who Should Apply?

You must wait until your criminal defense attorney has received the “Discovery” in your case.
Discovery is the (fancy) legal term for evidence.
You need to know what evidence the State of New Jersey has against you before you make any decisions.
Very simply, if the evidence against you is weak, then your lawyer may get your case dropped to a misdemeanor.
Now, if the evidence of your guilt is very strong, then you should ask your lawyer to put all of his efforts into getting you NJ PTI.

PTI - How Long Is It?

Probation under New Jersey’s pretrial intervention program can run from 6 months to 3 years.

PTI - Conditions

There are two types of conditions: Standard Conditions & Special Conditions.

Standard conditions:
  • usually involve reporting to probation, random urine monitoring and the payment of fines, court costs, and penalties.

In addition, the court expects that you will maintain employment.

Special conditions:
  • involve community service, the payment of restitution (to victims), psychological evaluations, drug & alcohol evaluations, and of course substance abuse treatment programs.

If you were drunk or high when you committed a crime, then courts find it necessary that you get help for drug and alcohol abuse.

See more below on this topic.

PTI - Violations

NJ PTI violations carry serious consequences. When you violate the terms of your probation, you’re showing the court that you’re not serious. In other words, you’ve been given a chance to avoid prison & keep your record clean but instead, you’re wasting it.

In addition, you will give the county prosecutor’s office cause to kick you out of the program.

For example, if you commit a “new crime”, or fail to report to probation, or fail to remain drug-free, the county prosecutor’s office will file an application with the court to terminate you from probation.

If you are terminated from NJ PTI, you are back to square one.
Remember how you felt the day you were arrested?
Well, that’s how you’ll feel all over again when you get terminated from Pretrial Intervention.

Your criminal charges are “reinstated” and now the county prosecutor and judge both know that you wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Once NJ PTI is off the table, you will only have two choices: Plead Guilty OR got to trial.

I'm Facing A Felony, Can I Apply For PTI?

Yes.

However, the New Jersey Pretrial Intervention program is only for certain felonies. Only 3rd and 4th-degree crimes are eligible for PTI.

If you are charged with a 2nd-degree felony, we will do everything we can to get the charge downgraded to a 3rd or 4th-degree crime. Here’s a quick reference chart of NJ crime degrees.

In this way, you will have a fighting chance of getting into NJ PTI.

Suggested reading:
 Dismissing Criminal Charges: Top 7 Ways To End The Nightmare

How Does the Criminal Process Work?

If you’re facing criminal charges, you should learn all about the criminal justice process. In this way, you will be better prepared to deal with the anxiety that comes from facing criminal prosecution.

Can I Get PTI If My Charges Involve Domestic Violence?

If you’ve been charged with a felony arising out of a Domestic Violence situation, NJ PTI is not an option.

If your charges were committed when you had a Temporary or Final Restraining Order entered against you, you will need to disclose this on your PTI application.

Read more about Restraining Order Violation Consequences

Is PTI Pleading Guilty?

There are two types of NJ PTI.

The first is a “no-plea” PTI where you do not have to admit or take responsibility for the underlying charge.

The second is a “guilty-plea” PTI where you do have to plead guilty.

There is no way to know which type of NJ PTI plea will be demanded of you.

Everything depends on the type of charge & the prosecutor’s position at the time of your admission to PTI.

Does PTI Show Up On A Background Check?

Your participation in PTI will not show up a background check.

However, if you have successfully completed PTI your charges will be dismissed.

It’s like they never happened.

Now, you still have to expunge the record of your arrest.

If you do not expunge your arrest record, it will show up a background check.

PTI - Standard Conditions

This is a very common question.

There are “standard” conditions that apply to all NJ PTI participants.

Standard PTI conditions:

Include the following:

  1. Remain arrest-free – you cannot pick up new charges;
  2. You must report to your probation officer;
  3. You must be honest with your probation officer;
  4. Your probation must be allowed to visit you;
  5. You must report any address change;
  6. You must seek permission to move out of state;
  7. You must maintain employment;
  8. You must cooperate with any treatment your probation officer deems necessary

We’ve included a Standard Conditions of PTI Supervision form for your review.

PTI - Drug Testing

Not every NJ PTI participant will be required to submit to drug testing.

If your criminal charges involved drugs OR if you were under the influence of drugs/alcohol, then it is highly likely that one of your PTI conditions will be to submit to drug/alcohol testing.

