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Michelle, Elected/Appointed Official
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4136
Experience:  30 + yrs in the legal profession incl. criminal, family, politics, legislator judiciary 6 yrs
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Ive been charged with 4th degree child abuse of my

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I''ve been charged with 4th degree child abuse of my niece. by repeatidly hitting her with a phone cord as my form of discipline because of her out of control behavior. In doing so, she suffered brusing and welts on her legs and just above her buttocks.   I have to go to court on 1/14/08, for my arraignment. I''ve been advised that I can apply for pre-trial intervention program. Do I plead not guilty at my arraignment in order to be eligible for that program? I''m a 1st time offender with no priors, or any dealings with the judicial system. Also, after this arraignment I then have to go before the prosecutor for the inditement. I already spoke with the prosecutors office without a lawyer and answered their questions. At what point will I need legal representation for myself, and what is the maximum penalty in the state of NJ for this 4th degree crime?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Michelle replied 9 years ago.


Yes, you will need to plead guilty. Please CLICK HERE to read more on the PTI. If you agree to take the charge with the condition of the PTI, then there would be programming, mental health evaluations, and supervision for 3 years. After successful completion there would be no record or indication that this incident occured - all of this needs to be addressed with the prosecutor before your arraignment so that it can be put on the record and courted ordered at that point in time. Of course, a judge is not mandated to accept the terms of the agreement. If you need to think upon it then you would go to the arraignment plead not guilty and wait for the indictment from the prosecutor. You then have 7 days to file. But you can discuss this and work out the "plea deal" now - Of course, due to the complexity and the nature and circumstances of this crime I suggest you consult with a local attorney to assist in making certain the details are correct.


If my answer has been helpful, please ACCEPT my answer so I get credit for my effort to help you . If I can be of further help, let me know. Appropriate FEEDBACK is appreciated as is a bonus. Thanks ~ Michelle


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