First time offender program Conditional Discharge for Drug offenses
Essex County Drug Charge Lawyers with offices in Newark, New Jersey
The Newark NJ drug crime attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm LLC handle drug offenses such as marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to turn over CDS to law enforcement in West Orange, Cedar Grove, Irvington, and Montclair. In fact, our experienced criminal defense lawyers have literally handled thousands of criminal cases in New Jersey. As a result, our team will examine all aspects of your case to develop a comprehensive defense strategy to combat these serious charges. Contact our Newark offices today for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
The Conditional Discharge Program in NJ: Section 36 Application
§ 2C:36A-1. Conditional discharge for certain first offenses; expunging of records
a. Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under section 20 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-20), or a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense defined in chapter 35 or 36 of this title or, subsequent to the effective date of this title, under any law of the United States, this State or any other state relating to marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, is charged with or convicted of any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under chapter 35 or 36 of this title, the court upon notice to the prosecutor and subject to subsection c. of this section, may on motion of the defendant or the court:
(1) Suspend further proceedings and with the consent of the person after reference to the State Bureau of Identification criminal history record information files, place him under supervisory treatment upon such reasonable terms and conditions as it may require.
Am I eligible for a conditional discharge in NJ?
Conditional discharge is a diversionary program in New Jersey Municipal Courts that is similar to Pre-Trial Intervention (“PTI”). Unlike Pre-Trial Intervention, which is conducted on the county level and is associated with more severe criminal charges (known as indictable or felony crimes), conditional discharge is limited to minor drug offenses, which are disposed of at the Municipal level (known as disorderly persons offenses). The most typical violations of the conditional discharge program are new arrests or failed drug tests. If you apply for and are accepted into the conditional discharge program, you will be placed on probation. If you successfully complete the program, the charges will be dismissed at the end of the probationary period. However, if you fail to complete the probationary period for any reason, the court may renew its prosecution of the original charges.
In order to be eligible for a conditional discharge, you must meet the following criteria:
- The drug offense you are charged with makes you eligible for a conditional discharge (the most common are possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia).
- You have never been convicted of a drug offense in this state or any other.
- You have not previously had a conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention (PTI) and you have never used a diversion program before in any other state.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug offense in New Jersey, contact our Essex County NJ drug crime lawyers now for a free initial consultation at 201-556-1570.