Monday, August 6, 2012

Conditional Dismissal May Be Expanding in a NJ Municipal Court By You

Conditional Discharge and Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) permit first time offenders, in Municipal and Superior Court respectively, to undergo a period of probation rather than face the typical penalties for the crime committed. In the event they successfully complete the probationary period, the crime will not appear as part of their record. If they fail to complete probation successfully the underlying charges are simply reinstated and they will be sentenced to the appropriate penalties. Municipal Courts allow Conditional Discharge for certain first event drug related offenses and Superior Courts allow Pre-Trial Intervention for a variety of offenses for first time offenders. The unfair result for certain offenders in municipal court is they are subject to harsher penalties than those committing more serious offenses. The Conditional Dismissal program under consideration would permit defendants charged with disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses the opportunity to avoid a criminal record. Conditional Discharge and Pre-Trial Intervention are good choices for some offenders but not for all. Your best choice is always to seek experienced legal counsel if facing criminal charges in Superior or Municipal Court. For more information on criminal law in New Jersey visit

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