In addition to the Standard Conditions discussed above, you may have “Special Conditions” placed on you.

Special conditions:

Include the following:

  1. Loss of driving privileges;
  2. Drug testing;
  3. Alcohol testing;
  4. Drug Counseling;
  5. Alcohol Counseling;
  6. Psychological testing;
  7. Psychological Counseling

We’ve included a Special Conditions of PTI Supervision form for your review.

PTI Application

To best help you, we’ve gone the extra mile to provide you with New Jersey’s PTI Application.

PTI Expungement

You might be asking:
“If I complete PTI successfully, what happens to my record?” OR
“How long do I have to wait before I can expunge my PTI in New Jersey?”

The answer is you can definitely expunge the record of your “arrest” after your successful completion of PTI.

Remember, with PTI, you will not get a conviction, so there is no need to expunge a conviction.

However, you will need to wait six months AFTER you complete NJ PTI to expunge the “arrest” record. 

It is extremely important to expunge the record of your arrest because this will pop up on any & all background checks.

PTI - Community Service

Again, each case is different, but the answer is “yes”.

PTI in NJ will most likely involve community service:

Next question: 

What types of community service will I have to do if I get PTI?

If you are ordered to perform community service, here are some types of things you may be asked to do:

  • Clean up litter on the street;
  • Help out at a soup kitchen (remember, you’re helping society)
  • Wash the Sheriff’s patrol cars;

Also, if you have a special skill, you may be given a list of places where you can apply your skill. If you’re a trained chef, you may be able to perform your community service as a chef somewhere.

The truth is that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to community service. Just be expected to help society in some way. It’s all about paying your debt to society!

When You Finish PTI, Do You Have To Go Back To Court?

Yes, but this is the one and only court appearance you will absolutely look forward to.
This is the day where your entire criminal case will be dismissed.
You will feel a giant sense of relief as this chapter will finally be closed.
Life will return back to normal and you will have learned a lot from the whole experience.

Does Municipal Court Have PTI?

Answer:
YES, but it is not called PTI in Municipal court.

It is called a Conditional Discharge for drugs and a Conditional Dismissal for everything else.

Can I Get PTI If I Live In Another State?

NJ PTI

If you are from Florida and were charged with a crime while visiting New Jersey, you may get PTI if Florida is willing to accept the “transfer” of your probation.
In other words, you will still need to meet the same PTI conditions set by a New Jersey court while you live in Florida.
If you live in a state that is not willing to supervise you during your PTI period, then things get complicated.
For example, we have successfully transferred our client’s NJ PTI supervision to their “home state”.
We recently transferred an NJ PTI participant’s supervision to Connecticut and he was very happy.
He gets along much better with his new CT probation officer!

PTI - Costs

The PTI Application is only $75.00 (seventy-five).
There is an important deadline to be aware of:
you ONLY have 28 days to apply for PTI once you’ve been “indicted”.
In very simple terms, to be indicted means that the government is serious about convicting you.
This does not include fines, penalties, and restitution.
Since every case is different, we cannot tell you how much you will have to pay when everything is done.

PTI Interview

The person conducting your NJ PTI interview is not “out to get you”.
He/she just needs some basic information about you.
Very simply, the probation officer needs to know:

  • your address;
  • who you live with (family size);
  • which phone number to reach you on;
  • where you work;
  • prior record (if any)
  • do you have any alcohol/drug problems;

Assuming that you have hired an attorney to represent you, your attorney should take a few minutes to help you prepare for your PTI interview.
They are not very lengthy interviews, nor are they difficult or complicated.
However, as with anything in life, if you become uncomfortable, you can always ask to take a break, step in the hall and contact your attorney.
We’ve never had this happen to a client, but there’s always a first.

Can I Appeal A PTI Denial?

Absolutely!

Although appeals can be expensive, it’s definitely worth the money to try.

Remember, Pretrial Intervention is your one and only get-out-of-jail-free card. If you have a strong argument for an appeal, it is definitely worth the time and money to appeal.

I highly recommend that you hire an aggressive, criminal defense attorney to represent you during your NJ PTI Appeal.
There are specific steps that must be taken to (intelligently) file an appeal.

Additional PTI Resources

New Jersey is made up of 21 counties.

Each county has a local Superior Court Criminal Division responsible for the PTI program.

