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
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;
- 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
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. The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense
Attorneys can assess the facts of your case and help you seek conditional
Contact The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys by calling
or filling out an online contact form here. Schedule your free consultation today!