Criminal Justice: Drug Court, PTI, and Bail Reform
There are multiple aims of the criminal justice system – punishing offenders, protecting order, deterring crime, and rehabilitating offenders are all legitimate goals that are concurrently pursued by it. As public attitudes towards crime shift so does the way the criminal justice system deals with offenders. Here are some of the ways in which the criminal justice system has moved away from simply throwing criminals in jail after a conviction and more toward rehabilitative efforts. For more information, call a criminal defense lawyer today.
As we have come to recognize addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing, courts have responded by putting people with substance abuse problems into treatment rather than jail. Non-violent offenders whose crimes were motivated by substance abuse problems may be eligible for drug court, which involves a significant period of supervised probation and treatment. In many cases, people who are accepted into drug court must enter a plea of guilty on their underlying offense and can be sentenced on that plea if they violate the terms of their probation.
Pre-trial intervention is available to defendants who have no prior criminal record who have been accused of relatively low-level offenses. If a defendant is able to get into PTI and successfully completes the program, his or her case will show a disposition of PTI rather than a criminal conviction. As a result, they will not be subject to the collateral issues that often accompany a criminal conviction such as difficulty securing employment or being unable to rent an apartment.
Bail reform is set to effect on January 1st of 2017 and is intended to address the issue where people accused of low-level offenses often sit in jail for weeks or months while more high-risk defendants are released because of access to cash. The way in which the system of setting bail is complicated, but it will involve making standardized assessments on an individual basis in an effort to make the system more efficient.
Call 201-488-5454 today for more information.
If you have been arrested, do not make the mistake of thinking that your only option is to plead guilty. In many cases, there are any alternatives to taking your case to trial that can avoid a conviction. New Jersey attorney Kurt M. Resch is committed to protecting the rights of criminal defendants and has been practicing law for more than 35 years. To schedule a consultation, call Mr. Resch today at 201-488-5454 or send us an email through our online contact form.