Prior Traffic Convictions and Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)

State v. Sharp, App. Div.    
 
New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently agreed with a County prosecutor’s office that prior traffic convictions for Driving while Suspended is a correct reason to deny someone from the county’s PTI program.  Mr. Sharp applied for PTI at the county level after he was indicted for driving while suspended after having been previously convicted in municipal court for numerous (4) prior NJSA 39:3-40 driving while suspended charges.  N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26a and b. is a 4th degree criminalization of serial 3:40 defendants while up to 18 months of incarceration. 
 
After the trial judge Ordered the Prosecutor’s office to admit Mr. Sharp into their PTI program over their objections the state appealed. The appellate panel ruled that the judge erred in finding that the prosecutor’s decision to deny defendant PTI admission was a patent and gross abuse of discretion. The court agreed with the prosecutor’s office telling them and all other county prosecutors that defendants with numerous prior 3:40 convictions in municipal court are unacceptable candidates for PTI admission based on their terrible driving records, which indicated a pattern of anti-social behavior and lack of amenability to rehabilitation.  
 
As a result, this and all other defendants with numerous prior 39:3-40 convictions, whose cases are referred to the county prosecutor’s office for indictment under NJSA 2C:40-26 (a) and (b) are looking at mandatory jail time, probation, and NO entry into their county’s PTI program. 
 
Submitted by Jeffrey Hark, a new jersey criminal lawyer https://www.criminalcivillawyer.com/

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