Here are some answers to the most frequently-asked questions New Jersey’s new conditional dismissal program available in Municipal Courts, which became effective on January 4, 2014.
- Am I eligible for the conditional dismissal program in NJ
To learn the basics about the conditional dismissal program in NJ, please see my next article to determine if you are eligible.
- Do I have to plead guilty to get into the program
Unfortunately, yes. The statute requires you to plead guilty to the underlying offense in order to enter the program. However, if you successfully complete the program, the charges will be dismissed and you will have no criminal record.
- Is the program going to create issues with regard to my immigration status
It may, if you are not a citizen, due to the fact that you have to plead guilty to the underlying charge in order to enter the program. A guilty plea could result in future problems with immigration, even though the charges will be dismissed at the end of the probationary period. Therefore, you should speak to an immigration lawyer before entering into the program.
- My arrest was December 2013. Am I still eligible for the program
Unfortunately, no. The program became effective January 4, 2014 and is not retroactive, which means it is only applicable to arrests that occurred after January 4, 2014.
- Can I expunge my arrest after I complete the program
Yes, after the six (6)-month waiting period has passed, you can file for the expungement.
- Can I get the conditional dismissal program on my DWI
No; it is only an option for disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses.
- If I used PTI or a conditional discharge before, can I still use the conditional dismissal program on a new charge
No; you can only use one diversionary program in New Jersey during your lifetime.
- What is the term of the probationary period
- How much does it cost
There is a $75.00 application fee and then there are certain program fees, as well as the possibility of a fine up to the maximum permitted in relation to your underlying offense.
- I am charged with simple assault based on a domestic dispute with my wife. I have no prior record. Am I eligible for the conditional dismissal program
No;0 domestic violence charges are not eligible for the conditional dismissal.
For additional information on the conditional dismissal program in New Jersey Municipal Courts, contact my office anytime at 201-556-1570.