Interviewer: What are some examples of indictable offenses that qualify for this program? What are some surprising and some non‑surprising ones?
Lauren Scardella: Some of the surprising ones are the ones that involve sex offenses, like criminal sexual contact, which can be a third‑ or fourth‑degree crime. Invasion of privacy is also technically a sex offense, and because it’s generally a third‑ or fourth‑degree crime, that can be eligible for PTI. Possession of and sometimes distribution of controlled dangerous substances can be eligible. Shoplifting may also be eligible, as long as the value of the shoplifted merchandise is below a second degree amount.
Interviewer: Okay, so some sex offenders as well as shoplifting are qualified for this PTI program. What other types of crimes are, both obvious and non‑obvious ones?
Lauren Scardella: Really almost anything in the criminal code, as long as it is not a second‑ or first‑degree offense, is eligible. There’s nothing specific. You’re not going to get PTI if you’re accused of a homicide or other first‑degree crime, but it really is meant to be an alternative to prosecution for first‑time offenders, and it runs the gamut of pretty much anything you could find in the criminal code.
Not everybody is going to be accepted into the program, because it is offender‑ and offense‑specific. They do an interview and they do an evaluation of whether or not they think the person is right for the program, but the class of offense itself is usually not the bar to getting into the program.