Interviewer: What can you do if you are rejected for PTI?
Lauren Scardella: The process for getting admitted into PTI involves two levels of review; that’s the PTI director and their staff and then also the county prosecutor’s office. If the PTI director rejects a person, then the prosecutor’s office can review it and override that rejection and let the defendant into the program anyway. If the prosecutor’s office rejects the defendant, then the person can appeal the rejection. On a PTI rejection appeal, the defendant either has to demonstrate that the prosecutor did not consider all relevant factors or considered inappropriate factors or that the rejection was based on a patent and gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion. If the judge hearing the appeal agrees, then the rejection will be overturned and the defendant admitted to PTI.
Appeals are not always successful. I think they’re probably not successful more often than they are successful, but it is something that is there as an option if you really think the rejection of admission to the PTI program was really wrong.