New Jersey Criminal Lawyer Discusses the Levels of Drug Charges
There are actually different schedules in which the law assigns different classes of drugs. On the lower end, they are treated the same way because are being handled as disorderly persons offenses.
In the Municipal Court, they’re likely to be treated the same because they are all grouped into the disorderly persons offense category. Municipal prosecutors are not permitted to plea bargain any drug case or any DWI case in the state of New Jersey. A conditional discharge becomes very important in a motion to suppress, to challenge the way that police officers recovered an item, becomes very important.
Levels of Drug Charges
First Offenders May Be Eligible for a Conditional Discharge
If my client has had prior convictions for drug offenses, that prior conviction becomes a big factor in how I handle the case. If they haven’t any prior convictions, then my client might be eligible for what’s called a “conditional discharge.”
A conditional discharge is not a plea of guilty of any sort and there is no loss of license. It simply requires an application fee and then reporting to the Department of Probation, usually over six months or a year period of time, depending on which judge will be hearing your conditional discharge.
That’s a significant part of my interview because it’s a reasonable way of dealing with the case that you might not be able to win either on a motion to suppress or at trial.
A conditional discharge, essentially, is a diversionary program. Ordinarily, it’s maybe only one or two visits to the Department of Probation. It is essentially a diversionary program whereby you do not enter into a plea of guilty, where once the conditional discharge period is over the case gets dismissed.
You May Only Apply for One Conditional Discharge in Your Lifetime
The additional good news is that your case is over. You don’t ever have to face a judge, again, other than to get your case dismissed. There will be no conviction. There will be no getting up in front of a judge and admitting guilt, which could be a part of a plea bargain. One of the downsides is that you can only receive a conditional discharge once in your life.
Violating Your Conditional Discharge
If you get rearrested or you don’t abide by the terms of the conditional discharge, you will then be in a violation of the conditional discharge. A new arrest would even violate you. If that does happen, then the case gets resurrected and you then have to face that charge from the beginning.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for drug charges in New Jersey, contact experienced New Jersey Criminal Lawyer Carl Spector for a free confidential consultation. Let his experience work for you!