Municipal Court Supervisory Programs – Conditional Discharges and Dismissal
You have been charged with a misdemeanor or disorderly persons offense in the municipal court. This is the first time you have been in trouble. You want to avoid having a criminal record. The good news is, New Jersey offers several diversionary programs that seek to help first time offenders. The attorneys at Cores & Associates, L.L.C. help explain these programs to you and discuss with you possible options for resolving your case.
What Is the Conditional Discharge Program?
The Conditional Discharge program is one of several diversionary programs offered in the Municipal Courts to help first-time offenders charged with possession of marijuana and other minor drug offenses avoid the traditional criminal judicial process. The Conditional Discharge program allows participants who complete the programs to avoid having a criminal conviction on their record. Upon completion of the program the eligible drug charges are dismissed. After the expiration of six (6) months from the date the charges are dismissed, records in connection with the underlying arrest are eligible for expungement.
What Is the Conditional Dismissal Program?
The Conditional Dismissal program is another diversionary program offered in Municipal Courts that allows first-time offenders charged with certain disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses to complete the program and have their charges dismissed. Some examples of charges that are eligible for the program are simple assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, or shoplifting.
If accepted into the Conditional Dismissal program, defendants will plead guilty to either a petty disorderly persons offense or a disorderly persons offense. Then, after serving a term of probation and meeting its requirements, the charges are dismissed.
After the expiration of six (6) months from the date the charges are dismissed, records in connection with the underlying arrest are eligible for expungement.
Conditional Dismissal Program Eligibility:
To be eligible for a Conditional Dismissal in New Jersey, you will need to meet main three requirements:
- No prior criminal conviction under State or Federal law
- Charged with a non-drug related Disorderly Persons or Petty Disorderly Persons Offense;
- You cannot have previously been accepted into a diversionary program including the Conditional Dismissal, Conditional Discharge, or Pre-Trial Intervention Programs;
Additionally, following charges are ineligible for Conditional Dismissal Program:
- Breach of the public trust
- Animal Cruelty
- Domestic violence
- A crime where the victim was disabled, a minor or elderly
- Organized crime
- Continuing a criminal enterprise
If you have questions about the Conditional Dismissal or Conditional Discharge Programs in New Jersey, or are wondering if you or your charges are eligible for either programs, contact the experienced lawyers at Cores & Associates for a confidential consultation. Let us answer your questions and put your mind at ease!