Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Admission into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program without Pleading Guilty As a Condition

The Pre-Trial Intervention Program (“PTI”) is a prosecutor program that allows the prosecutor in certain cases to divert the charged defendant to a period of one year of probation, after which all the charges are dismissed.  The program is open to first offenders charged with non-violent offenses as well as other requirements.  Admission to the program is no contingent upon the defendant pleading guilty to the charges.

Some county prosecutor’s offices in New Jersey, especially, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office have often insistent that as a condition to admission the defendant was required to admit to the crime.  I have always resisted this requirement and have been successful every time. 

Recently in State v. Burak a case decided on June 28, 2011, the Appellate Division granted an evidentiary hearing to determine whether defense counsel was ineffective when he permitted his client to plea guilty to the criminal charge as a condition of admittance to PTI.  In that case the State conceded that the defendant was improperly required to enter the guilty plea as a condition to admittance into the program.

This case highlights the need for defense counsel to continually be aware of the law and to challenge and question every proposal offered by the prosecutor.  As proven time and time again the assistant prosecutor handling the case for county prosecutor’s office will push defense counsel into agreeing to things that are sometimes illegal and not in the best interest of the defendant, or his attorney.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Pre-Trial Intervention, Criminal Lawyers NJ,  Elizabeth Criminal Attorney, Newark Criminal Lawyers, Union County Criminal Attorneys, NJ criminal trial attorneys
Dated: July 13, 2011

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