Diversionary programs serve as an alternative to the standard penalties—and long-term consequences—that can apply following a conviction. Some of the most widely used programs in New Jersey include the Conditional Discharge Program, Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), and the Veteran’s Diversion Program.
If you’re facing charges, the easiest way to determine whether you qualify for any such programs is by consulting an attorney. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can evaluate your particular situation to determine whether pursuing a diversionary arrangement could be worthwhile.
To learn about some of the more general requirements for these programs, read on:
The Conditional Discharge Program
The Conditional Discharge Program is open to first-time drug offenders who have not already participated in a diversionary program. Additionally, they must be facing charges for a disorderly persons offense. Examples of such offenses include possessing drug paraphernalia and possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana.
Upon starting the Conditional Discharge Program, participants are placed on probation—typically three years—and must submit to all the requirements, like random drug testing. If they complete the probationary period, the charges are dismissed, so there is no conviction on their record.
First-time adult offenders who are facing charges for third or fourth degree crimes may be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention program, assuming they have not already participated in any kind of diversionary program. The kinds of charges that may make you eligible for this program include heroin possession, intent to distribute marijuana, forgery, and some theft offenses.
Like the Conditional Discharge Program, PTI requires offenders to complete the terms of a probation. If they do, they may then walk away without a conviction.
The Veteran’s Diversion Program
As its name implies, the Veteran’s Diversion Program is open to offenders who have served in the military. In order to be eligible, you must have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder like PTSD, and you must have been charged with a non-violent third or fourth degree indictable crime. Examples include shoplifting, some drug offenses, and driving with a suspended license.
A fairly new development, this program requires participants to submit to a structured treatment plan that prioritizes rehabilitation. The treatments are usually provided by the VA, and they must be supervised by the court.
Veterans who complete the terms and conditions of their specific plan are eligible to have their original charges dismissed. That means they won’t have a conviction for the offense in question on their permanent criminal record.
Call 973-832-0841 to Discuss Your Case with a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a crime in New Jersey, turn to The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura for strategic guidance. Joe has been named among the “Top 40 Under 40” by National Trial Lawyers and the American Society of Legal Advocates.
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