Am I Eligible For Pretrial Intervention?

Pretrial intervention, known as PTI, offers first offenders an alternative to traditional prosecution. The goal of PTI is to prevent the defendant from engaging in criminal behavior in the future.

At Mark M. Cheser, Esquire, Counselor at Law, our attorney has been extremely successful getting clients admitted into PTI. We know which documents and what type of information prosecutors in each County want to see.

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Individuals who are accepted into the PTI program must follow the conditions of the program for a period of one to three years. Conditions may include payment of restitution, random urine testing, and participation in counseling, drug or alcohol treatment programs, and community service.

The Benefits Of Pretrial Intervention

Pretrial intervention has distinct advantages over the traditional prosecution process. If you successfully complete the program without committing an additional criminal offense, the case is dismissed and you will have no record of a criminal conviction. Expungement is possible six months later.

The difference can be dramatic. Instead of serving probation or incarceration and coming out with a felony conviction on your record, you can complete 12 months of PTI and the case will be dismissed.

Who Is Eligible?

Not every defendant is eligible for PTI. You must be a resident of New Jersey with no prior felony convictions on your criminal record. People charged with violent felonies or higher charges are typically not admitted into Pretrial Intervention. However, they can be with the permission of the prosecutor. If you are denied PTI, our criminal defense lawyer can appeal the denial.

Don't Delay

Pretrial Intervention can allow you a kind of "do-over." Yet, you must move quickly to take advantage of this opportunity. Defendants have only 28 days after the indictment to request admission to the program. If you wait until your arraignment, you may be too late.


New Jersey permits the complete record of certain arrests and convictions to be expunged. The normal waiting period is two years for a municipal ordinance, five years for a disorderly persons offense and ten years for a felony. Not all felonies can be expunged.

Any dismissed case can be immediately expunged. However, PTI cases are not automatically expunged. The records remain until they are expunged.

If expungement is granted, all computer records of your case will be removed. All records will be placed in a vault, included fingerprints and DNA evidence. You will be legally permitted to answer "no" to any question about prior arrests or convictions. Expungement usually takes three to five months, and can be done in as soon as eight weeks.

To discuss your options with a certified criminal trial specialist, contact Mark M. Cheser for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout Central New Jersey.