Prosecutor May Condition PTI on Plea to Traffic Violation – State v. Mosner
This morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Mosner makes it clear that a county prosecutor may properly condition a defendant’s admittance into pre-trial intervention (PTI) upon a plea of guilty to a traffic offense that is factually related to the criminal charges against the defendant, even when the traffic violation carries a mandatory jail term.
In Mosner, the defendant was charged with a variety of criminal and traffic offenses related to a snowmobile accident involving serious bodily injury. The county prosecutor conditioned the defendant admittance into PTI based upon a plea to the traffic offense of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving injuries (NJSA 39:4-129(a)). Moreover, the defendant would have to agree to be sentenced to a 180-day jail term for the traffic offense. The defendant rejected the offer and argued that the jail term would defeat the purpose of the PTI diversion.
Following his conviction at trial, the defendant appealed the PTI conditions. The Appellate Division held that motor vehicle offenses do not apply to PTI and a county prosecutor may properly condition PTI on a plea of guilty to a traffic offense arising out of the same of facts that gave rise to the criminal charges.
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