A first-time arrest for a small possession of marijuana or hash can be a frightening experience: will you have to go to jail? Pay an expensive fine? Have a permanent criminal record? Will your employer find out and, if so, will your boss understand or fire you? Recognizing the importance of helping first-time offenders avoid future encounters with the law, New Jersey offers different Pre-Trial Intervention Programs (PTI), including a Conditional Discharge (CD) for those arrested on drug possession charges.
In order to qualify for a CD, the following conditions must be met:
- You must be charged with a Disorderly Persons offense
- You must not have participated in a diversionary program in the past
- The Conditional Discharge will be of benefit to you regarding any perceived drug problem the court believes is at issue
- Typically, a CD is not available in cases involving heroin, cocaine, meth, or hallucinogenic drugs, unless the charges have been downgraded by the county prosecutor’s office
What a Conditional Discharge Means for You
If a CD is granted in your case, you will be placed on probation for up to one year, depending on what the court deems appropriate. Additionally, you will be required to pay mandatory financial penalties totaling $833.00. You will not be subject to the mandatory 6 to 24 month suspension of your driver’s license. Over the course of your probation, a probation officer will be assigned to you. You are required to report to your probation officer and will be subjected to random drug tests administered by him or her.
Assuming you successfully complete your program, the charges against you will be dismissed and you will be able to expunge your arrest 6 months after dismissal. If you fail to successfully complete the program, the case will be returned to court for prosecution.
Entering the Conditional Discharge Program
In order to participate in the CD program, you must first be eligible according to the criteria listed above. If you are eligible, you can request a Conditional Discharge from the Court. You will be required to pay mandatory penalties and will be asked to fill out certain paperwork. Sometime after you file your paperwork, the Conditional Discharge Officer assigned to your case will contact you. This can take anywhere between two to six weeks. During this time, it is important to periodically check in with the Court to ensure your paper work has been received and you have been entered into the system. Failure to make sure you are in the system could delay the time-frame required for the successful completion of your program.
Contact Cherry Hill Marijuana Possession Attorney Steven A. Traub
A conviction for marijuana possession can have long-term legal, financial, and employment consequences. If you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession, contact Cherry Hill, New Jersey Conditional Discharge lawyer Steven A. Traub today to learn how we can help you. Click Here For A Free Consultation