What is a Conditional Discharge?
A conditional discharge is one New Jersey’s diversionary programs. The program basically consists of being placed on a probationary period for a certain time period and if the individual is able to successfully complete that term without violating any of the conditions, the charges will be outright dismissed. With that being said, this a great program but it isn’t that cut and dry. There are certain guidelines that apply which could make being accepted into the program very difficult. First and foremost, this program is only available for individuals who are charged with a drug offense. So, if you have been charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, failure to turn over a controlled dangerous substance or possession of drug paraphernalia, in Monmouth County, you may be able to take advantage of the conditional discharge program.
If you would like to sit down with one of our Monmouth County drug possession defense lawyers today so that we can discuss your options then please contact us at (732)858-6959. A criminal conviction for a drug offense can really play havoc on your future. There are certain professions out there that will not hire anyone if they have a drug related conviction on their record. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Holmdel, Middletown, Belmar, Manasquan, Matawan, Aberdeen, Hazlet, Howell and Ocean Township. Our initial consultations are always free, so if you would like to speak with one of our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys about your options then please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some more information on the conditional discharge program, including what is taken into consideration when determining an individual’s eligibility.
Am I Eligible for Conditional Discharge in NJ?
In order to be eligible for the conditional discharge program in New Jersey a individual must be first charged with either a Chapter 35 or 36 offense. Those two chapters cover all the drug related offenses in the New Jersey criminal code. If an individual has been charged with one of those offenses then they must have never been convicted of a drug offenses in this State or any other State nor could they have participated in a diversionary program before in this State or any other State. In addition, it will then be up to the Judge and the prosecutor to decide whether or not the individual is a good candidate for the Conditional Discharge Program. Here is a quick checklist:
- Must be charged with a Drug Offense;
- Has never been convicted of a Drug Offense before;
- Has never participated in a Diversionary Program before.
What type of offenses are eligible for the Conditional Discharge Program?
As stated earlier, in order to be accepted into the conditional discharge the Defendant must be charged with a drug related offense. Here is a list of some of the most common drug offenses issued in Monmouth County that are diverted through the Conditional Discharge Program.
- Possession of Marijuana Under 50 Grams: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4)
- Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of CDS: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c)
- Loitering to Obtain or Distribute CDS: N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2
More serious charges like possession of heroin, possession of cocaine and possession of prescription drugs are eligible for the conditional discharge program as well, they just aren’t as common. Normally, those types of charges, especially if they are not remanded, will placed in a similar program known as the Pretrial Intervention Program. For more information on the pretrial intervention program, please click the link.
How long Will I Be Placed in the Conditional Discharge Program?
The conditional discharge program traditionally runs for a period of one (1) year. However, some Judge’s will consider a six month time period if they are provided with enough compelling reasons. If a Defendant participates in a drug rehabilitation program most judges will be willing to take that into consideration when setting the time period as well.
What Happens if I Violate the Conditional Discharge Program?
If an individual violates the conditional discharge program then the original charges will be reinstated. So the individual will then have to deal with the original charges, the violation of probation and potential new charges if that is what in fact caused the violation.
Conditional Discharge Attorneys in NJ
Whether you have been charged with possession of marijuana or possession of heroin, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our office has been representing clients accused for various different drug offenses in courts throughout Monmouth County, including courts like the Holmdel Municipal Court, the Middletown Municipal Court, Tinton Falls Municipal Court, the Howell Municipal Court, the Deal Municipal Court, the Freehold Municipal Court and the Manalapan Municipal Court. If you would like to come into our office and speak with one of our experience Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers about your options then please contact us at (732)858-6959. Our office is located at 109 Kings Highway, which is located directly across the street from the Middletown Municipal Court.