New Jersey provides several diversionary programs for first-time offenders:
Pre-Trial Intervention (at the Superior Court Level); Conditional Discharge
(for first-time marijuana cases at the municipal court level); and the
Conditional Dismissal Program (for disorderly persons offenders at the
municipal court level)
I have enrolled hundreds of clients in the Conditional Discharge Program.
It's a great way to get your "free pass" for a small marijuana
case like having a joint in your car, or being found in possession of
small quantity of pot. I would say that in roughly 100% of my cases, the
judge imposes a 12-month probationary term right in court once we determine
the defendant's eligibility. However, as with most things in life,
nothing is for certain...
In Bergen County, there is a variation on the norm which requires one extra
court appearance for the defendant and their attorney. In Bergen County
municipal courts, a defendant "applies" for this program once
eligibility is confirmed. Also unique to Bergen is that a $75.00 application
fee is imposed. Personally, I think this is unfair because once enrolled
in the program by the court, the defendant must pay nearly $900 in "fees."
The defendant fills out an application in court which is then forwarded
to the county probation department for approval. Once approved, the defendant
and their lawyer must go back to court to be "accepted."
The good news is that most Bergen judges will put the defendant into the
program for only 6 months, instead of the usual 12. This great for two
reasons: 1) the client is finished with probation in half the time; and
2) the client is then eligible for an expungement six months earlier than normal.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious criminal offense,
the time to speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense lawyer
is now. I have dedicated the
The Law Offices of Christopher G. Porreca, P.C. to protecting the rights and interests of the accused and have consistently
provided favorable results for my clients.
Start exploring your defense options with a dedicated legal advocate by
Call my firm at 973.577.7203 today.