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Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Conditional Discharge

Union County Municipal Court Drug Offense Lawyers

If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana or a drug paraphernalia, you may be eligible for a diversion program know as conditional discharge. While conditional discharge is typically limited to marijuana possession, the program applies to all qualifying CDS violations, including cases involving more serious drugs like heroin, cocaine and illegally acquired prescription medication, when they have been downgraded to a disorderly persons offense. Anyone interested in applying for and securing a conditional discharge should consult an experienced Union County Municipal Court Defense Attorney, as a misstep in the process can result in a criminal record, mandatory drivers license suspension and other penalties. Our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, can offer you a level of representation that is truly unique in this regard. We possess one of the largest defense teams in the state with eight criminal attorneys, several of whom are former prosecutors, and we routinely appear throughout Union County, including in towns like Springfiield, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford and Clark. A lawyer on our staff, which possesses over 100 years of combined experience, is available by contacting our Union NJ Office for free consultation at 908-272-1700.

Who Is Eligible for Conditional Discharge? 

Pursuant to NJSA 2C:36A-1, a person that has not previously received the benefit of a diversion (e.g. prior Pretrial Intervention or Conditional Discharge) nor been convicted of a drug-related offense, is eligible for this program. Please note, however, that while the law is somewhat unclear on this issue, most municipal court judges will disqualify an individual for conditional discharge where they have an out-of-state drug convictions or prior diversion.

What Happens When Someone Is Granted A Conditional Discharge?

When someone is admitted into the program, all proceedings in the case are suspended until such time as conditional discharge period is satisfied. The typical term of a conditional discharge is one (1) year although the court is permitted to impose a period of up to three (3) years..

Standard Terms and Conditions of the Conditional Discharge Program

An individual placed in the program must report to probation. This may or may not result in follow-up reporting but almost always includes a requirement that the individual stipulate to at least one random drug test to which he/she must come back negative to remain in the program. Other standard conditions of completion of the program are remaining arrest and drug free.

Consequences of Violating or Failure to Comply With Your Conditional Discharge

If  you fail to report to probation, test positive for drugs, or are arrested during the conditional discharge period, a violation shall be issued. This will result in your having to return to court and, in most cases, the suspension of your marijuana possession or drug paraphernalia charge being lifted. You will then have to deal with the underlying criminal charge all over again without the possibility of another diversion.

Successful Completion of Conditional Discharge

If you do what you are supposed to and fulfill the conditions of your conditional discharge, the original offense is dismissed with prejudice. What this means is that there will be no judgment of conviction on your record although any arrest that took place will remain of record until it is expunged.

Difference Between Condition Discharge and Pretrial Intervention

Conditional Discharge is a program limited to disorderly persons offenses involving drug or paraphernalia possession. Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”) was customarily a diversionary program for first time offenders facing third and fourth degree felony crimes at the Union County Superior Court. As of January 2014, PTI was expanded to include Municipal PTI, a program for diversion of non-drug related disorderly persons offenses.

Union Township NJ Conditional Discharge Attorneys

Our Union Township law firm has represented thousands of individuals seeking conditional discharge over the last two decades. During this time the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have seen almost every twist and turn that can be thrown at us and know what it takes when things get complicated. This is exactly what you want and need when you or your child is trying to eliminate a potential record for a marijuana or other drug/cds charge in Union Township, Roselle Park, Elizabeth, Linden, Hillside or another one of the municipalities in Union County. You want an attorney at your side that can protect you so that any obstacle that may come up can be negotiated successfully. Call us 24/7 at 908-272-1700 to speak to an experienced drug offense defense attorney. Initial consultations are free of charge.