Diversionary programs will allow you to avoid criminal prosecution.
The purpose of each program is to “forgive” you once for your mistake. That’s right, you don’t get two bites out of the apple.
New Jersey’s criminal code recognizes that people aren’t perfect.
If you get arrested on a first offense, you have a way to keep your record clean.
Different diversionary programs exist for different types of crimes.
To be eligible, you must be a New Jersey resident without a prior conviction.
We will discuss each program & the eligibility requirements below.
The process is simple if you don’t complicate it. What do we mean?
Well, if you get accepted into a diversionary program, make sure that you comply with all of the terms of your probation. If you violate the conditions, you will find yourself back to square one (with open charges). You complicated everything by wasting a golden opportunity. Keep it simple, comply, and move on.
It’s basically a 5 step process.
Please refer to the chart below as we go along.
Step 1 – Apply – Make sure that you complete the application & pay the filing fees. Attend your interview. Don’t blow it off!
Step 2 – Get Accepted – If you don’t get accepted, it’s either because your charges are way too serious or you have a prior record.
Step 3 – Meet All Conditions – If you are not allowed to smoke weed, by all means, do not smoke weed. You will get drug tested & if you test dirty, it’s all over. Attend all appointments with your probation officer. Pay all fines, penalties, and restitution.
Step 4 – Go To Court – At the end of your diversionary term, you need to return to court to get your charges “formally dismissed”. This means that the judge will officially & legally make a record that your charges have been dismissed.
It’s like the whole thing never happened.
***The biggest mistake you can make is never showing up to your last court appearance. Your criminal charge stays open and will appear on a background search. All of your work would be a waste.
Step 5 – Expunge The Arrest – Yes, you never got a criminal conviction, but the record of your arrest is alive and well. If a background check is run, your arrest record will pop up. The final step in the entire diversionary process is to expunge your record.
This program is available for indictable (felony) offenders with no prior criminal history. Typically lasting 6 months to 3 years, the program is an alternative to prison time and acts as a period of probation. Charges are dismissed after successful completion of the program.
If you are facing misdemeanor or disorderly persons offenses, this is the program that you would apply for.
If your misdemeanor charges will be heard in Municipal Court, you can rest assured that you’re facing “minor criminal charges”.
The Conditional Dismissal Program can typically last for one year.
If you are facing misdemeanor or disorderly persons CDS charges, this is the program that you would apply for.
If your drug charges will be heard in Municipal Court, you can rest assured that you’re facing “minor drug charges”.
This program is used the most for Marijuana Possession charges.
The Conditional Discharge Program can last from 6 months to 3 years.
As you have read, if you have been arrested & charged with a crime, there is a way out.
Diversionary programs are “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities & should not be wasted.
If you have a strong defense, you may consider fighting the charges & preserving your right to use a diversionary program down the road.
We understand that no one plans on getting arrested a second time.
But consider this: If you use your conditional discharge on a marijuana charge when you’re 20 years old, you won’t be allowed to use PTI for a more serious charge when you’re 45.
If you were the victim of an illegal search, why should you waste your get-out-of-jail-free-card?
Meet with us for free & let’s discuss your options.
You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.
Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey complex as well as nearby cities. The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.
Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.
If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.
Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.
Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities.
There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.
The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.
We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars.
When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.