Conditional Discharge Law: N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1

The definition and terms for Conditional Discharge in New Jersey are contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1. A conditional discharge is limited to a Disorderly Persons Offense involving drugs, (i.e., possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia) in municipal court. There are exclusions that may prevent you from receiving a conditional discharge. Typically you cannot have a prior conviction for a controlled dangerous substance offense. If you have already received a prior conditional discharge you are ineligible for a conditional discharge. However the statute is not clear that a prior PTI disqualifies you from conditional discharge.

What will the Conditions of my Discharge be?

Once you received a conditional discharge you must abide by the conditions imposed by the court. If you violate the conditions of your discharge, you will be terminated from probation and you once again have to face the original criminal charges against you. In most case a conditionally discharge involves minimal or no supervision.
The law says, “In no event shall the court require as a term or condition of supervisory treatment under this section, referral to any residential treatment facility for a period exceeding the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been charged or convicted, nor shall any term of supervisory treatment imposed under this subsection exceed a period of three years.”
So the most one can be supervised for is for three years and this happens rarely. In those courts where they take a more active approach you may have to submit to random drug testing to show the court that you are drug free.


The state of New Jersey imposes mandatory surcharges you operates a vehicle in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2. Additionally, insurers impose a separate penalty or surcharge on motor vehicle policies when there is a lapse in coverage.

Second Offense

  • $750 Fine
  • $250 Motor Vehicle Surcharge per year for three years
  • Additional suspension of license for up to six months
  • Mandatory jail sentence of one to five days
  • Mandatory suspension of registration privileges if the offense occurred within five years of the last