Avoiding Drug Possession Charges Through Conditional Discharge?

New Jersey law provides for diversion of disorderly persons offenses where an individual qualifies for the Conditional Discharge Program. Eligibility to apply for the program is limited to those individuals who have never been granted a conditional discharge or Pretrial Intervention previously. If you have been charged with Possession of Less Than 50 Grams of Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia, Shoplifting or another disorderly persons offense, and want to seek a conditional discharge, our attorneys can assist you. Our defense team has many years of experience in this realm and know how to avoid a rejection of an application for a conditional discharge. Give us a call at 973-710-1520 for an immediate free consultation or to set up an appointment in our Essex County Law Offices.

Will I Have A Conviction On My Record If I Obtain A Conditional Discharge?

No. In accordance with the conditional discharge law, N.J.S.A. 2C:36A–1, no judgment of conviction is ever entered if someone successfully completes the conditional discharge program. The standard conditions of the program are that the accused remain drug free (i.e. may be drug tested), not have any new violations/arrests, and report to probation as requested. Provided these requirements have been met over the supervisory period, typically six (6) to twelve (12) months, the charge is dismissed with prejudice. There is no conviction of record. This can often be an extremely important fact to those concerned about employment or maintaining immigration status.

Can I Get A Conditional Discharge If I Am Facing An Indictable Offense?

Indictable offenses, that is, crimes of the first degree, second degree, third degree or fourth degree, are not eligible for conditional discharge. Classically, only disorderly persons offense and petty disorderly persons offenses involving marijuana possession, being under the influence of CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia qualified for conditional discharge. In January 2014, the law was amended, however, to allow conditional discharge of most disorderly persons offenses.

What Are The Factors To Be Considered By The Courts Before Granting A Conditional Discharge?

There are four (4) considerations set forth under N.J.S. 2C:36A-1 which a Court must consider before granting a conditional discharge and they are: (1) does the accused have any prior convictions; (2) has he/she previously been granted a conditional discharge or pretrial intervention; (3) does the defendant pose a danger to the community; and (4) will the terms and conditions of the program adequately protect the public. It should be emphasized that the court has discretion to deny an application for conditional discharge notwithstanding the fact that all four (4) considerations have been satisfied.

What Happens If I Violating A Conditional Discharge?

If a conditional discharge is violated, the defendant’s participation in the program is terminated. The result is that the original criminal charge is resurrected and must be defended.

Conditional Discharge Of CDS Offenses in Essex County NJ

If you are interested in speaking to an Essex County Defense Attorney about how we would go about getting you a conditional discharge or any other criminal issue, call our Newark Criminal Firm today for immediate assistance at 973-710-1520. You should not hesitate in contacting us as initial consultations are always free of charge.