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Minor Offenders in NJ Get a Second Chance with Conditional Release Program

October 25, 2013

By J.P. McCormick, Summer Associate

The attorneys at Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks have proven time and again to be at the forefront of changes in the law. Attorneys Ed Dimon and Adam Carman show this awareness as they have already successfully utilized the newly passed Bramnick Bill on Conditional Release Program, which was just signed into law on September 9, 2013.

The Conditional Release Bill allows municipal courts to consider the possibility of a conditional dismissal for certain first time offenders charged with disorderly persons offenses. Before this Bill was passed, there had been a Conditional Discharge Program, but it covered only minor drug-related offenses, while having no option for other misdemeanors such as lewdness or shoplifting.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible for this new conditional release program, an applicant must have no prior disorderly persons or felony convictions. Similarly, applicant must not have received any other Pretrial Intervention or Conditional Discharge.

An applicant must also apply for Conditional Discharge at the right time. For it to be considered, the individual must apply to the municipal prosecutor, after a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty, but before an entry of judgment of conviction.
Aspects of Crime that Disqualify an Applicant:

If the disorderly conduct or petty disorderly conduct involved any of the following attributes, then an applicant is barred from seeking Conditional Release:

  1. Organized crime or gang activity;
  2. Continuing criminal enterprise;
  3. Public officers or employees who breach the public trust;
  4. Domestic violence;
  5. Offenses against the elderly or disabled persons;
  6. Offenses involving Driving While Intoxicated;
  7. Offenses involving animal cruelty;
  8. Drug offenses (these are already covered in a different law).


This new bill gives many minor offenders a second-chance at a clean record. If you or your loved one qualifies for this new legal remedy, please contact attorney Ed Dimon or Adam Carman to discuss your legal options, and the other factors that the municipal court will consider in determining whether to allow an applicant into the Conditional Release Program.

JP2J.P. McCormick is in his third year at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where he is an Executive Editor for the University of New Hampshire Law Review. Upon finishing his third year of law school, J.P. intends to practice in New Jersey, and is interested in all aspects of civil law. You can follow him on Twitter @JP_McCormick.

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