The conditional dismissal program is a “diversion” program in all New Jersey Municipal courts for eligible defendants. Under the provisions of this program, a defendant who is charged with a petty disorderly persons offense or a disorderly persons offense may apply to enter into the conditional dismissal program provided the defendant has not been previously convicted of any offense or crime under any law of the U.S., NJ or any other state. The defendant may make application to the conditional dismissal program AFTER a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt BUT prior to the entry of judgment of conviction. However, in order for the prosecutor to verify the defendant’s lack of criminal history, the defendant must submit to fingerprint identification procedures before making an application to the court.
Conditional dismissal is not available to any person who has previously participated in conditional discharge, conditional dismissal or PTI. Additionally, the program is not available to defendants charged with offenses that involve organized criminal or gang activity, a continuing business or enterprise; a breach of the public trust by a public officer or employee; domestic violence; an offense against an elderly disabled or minor person; an offense involving driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug; animal cruelty laws, or any disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense involving drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Upon approval of admission by the court and prosecutor, the defendant is placed under a probation monitoring status for one year with fines and other terms and conditions set by the court. Failure to comply with the terms conditions of probation will result in the court entering a judgment of conviction and the imposition of fines and other penalties commensurate with the defendant’s prior plea or finding of guilt. Successful completion of the terms and conditions will result in a dismissal of the proceedings against the defendant.
A conditional dismissal can only be granted once with respect to any defendant.
If this is the first time you have been charged with a criminal offense and the matter is being adjudicated in any one of the New Jersey municipal courts, you may be eligible for a conditional dismissal. Contact Attorney Gwendolyn O. Austin at (973) 735-2706 or on line for a free, confidential consultation.