The New Jersey Conditional Dismissal Statute

N.J.S.A. 2C:43-13.1

2C:43-13.1. Conditional Dismissal Program; eligibility and application


Effective on January 4, 2014

a. Whenever any defendant who has not been previously convicted of any petty disorderly persons offense, disorderly persons offense or crime under any law of the United States, this State or any other state, and who has not previously participated in conditional discharge under N.J.S.2C:36A-1, supervisory treatment under N.J.S.2C:43-12, or conditional dismissal under P.L.2013, c. 158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.), is charged with a petty disorderly offense or disorderly persons offense except as provided in subsection b. of this section, the defendant may, after a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt, but prior to the entry of a judgment of conviction and with appropriate notice to the prosecutor, apply to the court for entry into the conditional dismissal program pursuant to the requirements of P.L.2013, c. 158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.). As a condition of such application, the defendant shall submit to the fingerprint identification procedures as provided in R.S. 53:1-15 before making such application to the court to allow sufficient time for verification of the defendant's criminal history by the prosecutor.

b. (1) A defendant shall not be eligible for participation in the conditional dismissal program if the offense for which the person is charged involved: (a) organized criminal or gang activity; (b) a continuing criminal business or enterprise; (c) a breach of the public trust by a public officer or employee; (d) domestic violence as defined by subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-19); (e) an offense against an elderly, disabled or minor person; (f) an offense involving driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug; (g) a violation of animal cruelty laws; or (h) any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C.

(2) Nothing in this act shall preclude a defendant charged with any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C from applying to the court for admission into the conditional discharge program in accordance with N.J.S.2C:36A-1.

c. In addition to the eligibility criteria enumerated in this section, the court shall consider the following factors:

(1) The nature and circumstances of the offense;

(2) The facts surrounding the commission of the offense;

(3) The motivation, age, character and attitude of the defendant;

(4) The desire of the complainant or victim to forego prosecution;

(5) The needs and interests of the victim and the community;

(6) The extent to which the defendant's offense constitutes part of a continuing pattern of anti-social behavior;

(7) Whether the offense is of an assaultive or violent nature, whether in the act itself or in the possible injurious consequences of such behavior;

(8) Whether the applicant's participation will adversely affect the prosecution of codefendants;

(9) Whether diversion of the defendant from prosecution is consistent with the public interest; and

(10) Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

     There is no absolute right to enter this program and it must be negotiated with the prosecutor and approved by the Judge handling the case. The experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys of Avery & Avery, are familiar with this new program and can use it to protect your rights and to minimize the consequences of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons charge to you. If you are charged with these or similar offenses, CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.  We will help guide you to the best path to avoid having a criminal record, and all the disabilities that would otherwise result from such a record.


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