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State of New Jersey v. Michelle M. Sonnick

April 13, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHELLE M. SONNICK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment No. 09-07-1480.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: March 30, 2011

Before Judges Axelrad and Lihotz.

Defendant Michelle Sonnick appeals from an order of January 22, 2009, denying her motion for admission into the Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program. Defendant was charged with the third-degree offenses of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(l); possession of heroin with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); and distribution of heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3).

Following denial of PTI, she pled guilty to distribution of heroin and was sentenced to two years of non-custodial probation, fifty hours of community service, and mandatory fines and penalties were imposed.

On appeal, defendant argues:

THE PROSECUTOR'S REJECTION OF MS. SONNICK'S PTI APPLICATION CONSTITUTED A GROSS AND PATENT ABUSE OF DISCRETION. THEREFORE, THE TRIAL JUDGE ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE PROSECUTOR'S DECISION TO REJECT MS. SONNICK.

A. In Rejecting Ms. Sonnick's Application, the State Failed to Consider All Relevant Factors.

B. The Rejection of Ms. Sonnick's Application Was Based on Irrelevant and Inappropriate Speculation and Mischaracterization of the Facts.

C. The Rejection Was a Clear Error of Judgment As Ms. Sonnick Demonstrated Compelling Reasons Justifying Admission Into PTI.

We ...


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