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Conditional Discharge

Conditional Discharge in Metro Atlanta

Knowledgeable Legal Counsel Throughout Cobb County, GA

There are a few different sentencing options for drug-related crimes. The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys represents clients throughout Atlanta, Kennesaw, and Marietta in seeking these post-conviction options, one of which is conditional discharge.

What Is Conditional Discharge?

The aim of conditional discharge is to educate offenders and to provide them with the knowledge to reintegrate into society and not commit the same or similar offense. The program may require participation in a comprehensive drug rehabilitation program and medical treatment not more than 3 years.

When a person seeks to participate in a conditional discharge program, they begin the process by entering a guilty plea to the offense they are charged with. Be aware that once a person pleads guilty, they will concede their constitutional right to fight against the charges, such as their:

  • right to a pretrial hearing;
  • right to a Suppression Hearing;
  • right to a trial by jury or the judge;
  • right to the presumption of innocence;
  • right to testify or remain silent.

How Does Conditional Discharge Work?

In drug possession cases, a judge will normally impose a drug rehabilitation program as part of a defendant's conditions. The exact recommendations and requirements will vary depending on the person's usage and the charges they face. Beyond treatment, the judge can also require that the defendant remain a law-abiding citizen during the conditional discharge probation period, where any violation of the law could result in disqualification from the program. Note that an individual can be sentenced under the Conditional Discharge Act even if they have already been sentenced as a first offender and vice versa.

After successful completion of all the program requirements, the court will dismiss the charges an individual has pled guilty to, and the defendant can move forward as if they were never convicted. Note that a failure to complete the program will force the court to enter a guilty judgment and sentence the defendant up to the maximum sentence for the alleged crime.

Discharge under this program may not be used to disqualify a person in any application for employment or appointment to office in the public or private sector.

Who Qualifies for Conditional Discharge?

In order to qualify for a conditional discharge in Georgia, an individual must either be charged as a first-time offender of a drug crime or as a minor for purchasing or possessing alcohol. Drugs relevant to the first-offense qualification include:

  • narcotic drugs;
  • marijuana;
  • stimulants;
  • depressants; or
  • hallucinogenic drugs.

Acts relevant to the minor and alcohol qualification include purchasing, attempting to purchase, or possessing alcohol when under the age of 21, and misrepresenting one’s own age while under 21 years old for the purpose of obtaining any alcoholic beverage. Any non-violent property crimes related to the accused's controlled substance or alcohol offense can also qualify a first-time offender for a conditional discharge. Be aware that a defendant can only use the Conditional Discharge Program once, and it can only be used for drug-related crimes.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Legal Guidance

If you seek to qualify for conditional discharge in Georgia, contact an experienced lawyer for legal guidance in the application process. If your charge is drug-related and a first-time offense, you are likely eligible to participate in the program, which could help reduce the negative consequences of a traditional conviction. TheMarietta drug crime attorneys at The Dickerson Firm - DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys can assess the facts of your case and help you seek conditional discharge.

Contact The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys by calling (678) 487-5728 or filling out an online contact form here. Schedule your free consultation today!