A 24-year-old volunteer firefighter who faces accusations of stealing from the Jefferson Fire Department was ordered to complete the state’s pretrial intervention, or PTI, program on April 3. The courts will dismiss theft charges as long as he complies with the terms of the program. According to the agreement, he also surrendered his job position and will not seek public employment.
Court documents allege that the man took $140 in gas and $180 in cash between May and November of 2012. In addition to completing PTI, he was ordered to pay $320 in restitution, complete 50 work order hours and serve an 18-month probation term. The man claims that he takes medication for an attention deficit disorder but nevertheless understood what he needs to do.
New Jersey offers defendants, especially those charged for the first time, the opportunity to participate in the PTI program. The program focuses on social, cultural and financial rehabilitation related to the crime and attempts to deter any future offenses.
Successful completion of the PTI program deletes a conviction off the person’s criminal record and helps defendants change their behaviors through program participation that lasts from 12 to 36 months. The program saves taxpayers money and serves the best interests of all parties. Participants must comply with certain terms, such as drug testing and payment of court fees although the courts can also order additional terms. Upon successful completion of the program, the case is dismissed. A criminal defense attorney might be able to request a client’s entry into the PTI program so the crime will not stay on the person’s record as an alternative to a jail sentence.
Source: New Jersey, “Jefferson volunteer firefighter gets probation after allegedly stealing from department,” Ben Horowitz, April 3, 2013
Source: New Jersey Courts, “Pre-Trial Intervention,” 2013