For those individuals facing certain drug-related charges at the Municipal Court level in Morris County, plea bargaining is not permitted. This means that, absent a genuine issue as to the admissibility of evidence, the prosecutor may not downgrade your criminal charges to a non-criminal offense such as a municipal ordinance. Nevertheless, there are still avenues that a skilled defense attorney will pursue to avoid a criminal conviction. Specifically, one possible option would be to enter a conditional discharge. A conditional discharge affords a defendant an opportunity to have his or her charges dismissed upon completion of the a period of probation. This offers lasting benefits that include avoiding jail time, preventing enhancing factors at sentencing for other charges and employment opportunities down the road. If you have been charged with failing to turn over a controlled dangerous substance, loitering in a drug area, possession of marijuana under 50 grams or possession of drug paraphernalia, in towns like Morristown, Mendham, Madison, Montville, Dover, Boonton, Jefferson, Denville, Parsippany, Butler or elsewhere in Morris County, we can help. For assistance with your criminal charges, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall and find out if we can help enter you into the conditional discharge program in Morris County. For a free consultation, please contact our Morristown Office at 973.309.7050. Now here is some key information on Chapter 36, also known as the conditional discharge program.
Eligibility for a Conditional Discharge in NJ?
What is a Conditional Discharge in Morris County?
As previously mentioned, a conditional discharge is a type of diversionary program offered in New Jersey to individuals charged with disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses involving controlled dangerous substances or drug paraphernalia. In particular, conditional discharges are most commonly used for the following offenses:
- 2C:35-10(a)(4) – Possession of Marijuana (under 50 grams)
- 2C:35-10(b) – Use or Under the Influence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
- 2C:35-10(c) – Failure to Surrender a Controlled Dangerous Substance to Police
- 2C:36-2 – Possession or Use of Drug Paraphernalia
- 2C:36-6 – Possession of Hypodermic Syringe/Needle
What are the Conditional Discharge Requirement in NJ?
Not all defendants who have been charged with one of the above mentioned crimes will be eligible for entry into the conditional discharge program. Rather, certain requirements must be met before the court will grant a defendant entry into the program. Specifically:
- The defendant may not have been convicted of a drug related offense in the past.
- The defendant may not have previously been granted a conditional discharge.
- The defendant may not have entered into the Pretrial Intervention program.
- The defendant’s continued presence in the community will not pose a danger.
What if I Violate the Terms of My Conditional Discharge?
Any violation of the terms of the conditional discharge will re-open the underlying charges that were the defendant’s basis for the conditional discharge. Additionally, the defendant may be facing new charges based on his violation of the conditional discharge. It is crucial that you do not violate the terms of your conditional discharge as you will not be afforded another opportunity to enter the program upon violation.
What Happens When I Complete a Conditional Discharge Supervisory Program?
Upon completion of the terms and conditions of the supervisory treatment, the treatment is terminated and the proceedings against you will be dismissed.
Experienced Morris County NJ Drug Possession Law Firm
If you have any questions about whether or not a conditional discharge is the best option for your case, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall in Morris County. Our Morris County criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. To reach any one of our eight criminal defense attorneys, please contact our Morristown Office at 973.309.7050.