A conditional discharge is a statutory program that allows a defendants a stay from conviction, and eventually a dismissal of pending charges, provided the program is completed. The program is available with respect to disorderly persons offenses, typically drug possession charges stemming from the Municipal Court. To be eligible for a conditional discharge, you cannot have had a prior conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention admittance. A conditional discharge is made by motion to the Municipal Court judge, who then decides if a period of supervised treatment and random drug monitoring is appropriate. Most supervisory treatment plans last one year, but they may be imposed for up to 3 years. Once full compliance with the terms imposed by the judge are met, the charges will be dismissed. This means that you must no have a relapse, be arrested, and or fail a random drug screen. Six months after the discharge, you may apply for full expungement of the charges. If you fail to comply with the court’s terms and conditions, the charges will be reinstated, and you must face trial or work out a plea deal with the prosecutor. The cost of a conditional discharge are nominal compared to the benefit. Costs include a fee of $45 to apply, a mandatory $500 drug enforcement and demand reduction (DEDR) penalty, $50 in lab fees, and $33 in court costs.
At The Mark Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience defending criminal drug charges. As a former prosecutor, Jamison Mark understands the inner workings of the system. If you or a loved one have been arrested and are facing drug charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you find a diversion program. Contact us by clicking the link, or call us at 908-375-6767. Our attorneys will aggressively defend you and do what is in your best interest to protect your rights.