The Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) (S.L. 2011-192) has made several changes to areas of criminal law. Most notably for criminal law, the changes allow me to help first time offenders under North Carolina General Statute 90-96, which allows for a conditional discharge for certain drug offenders. As of January 1, 2012, the new statute allows a convicted defendant to consent to being placed on probation without the court actually entering judgment. If the person fulfills the terms and conditions of the probation, the statute reads that the court shall dismiss the charges against the defendant. If however, the person violates a term or condition of the probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and sentence the defendant. Successful defendants may apply for an expunction of the dismissed charge which is one of the services we offer for clients who enter the first offender’s program.
The defendants that are eligible for the conditional discharge are those who have a clean criminal record and are charged with any misdemeanor or felony simple possession of controlled substances crime under G.S. 90-95(a)(3), regardless of the substance schedule or amount, and/ or possession of drug paraphernalia under G.S. 90-113.22. This is expansive, as the old statute would only allow a 90-96 to be used for defendants charged with possession of cocaine. We have placed clients charged with larceny into this program among other crimes charged. The program fee is $250 in addition to court costs around $188. You are also required to complete 75 hours of community service in Wake County. You are able to choose where you do the community service as well.
If you have any questions, or would like to see if a conditional discharge would be appropriate in your pending charges, please give us a call today at 919-585-1486 to speak with a Raleigh first offenders lawyer at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC. Our office is centrally located in Cary and you can reach us by e-mail for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.