Conditional Dismissal
Is It A Conviction?
How Does It Work?

A Conditional Dismissal is a way for you to avoid getting a criminal conviction.
If you have a clean record & have been arrested for a non-drug offense, you may be eligible for this program.
Before we get into it, please know that there is another program in New Jersey called the Conditional Discharge Program.
The "discharge" program is for drugs.
Now that we've cleared this up, let's break it down.

Conditional Dismissal - What Does It Mean?

Let’s say that you’ve been arrested for Simple Assault.
The allegation is that you slapped someone.
Simple Assault is a misdemeanor (disorderly persons) charge in New Jersey and these cases are heard in Municipal Court.
If you have a clean record & the case against is strong, you may choose to go into the Conditional Dismissal program.
The reason for doing this is to keep your record clean.

Since the case against you is strong, you may believe that the judge will find you guilty if it goes to trial.

This “dismissal” is a quick fix to putting an end to the whole nightmare.

However, just like the name of the program suggests, there are certain “conditions” that you have to fulfill.

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Conditional Dismissal Eligibility?

To be eligible for the Conditional Dismissal program, you need to have a clean record. This means that you have no prior convictions. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been arrested. You just can’t have any convictions.

Next, you must never have received any other type of probation.

To repeat once more, your charge cannot involve drugs.
Remember, there’s a different program called Conditional Discharge & it’s for drugs.

What Types of Charges Make Me Ineligible For A Conditional Dismissal?

What Types of Things Will Affect My Ability To Be Admitted?

  • Involves gang activity
  • Involves organized crime
  • Arises from a continuing criminal business or enterprise
  • Arises from an act against a public officer or employee, and involves a breach of the public trust
  • Involves domestic violence
  • Involves an offense against an elderly, disabled or minor person
  • Is an offense involving driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating liquor, narcotics, hallucinogenics or habit-producing drugs
  • Involves a violation of animal cruelty laws
  • Alleges violation of a municipal ordinance
  • The nature and circumstances of the offense
  • The facts surrounding the commission of the offense
  • Your motivation, age, character, and attitude
  • The desire of the complainant or victim to forego prosecution
  • The needs and interests of the victim and the community
  • The extent to which your offense constitutes part of a continuing pattern of anti-social behavior
  • Whether the offense is of an assaultive or violent nature, either in the act itself or in the possible injurious consequences of the act
  • Whether your participation will adversely affect the prosecution of codefendants
  • Whether diversion is consistent with the public interest

Is It A Conviction?

The whole purpose of the Conditional Dismissal program is for you to NOT get a conviction.

If you get into the program after you plead guilty or are found guilty, you will not get a conviction on your record.

Of course, you have to pay all fines and comply with the conditions of your program.
For example, you can not get another conviction or violate a “no-contact” order.


If your misdemeanor charge involves domestic violence, you cannot use this program.

How Long Does The Program Take?

The program lasts one year.
Assuming that you’ve complied with all conditions, your case will be dismissed at the end of one year.

What Happens If I Violate The Conditions I Agreed to?

If you are convicted of a new offense or violate any term and condition imposed by the court, the judge can enter a judgment of conviction against you.

In other words, you wasted your one and only opportunity to keep your record clean.

Important Immigration Consequences

If you are not a United States and have heard about the Conditional Dismissal program, it is important to consult with an immigration attorney.
We offer immigration services at our firm.
The problem for Non-U.S. Citizens is that your “guilty plea” may serve as the basis for your deportation.

It does not matter that the case will ultimately be dismissed.

Just call us and we will help you.

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