Conditional Dismissal NJ
New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Represents Clients Considering Conditional Dismissal in Burlington County, Camden County and Throughout NJ
While every criminal offense can carry serious and lasting consequences, the fact is that some crimes are simply less serious than others. People make mistakes or simply find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, which can result in a criminal record that can follow you around for years after you’ve paid the required fines and completed any other punishment that was ordered. To help prevent this situation, a relatively new option, called conditional dismissal, has been developed in New Jersey to help first-time offenders charged with relatively minor offenses avoid full prosecution that would result in a record of conviction.
Conditional dismissal is different from other diversionary programs, such as pre-trial intervention and conditional discharge, because it applies to disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly offenses (without any requirement that the charges be drug-related). If you are considering conditional dismissal or another diversionary program and are a first-time offender, it remains important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can advocate on your behalf to gain admission into the program. At Gelman Law, LLC, we have both the experience and the resources necessary to evaluate whether conditional dismissal is right for you and to advocate on your behalf in gaining admission.
Establishing Eligibility for New Jersey’s Conditional Dismissal Program
Generally, to qualify for participation in the conditional dismissal program, you must satisfy the following initial criteria:
- You cannot have any prior convictions for any crime in any state or in federal court,
- You generally cannot have been charged with a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense,
- You cannot have previously participated in a diversionary program, regardless of which program was involved,
- You must admit guilt via a plea bargain, or be found guilty in court,
- The offense must have been committed on or after January 4, 2014.
In considering your application, the court will also consider various factors in order to determine whether you should be admitted into the program. Those factors may include:
- The type of offense involved and the circumstances surrounding your involvement,
- Whether the offense speaks to a continued pattern of criminal or antisocial behavior,
- Whether participation in the conditional dismissal program is in the best interest of the public,
- Whether the relevant offense was violent in nature,
- Your motivation, general character and age,
- Whether admission into the program will hinder prosecution of any co-defendants,
- The prosecutor’s recommendation,
- Any other relevant factors.
Individuals who are accused of committing certain enumerated offenses are excluded from participation in conditional dismissal program even if it is a first-time disorderly persons-level offense. Those excluded offenses include:
- Any charge related to organized gang activity,
- Charges related to ongoing criminal or business enterprises,
- Some domestic violence charges,
- Crimes against the elderly, disabled persons or a minor,
- DWI/DUI-related offenses,
- Crimes alleged against a public figure related to breach of public trust,
- Violations of animal cruelty laws.
Gelman Law, LLC, Puts Years of Experience to Work for You in Determining Whether Conditional Dismissal is Right in Your Burlington County Case
At Gelman Law, LLC, our experienced criminal defense team has successfully represented clients charged with a wide variety of crimes, including the types of disorderly persons offenses that will render you eligible for conditional dismissal if all other conditions are satisfied. Because of this experience, we have the experience necessary to help you evaluate whether the conditional dismissal program is right for you—and to help you fight the charges if you decide against admitting guilt.
While in some cases, choosing conditional dismissal is a simple choice—such as in cases where you have already admitted guilt or been convicted of the offense involved. In others, we will conduct a more nuanced evaluation to examine the prosecution’s evidence in your case to determine whether we might obtain a more favorable outcome by negotiating to obtain dismissed charges or by arguing your case in court. We consider every option so that we can gain the greatest chances of getting the best possible outcome in your case.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation to Discuss the Possibility of Conditional Dismissal
Our skilled and trustworthy Camden County criminal defense lawyer offers a free initial consultation where we can discuss whether conditional dismissal may be the right move in your case. Remember, you are under no obligation to choose conditional dismissal—we can also help you evaluate options for fighting the charges against you to obtain an acquittal or have the charges dropped if possible. Considering conditional dismissal for probation or shoplifting in NJ? If you have questions about the program or your options for fighting your charges generally, call or contact our office to schedule your free consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Conditional Dismissal
While you will avoid jail time and conviction, you remain responsible for paying any monetary fines and fees that may be imposed in connection with your offense even after successfully completing the conditional dismissal program.
Because entering the conditional dismissal program requires an admission of guilt or a finding of guilt, if you fail to comply with the terms imposed under the program, the judge can sentence you to the penalties that would apply based upon the offense involved automatically. In other words, once you have entered the conditional dismissal program, you are not entitled to another trial if you fail to complete the entire term of probation.
The prosecution could object to your participation for any number of reasons, and is actually entitled to present evidence as to why you should not be admitted into the program. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to retain an experienced defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf and mitigate any evidence that the prosecution might present to gain the best chances of being admitted into the conditional dismissal program.