The New Jersey Criminal Code affords a break to first-time offenders who have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (“cds”) or drug paraphernalia. The program that provides this relief is referred to as conditional discharge. The conditional discharge program allows an individual to avoid a criminal conviction and record altogether. Upon successful completion of a period of conditional discharge, the offense is dismissed. To insure that you obtain this relief, you need to retain a defense attorney who is skilled in helping clients qualify and secure a conditional discharge. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are well versed in the conditional discharged and have helped clients obtain admission into the program countless times in Hamilton, Ewing, Princeton, Hopewell Township, Lawrenceville and other Mercer County municipalities. To speak with a knowledgeable lawyer regarding your eligibility for the Conditional Discharge program, call us for a free consultation at (609) 683-8102.Conditional Discharge in Mercer County What is a Conditional Discharge?
Conditional Discharge, defined at N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1, is a diversionary program that allows first-time offenders facing a drug-related disorderly persons offense to avoid prosecution and criminal record provided they successfully complete a period of probation/supervision.Who is Eligible for a Conditional Discharge?
There are certain requirements that make someone eligible for the program, they are:Charged with Minor Drug Offense
The person must be charged with a disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense, involving drugs.First-time Offender
The person has never been convicted of a drug-related offense in the past.Never Used Diversion Program Before
The person has never participated in a program for first-time offenders, such as Pretrial Intervention, Conditional Dismissal, or Conditional Discharge.How can Someone Successfully Obtain a Conditional Discharge?
If you are allowed into the Conditional Discharge program, the court suspends the case against you. If you already pleaded guilty, no judgment of conviction will be entered. Then, the court will order you to complete certain terms and conditions during a probationary period. The terms could include something like periodic drug-testing. The term of probation could be as long as 3 years, but often does not go beyond 1 year. If at the end of the probationary period, you have successfully completed all terms and conditions, the charges against you will be dismissed. You will have no criminal conviction or criminal record. The only thing remaining will be a record of your arrest, which can ultimately be expunged.What Happens if Conditional Discharge Terms are not Met?
If you are not successful in completing all the terms and conditions of the probationary period, then the case against you will resume. If you have already pleaded guilty to a charge, then the court may enter a judgment of conviction.What About Driving Privileges?
The court has the authority to suspend your driver’s license in connection with a conditional discharge although this is rarely the case. The mandatory driver’s license suspension that customarily applies to drug possession charges is extremely unusual when someone is granted a conditional discharge.Hamilton Conditional Discharge Lawyer
For first-time offenders facing a charge for possession of marijuana (i.e. 50 grams or less), a remanded drug case involving a disorderly persons offense or a another violation that qualifies for conditional discharge, it is pivotal that eligibility for a conditional discharge is perfected. Indeed, you will avoid a criminal conviction and penalties if you are able to gain admission and successfully complete the program. A competent attorney like those at the Marshall Law Firm is highly knowledgeable in the requirements for securing this relief. Our lawyers can assist you in obtaining a conditional discharge in Trenton, East Windsor, Hightstown, West Windsor, Pennington or another area town. A lawyer on our staff is available now at (609) 683-8102 to assist you.