Pretrial Intervention
Posted by Scott Gorman - April 3, 2016

Drug crimes are tough to handle because many of those who are accused of committing crimes by using illegal substances are in the throes of an addiction for which they desperately need treatment. In such cases, there is a need for both punishment and rehabilitation, but sometimes, the rehabilitation aspect can get lost in the criminal court system, Passaic County drug possession attorneys say.

For this reason, all state criminal courts offer the Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program for eligible defendants who are appropriate candidates for a second chance to get their lives back on track. PTI can help a first-time user break an addiction and rebuild a life without the stigma of a criminal record.

What is PTI?

Pretrial Intervention gives the defendant the opportunity to avoid the penalties associated with a criminal conviction by demonstrating that he or she has successfully focused on rehabilitation and recovery. For first-time drug users, PTI can offer a chance to maintain a clean criminal record.

Enrollees have to complete their required period of supervision, perform any community service work assigned and attend classes or counseling sessions as needed. Those who have successfully completed PTI have their charges are dismissed, and they can later apply to have their records expunged completely.

Additionally, admission into PTI can help reduce the time for resolving following a criminal charge. For drug users, this is important because the rehabilitation process can begin much more swiftly, providing early intervention to help curb addictions. Cases that are handled through PTI tend to be resolved quickly, which can help the defendants get on with their lives.


Not everyone is an appropriate candidate for PTI, drug possession attorneys say, because of the opportunities that the program provides and the way it is designed. While many drug users would like to have their records cleared or avoid jail time and fines, PTI admission is typically limited to first-time offenders. The emphasis on rehabilitation makes PTI ideal for first offenders who want to stop a bad habit before it takes hold and ruins their lives.

PTI participants must agree to certain standard conditions when they are accepted into the program, including random drug testing. Participants may also have to complete evaluations to determine whether a need exists to also address certain psychological issues.

When considering PTI applications, New Jersey courts will consider many factors, including the following:

  • Individuals must be adults.
  • The program is intended for residents of New Jersey, but persons from other states can apply.
  • Defendants must have been charged with a criminal offense.
  • PTI is not an option if the likely penalty is a suspended sentence without probationary periods or fines.
  • If a defendant has a prior criminal record, PTI is seldom an option.
  • Parolees and people on probation are typically excluded from the program, unless given special consideration.
  • Defendants who have previously been enrolled in diversionary programs are excluded.

For first-time cocaine users, PTI programs can be incredibly beneficial. At The Gorman Law Firm, drug defense attorney Scott Gorman can help you decide whether PTI is the right option for you and work with you to give your PTI application the best chance at success. To discuss your case, contact him today offing services in Essex County and Morristown.

Published in Categories: Criminal Defense