This list will contain the following important information:

  • Name of County Criminal Division Manager
  • Address
  • Phone w/extension
  • Fax number

To best help you, we’ve provided the most recently updated list of each NJ PTI here.

Conclusion

NJ’s PTI program is the best and quickest way for you to avoid getting a criminal conviction and avoid prison.
But before you apply for PTI, it is absolutely necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
If you have a very strong defense, you may not need NJ PTI and can avoid the lengthy supervision and reporting requirements altogether.
To better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, we will help you for FREE
You can tell us your side of the story and ask us anything.
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

We’ve helped a lot of clients get accepted into NJ PTI or avoid it altogether.
You can click on this NJ Court’s link if you would like more information.

Also, please visit the Areas We Serve & Practice Areas pages for more information.

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How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

Our Practice Areas

Below you will find some but not all of our practice areas. Of course, if you do not see your criminal charges listed, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We will meet with you to discuss your case & to answer all of your legal concerns. Se habla español tambien!

Areas We Serve

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

Peyrouton Law
4.9
Based on 141 reviews
B J
B J
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Crashnburn973
Crashnburn973
23:01 15 Feb 21
So far so good....no complaints here...Very good people
J O
J O
17:41 11 Feb 21
I recently got into some legal trouble and was in the need of an attorney fast. Choosing a good attorney, is step 1 in achieving a favorable outcome in any case. And thankfully I made the right choice in choosing Peyrouton Law. Allan and his team are great. They set my mind at ease and they were there with me every step of the way. Allan and Samera always made themselves available for any questions or concerns I had and worked very hard to get me the best possible outcome in my case. They were very affordable and their service far exceeded the price. Thank you Peyrouton Law!
Nikki Pergaminos
Nikki Pergaminos
22:33 10 Feb 21
Mr. Peyrouton has been my attorney for the last ten years. He is very knowledgeable and has always been accessible. I am proud to know him and have him as my lawyer.
Erin Marrero
Erin Marrero
19:54 10 Feb 21
Super Helpful!!A few months ago my husband and I received a BOGUS! speed ticket. Came here explaining our situation long story short ! The ticket was dismissed and I would definitely recommend to anyone seeking professional help.
MICHAEL ANZ
MICHAEL ANZ
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Joy Alarcon
Joy Alarcon
01:39 10 Feb 21
Recently I had a need for a criminal attorney and I hired Peyrouton Law Firm. This was a very stressful situation for me to go through however the entire time I had great service and quick response from this law firm. I received exceptional service also from Samera of their legal team/ paralegal staff.She provided me with steps of the entire process and gave me information to put me at ease. Thankfully my issue is resolved now and I am recommending them to all of my friends and family.
johon cano
johon cano
01:10 10 Feb 21
I had got myself into some serious trouble with criminal charges and was going to lose my awesome job because you cant have a criminal conviction on your record at my job.First I went to some jersey city lawyer who treated me horribly and tried to scare me into paying an inflated fee! my mom was with me and he was even rude to her because she has an accent.We left his office and googled more lawyersWe got really lucky when we found Alan.The guy is so awesome!He fought for me at a third of the price of the other lawyer and I was able to keep my job.He's a gentleman fighter and I totally recommend him.
Madelyn Abdalla
Madelyn Abdalla
00:40 10 Feb 21
Last year was such a difficult year for all of us with the rise of Covid-19 and the pandemic. Most businesses and the Courts were closed for months! If you had a legal matter pending during that time...trying to speak to a live person at the Court to get information or questions answered was nearly impossible! So I finally decided to hire an attorney to help! Alan and Samera are such an amazing team. They took my case and started working on it from day one! They constantly corresponded with the Court through fax and email to stay on top of my case. They made several calls throughout the day and did not stop until someone picked up or called back with information on my case. They always kept me updated and were always so nice to me. My case was over a year old and nothing was being done. As soon as I hired Alan, it was closed within 3 months!!! I'm speechless. Thank you both for doing such great work and for being so diligent. And the result was the icing on the cake! God bless and stay safe.
RUBEN CERVA
RUBEN CERVA
00:03 10 Feb 21
Thank you Alan for saving the day...again! Lol From criminal cases to traffic tickets to immigration issues etc...you always come through for me! And you always get the best results! I wish you more and more success! You'll always have me as a client and as a referral!

A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.