Interviewer: What is the largest determinant of getting admitted to PTI?
Lauren Scardella: A person can have a prior conviction for a disorderly person’s offense or a petty disorderly person’s offense out of municipal court, but no indictable crimes, whether it’s from New Jersey or another state. The defendant also cannot previously have been given PTI or other diversionary program.
Interviewer: How about New Jersey’s look-back period? If you get people that were convicted of something five, ten, twenty years ago, and now they’re facing something new, will it make them ineligible for PTI?
Lauren Scardella: If their prior offense was a criminal offense, meaning an indictable crime or a felony in another state, then the defendant is ineligible for PTI. You can’t get in, no matter when the prior offense occurred.
Interviewer: All right, so it doesn’t matter how long ago it was?
Lauren Scardella: Correct. It does not matter how long ago it was.
Interviewer: What if they were convicted on a misdemeanor or a disorderly persons offense?
Lauren Scardella: That’s okay. The law is limited to people who haven’t previously been convicted of criminal offenses in New Jersey, another state, or the federal system. Since disorderly persons offenses aren’t crimes, they don’t automatically make someone ineligible for PTI.