State v. E.R.

The New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that the trial court erred in affirming the prosecutor’s denial of the defendant’s application for admission to PTI. The State charged the defendant, who has a history of mental health issues, with two counts of aggravated assault. The defendant applied for entry into the PTI program, and the State denied the application. The trial court affirmed the State’s denial of the PTI application, and the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges. The Appellate Division vacated the convictions and remanded. The Court held that the State: “(1) failed to detail the level of supervision the defendant required, considering her lack of a criminal history at age fifty-one and her recent, significant efforts to rehabilitate herself; (2) neglected to explain how the level of supervision the defendant would receive on PTI differed significantly from the level she would receive on probation and why the necessary level of supervision could not be afforded to her through PTI; and (3) failed to address why the defendant’s lack of criminal history and compliance with mental health treatment were not weighed in favor of her entry into PTI.”

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