Conditional Discharge

Ocean County Defense Lawyer: Conditional Discharge of Ocean County Drug Offense

New Jersey law allows for certain first time offenders to avoid criminal charges and sanctions through a diversionary program. The term “diversionary program” refers to the resolution of criminal complaints through an alternative program outside of the court system. The most common programs for diverting criminal charges in NJ are Conditional Discharge and Pretrial Intervention (commonly referred to as "PTI"). Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver is an Ocean County Criminal Defense Firm located in Toms River, NJ that has over 100 years of experience defending possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and other offenses that fall under eligibility for conditional discharge. Our veteran criminal defense attorneys and former prosecutors have helped thousands of people avoid criminal charges and convictions through diversion program cases like those described. A criminal defense lawyer from our office will insure that your marijuana possession or other drug charge is conditionally discharged whenever appropriate. We are able to accomplish this utilizing our decades of knowledge and experience, as well as our intimate familiarity with Ocean County’s court system. In fact, attorney Matthew Dorry is the former prosecutor of numerous municipalities including Barnegat, Brick, Forked River, Bayville, Point Pleasant Beach, Long Beach, Toms River, Little Egg Harbor, Waretown, Lacey and Tuckerton. Call us 24/7 to talk to a lawyer absolutely free who can dismiss the criminal charges against you.

Conditional Discharge for Marijuana & First Time Offenders

As a matter of law, New Jersey’s Conditional Discharge Program usually only applies to certain first time drug offenders and is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1. In particular, the statute specifically states that petty disorderly persons offenses involving “marijuana, stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic” can be conditionally discharged. Therefore, assuming a person is charged with a petty disorderly persons offense involving a qualifying drug, he or she needs to satisfy three (3) additionally conditions to be admitted into the Conditional Discharge Program:

  1. The suspect will not pose a danger to the community (non-violent offender);
  2. Supervision in the program will act to rehabilitate any drug problems the petitioner may have;
  3. The applicant has not previously received a Conditional Discharge or Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”).

Courts largely limit the statute to low level marijuana or hash offenses because most other drugs are categorized higher in the drug schedule, which means they are more serious offenses and this ultimately invalidates their applicability to the conditional discharge program. However, with a skilled drug defense lawyer you can sometimes get an offense involving a more serious drug downgraded to a petty disorderly persons offense and thereby making you eligible to enter into the program. Our attorneys have gotten hundreds of clients successfully admitted into the conditional discharge program so that they were able to avoid a conviction.

Benefits and Limitations of a Conditional Discharge

A Conditional Discharge will allow you to avoid a drug conviction by actually getting the original complaint against you dismissed. However, this does not all happen automatically or overnight. Once you are granted a Conditional Discharge all the proceedings on the related criminal complaint are only temporarily suspended, pending a one (1) year waiting period. During this one (1) year the suspect must stay out of trouble and comply with any additional requirements imposed by the court. If the person fails to fulfill one or more of the conditions (e.g. submit clean drug tests) or gets charged with another crime during the supervision period, then they will have to face the original drug offense charges as if they had never been admitted into the program in the first place. If you submit a dirty drug test or are charged with another crime then it is essential that you immediately contact us so a knowledgeable criminal attorney from our office can contest the violation and seek an extension of the program rather than termination. It is also important to keep in mind that a conditional discharge is a one shot deal. New Jersey only grants an individual one admission into a diversionary program, either Conditional Discharge or PTI. This means that once an individual has been granted a Conditional Discharge, then they are ineligible for future admission into Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”). In the instance that you are later charged with an indictable criminal offense our lawyers will often attempt to reopen the case that was discharged so that we can withdraw the conditional discharge and have a negotiated plea entered on the marijuana or paraphernalia charge. This allows our clients to avoid a more serious indictable criminal (felony) conviction by getting admitted into PTI.

Conditional Discharge Lawyers Serving All Of Ocean County

If you have been charged with a drug offense and you are interested in getting a Conditional Discharge then you need to contact the law firm of Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver in Toms River today. Our marijuana defense lawyers and former prosecutors possess almost 100 years of experience which we will review your case and make sure that all possible defenses are considered. If there is no workable defense to the underlying charge, then our attorneys will make sure that you are admitted into the program. We represent people from all over Ocean County including Bay Head, Lakewood, Jackson, Lakehurst, Lavalette, Seaside Park, Long Beach Island, Mantoloking, New Egypt, and Pine Beach. We also will provide you with a free initial consultation with a veteran criminal defense attorney from our office.

Related Conditional Discharge Resources

Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of CDS

Under the Influence of a Drugs

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug

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