New Jersey Takes Poll After Ray Rice Case: Should State Change Pre-Trial Intervention Program?

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

After everyone has had a few days to process the recent Ray Rice controversy, many New Jersey residents (along with sport fans around the world) are asking the same question: Should New Jersey lawmakers change who is eligible for the pre-trial intervention program in order to avoid probation or jail time?

Rice, a former NFL star (now that he has been suspended indefinitely and released by the Baltimore Ravens), was charged with aggravated assault in February for attacking his then-fiancé (now wife) at Revel, an Atlantic City Casino. If convicted, he faced a possible sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison.

A request by Rice’s attorney for pre-trial intervention was granted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. A pre-trial intervention program allows first-time offenders of 3rd or 4th degree crimes to avoid prosecution. If Rice meets the conditions of the program, his record will be cleared of the charge.

This past Monday, TMZ posted video of the violent attack in which Rice punched his wife and dragged her unconscious body out of an elevator. Since the video was made to be seen publicly, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney called to review the process in which the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office decided on whether or not the New Jersey PTI program needs to be changed.

Upon seeing the violent video, State Assemblyman Joseph Cryan plans to introduce a bill next Monday that would prohibit any individual who is charged with aggravated assault in a domestic violence case from entering the pre-trial intervention program.

Do you think it is time to change the law? If you have any questions concerning the current program for pretrial intervention in New Jersey, please contact Attorney Charles Block today.