New Jersey prosecutors enforce a number of serious gun laws that apply throughout the state, including in Ocean County. Sustaining a conviction for a gun offense can have many serious consequences. For example, many New Jersey gun laws carry harsh mandatory minimum jail terms. If you are facing prosecution for a gun offense in New Jersey, qualifying for and being granted admission into Pretrial Intervention (PTI) can be one of the best possible outcomes available to you. The following explains some background on the Pretrial Intervention Program and examines its applicability to gun charges. If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a gun in Ocean County, New Jersey and would like to discuss your eligibility for PTI, call (848) 238-2100 to speak with a lawyer who can help. We provide consultations free of charge.
What is Pretrial Intervention?
Pretrial Intervention is a generous program that the state offers to some criminal defendants who meet several exacting criteria. PTI is a type of “diversion,” meaning that the program permits qualifying defendants to avoid a criminal conviction if they successfully complete PTI probation on terms ordered by a court. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 and NJ Court Rule 3:28 are two statutes that explain the details of the PTI program. If a defendant successfully completes PTI, they will avoid a criminal conviction on their record and the costs and other penalties that would have applied had they been convicted.
PTI applies to adult offenders, specifically first-time adult criminal offenders. You are only eligible for PTI diversion once in your lifetime. PTI typically applies only to third or fourth degree indictable offenses. Defendants requesting PTI must not have been on probation or parole and must not have been incarcerated prior to the arrest for which they are seeking PTI. Furthermore, a defendant must not have taken advantage of any other diversion program previously. Defendants may apply for PTI through their county Criminal Division Office, and they must apply within 28 days after criminal charges are filed against them. If a probation officer or prosecutor denies your request for PTI, you have the right to appeal. You may file an appeal through prosecutor’s office or probation department, and if they again deny your request, you may also appeal to the Superior Court.
PTI for Ocean County Gun Offenses
Most individuals facing gun charges in New Jersey will have an uphill battle in securing PTI. The vast majority of New Jersey’s gun offenses are second or third degree indictable offenses that carry mandatory jail terms. PTI requests for this type of crime are frequently denied by the state. Nevertheless, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that your criminal record and the circumstances of your gun arrest justify your acceptance into PTI. For example, if you were just passing through New Jersey when you were arrested, your attorney can argue that your weapon was properly licensed and legal in your home state. Your attorney can also argue that your firearm did not pose a danger to the public because it was unloaded, locked and secured in your vehicle, or that you otherwise took steps to make sure that the weapon did not pose a risk the officers, other motorists, or your passengers.
Arrested for a Gun in Ocean County, Will I go to Jail?
The sentencing for gun charges in New Jersey is extremely stringent. In fact, those convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon offenses involving firearms face a prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years, with a mandatory minimum term that must be served before they are even considered eligible for parole. However, the Pretrial Intervention Program presents a highly desirable option that will allow you to avoid prison time altogether and having a criminal record that follows you for years to come. If you have been arrested for a gun and are wondering if you may be able to get PTI, contact a knowledgeable Ocean County criminal defense lawyer at our firm today. A member of our team is available to discuss to discuss your gun charge and if you could possibly qualify for PTI. We can be reached 24/7 at (848) 238-2100.