On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment No. 10-01-0101.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 18, 2011
Before Judges Baxter and Nugent.
Defendant O.M. appeals from a judgment of conviction for third-degree theft and from his three-year probationary sentence. He contends that he was wrongfully denied admission into the Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 to -22, and that his sentence was excessive. We affirm.
Defendant was the manager of a Dunkin' Donuts. From November 16 through November 27, 2009, he withheld twelve deposits of daily receipts totaling $22,012.78. Defendant admitted stealing the deposits and explained that he needed money to pay bills and to help his family in Mexico. Defendant had been in the United States illegally for seven years.
On January 20, 2010, a Monmouth County grand jury charged defendant in a single count indictment with third-degree theft of movable property, currency in excess of $500, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3(a). Defendant applied for admission into the PTI program. After the prosecutor denied defendant's application and the Law Division denied defendant's appeal from the prosecutor's decision, defendant accepted a plea offer and pled guilty to the charge in the indictment. On June 11, 2010, the court sentenced defendant to three years probation conditioned upon completion of 196 days in the county jail (time served), ordered him to make restitution, and imposed appropriate fines and penalties. As a result of his conviction, defendant will likely be deported.
Defendant presents the following arguments for our consideration:
THE STATE'S DECISION TO DENY DEFENDANT PARTICIPATION IN THE PTI PROGRAM CONSTITUTED A PATENT AND GROSS ABUSE OF DISCRETION; THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO ENTER PTI.
THE SENTENCE DEMONSTRATED THE UNFAIRNESS OF THE REJECTION FROM POST-CONVICTION RELIEF; THE SENTENCE WAS EXCESSIVE.
We first address defendant's argument that his PTI application was wrongfully rejected. Defendant applied for PTI on March 10, 2010, and the PTI investigator recommended that he be accepted into the program. On March 23, 2010, the prosecutor issued a memorandum ...