Wolf Law recently represented a client that was charged with third-degree Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2). The client drank alcohol before driving and falling asleep as the wheel, causing an accident in which both himself and the other driver were injured. As a third-degree offense, the client faced a fine of up to $15,000.00 and three to five years of imprisonment.
At the time of the accident, the client was 37 years old. The present offense was his only contact with the criminal justice system. As such, theWolf Law believed him to be the perfect candidate for New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program. PTI provides first-time offenders with the opportunity for an alternative to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. The program seeks to render early rehabilitative services, such as drug/alcohol treatment, when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. If a defendant successfully completes all the conditions of PTI, which typically consists of probation, then the original charges are dismissed and there is no record of conviction. A defendant is accepted into PTI on the recommendation of the Criminal Division, with the consent of the prosecutor and the defendant.
Wolf Law made application to enter the client into PTI. The Criminal Division of the Superior Court interviewed the client and recommended his admittance into the program. The prosecutor, however, objected to the individual’s admittance into PTI. Her principle argument was that the assault by auto case is one of a violent nature and that the defendant knew that he had an alcohol problem and had sought treatment for it in the past, yet he still intentionally consumed large amounts of alcohol.
Wolf Law appealed the client’s rejection for PTI, arguing that the prosecutor was mistaken as to the facts. The Law Firm of Randolph H. Wolf pointed out that, at the time of the accident, the client was not aware that he had a drinking problem nor had he undergone any previous counseling or treatment for any alcohol-related condition. Following recuperation from the physical injuries he sustained in the accident, he sought alcohol counseling for the first time in his life. Wolf Law also argued that the client has expressed an extraordinary level of remorse as a result of the accident and has since abstained from drinking alcohol altogether. In response to these arguments, the prosecutor withdrew her objection and the client was successfully admitted into the program.
If you or a loved with in charged with Assault by Auto, or any other indictable crime, call theWolf Law for a free consultation. Our lawyers will review your case to determine whether PTI would be appropriate in your case and, if so, advocate for your admittance into that program.