Am I eligible for the Conditional Dismissal Program in New Jersey?
Conditional Dismissal is a diversionary program that works exactly like it sounds: a defendant who pleads guilty to a non-indictable offense can have the conviction dismissed on the condition that they meet certain requirements and stay out of legal trouble for one year. Once the defendant has successfully completed their probationary period and met all requirements of the Conditional Dismissal program, the criminal charges and conviction are dismissed. This allows the defendant to stay out of jail and avoid getting a criminal record. However, the defendant may still be fined by the court as part of the disposition. Moreover, if the defendant violates the terms of the program, the judge may reimpose the conviction and sentence the defendant to jail time.
Eligibility for the Conditional Dismissal program is limited to first-time offenders who have no prior criminal record and who have not previously participated in Conditional Dismissal or a similar alternative sentencing program. Additionally, only certain types of charges are eligible for Conditional Dismissal. These are disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses handled at the municipal court level. If the defendant has been charged with a felony-level offense in the superior court, a disorderly persons drug offense in municipal court, or a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense in municipal court, they are not eligible for Conditional Dismissal. Most of the time, defendants who are allowed to enter the Conditional Dismissal program have been charged with offenses like shoplifting, harassment, disorderly conduct, etc. Also, you cannot receive a conditional dismissal if the charge is for a domestic violence offense.
If you meet the above requirements, you are most likely eligible for the conditional dismissal program in New Jersey. You must first plead guilty to the offense, the charges will be suspended for one (1) year, and if you stay out of trouble the charges will be dismissed at the end of the probationary period. You will have no criminal record. The arrest record can be expunged six (6) months after you successfully complete the program.
For additional information, contact our Bergen County criminal law office anytime for a free consultation at (201)-330-4979.