State v. Cliver
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
Appellate Docket No.: A-0150-19T4
In an unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey heard argument on the issue of a Defendant’s application into Pretrial Intervention (PTI).
In State v. Cliver, the Defendant was accused of fondling the penis of a boy under the age of thirteen on multiple occasions in 2015 and 2016. Defendant was indicted on November 14, 2018, for second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b), and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(1)..Defendant applied for PTI.
The prosecutor denied Defendant’s application for PTI. The prosecutor noted Defendant’s compelling reasons, offense-free past, and other factors. However, the prosecutor did not believe Defendant was a suitable candidate based on the Guidelines for Operation of Pretrial Intervention, Rule 3:28, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12, and strong opposition from victim’s family.
The Defendant appealed the prosecutor’s denial to the trial judge, who overturned the prosecutor’s denial of PTI. The trial judge was largely concerned about the State’s failure to maintain contact with the victim, and therefore concluded the prosecutor abused his discretion by denying Defendant’s PTI application.
The State appealed the trial judge’s decision. The Appellate Division overturned the trial court’s decision to override the prosecutor and place Defendant into PTI. The Appellate Division reasoned that the prosecutor has tremendous discretion when deciding PTI applications, and the prosecutor’s reasoning for denial was not an abuse of discretion. Therefore, Defendant was denied PTI.
At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in Superior Court for criminal matters like the present case involving applications for Pretrial Intervention (PTI). We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to ensure prosecutors, police, and even judges follow the law.
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