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What are Conditional Discharges and Conditional Dismissals

Those facing criminal charges in New Jersey can often utilize a diversionary program to avoid a criminal conviction and other penalties they would face if they otherwise pleaded or were convicted of the charge. The most common diversionary programs are Pretrial Intervention (“PTI”), Conditional Discharges and Conditional Dismissals.


Those facing disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) in the municipal court may be eligible for participation in the Conditional Discharge or Conditional Dismissal Programs. Like PTI, the applicant cannot have participated in any prior diversionary program.


Conditional Discharges are for those charged with drug offenses, such as possession of marijuana, being under the influence or possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges are postponed for one year after being admitted to the programs. During this time the applicant is placed on probation, must remain drug free and is subject to random drug testing. The applicant must also comply with the Standard Conditions of Probation such as, not picking up any new charges, reporting to probation as directed, maintaining gainful employment and cooperating in any test, treatment and/or counseling. If the applicant successfully completes the term of probation, the charges are dismissed. The applicant is thereafter eligible to have the arrest expunged six months following dismissal. If there is a violation, the applicant can be terminated from the program and the original charges can be reinstated. The applicant, however, can still fight the original charges.


Conditional Dismissals are for those charged with non-drug offenses such as shoplifting, disorderly conduct and theft. Those charges with a domestic violence related offenses are not eligible. As with a Conditional Discharge, the applicant is placed on probation for one year and, if probation is successfully completed, the charges are dismissed. The applicant is also likewise eligible to have the arrest expunged six months following dismissal. The difference is that an applicant is required to plead guilty to the offense to be entered into the Conditional Dismissal Program. If there is a violation, the applicant can be terminated from the program. If terminated from the program, the applicant is sentenced and does not have an opportunity to fight the original charges.


If you or someone you know if charged with a criminal, traffic or any other type of offense, free to call or text me at (732) 558-2019, email me at scott@malawnj.com or call the office at (732) 750-4600 to set up an appointment.


Musto & Alevras appears in all courts throughout New Jersey, including, but not limited to Carteret Borough, Cranbury Township, Dunellen Borough, East Brunswick Township, Edison Township, Helmetta Borough, Highland Park Borough, Jamesburg Borough, Metuchen Borough, Middlesex Borough, Milltown Borough, Monroe Township, New Brunswick City, North Brunswick Township, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy City, Piscataway Township, Plainsboro Township, Sayreville Borough, South Amboy City, South Brunswick Township, South Plainfield Borough, South River Borough, Spotswood Borough and Woodbridge Township.




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