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What is conditional discharge?

A discharge signifies a court sentence where no punishment is enforced. A conditional discharge is when the sentence imposed is one in which the defendant is not punished, provided he or she fulfills certain preordained conditions. Most often, the condition is a 12-month probation period.

After the conditions are met, the discharge becomes absolute. Non-compliance with the conditions will lead to resentencing of the defendant.

Can a record be expunged or removed after successfully honoring conditional discharge?

Conditional discharge is a form of probation, thereby making it a type of criminal conviction. The conviction cannot be easily erased but having the record sealed is one option. To do so, the following conditions should be fulfilled:

  • Four to five years (depending on the charge) should have passed since the sentence,
  • You must not have been convicted of any other crime since then, and
  • There are no charges currently pending against you.

You need to send a request to eliminate your criminal record. You can get more information from the law enforcement agency. You may also contact the Department of Criminal Justice Services for further instruction.

Sealing a record means it is hidden and not available to the public, and no one can be informed it exists. Expunging a record destroys it completely. You can deny a conviction with most employers, but if some jobs require professional licenses, they could still access these records. One option is to mention “convicted but record sealed” on your job application to avoid future complications.

Can the state take firearm rights away from someone on conditional discharge?

The police have a right to take away your firearms, at least until your conditional discharge is complete. In some states, conditional discharge is similar to probation. In most situations, firearm rights can be revoked during probation, and the same thing happens with conditional discharge.

Whether the firearm is withheld depends upon the crime committed. The Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) form asks several questions about being convicted of a crime, and conditional discharge is considered a conviction.

Can a judge modify the one-year conditional discharge in a DUI case, based on good behavior?

At certain times, sentences are required. The judge’s discretion is limited to the method by which the sentence will be served. In this case, the one-year duration is mandatory.

Modification does include reduction of a sentence, but it can also include an increased penalty. To modify, given the context of this situation, the judge could choose to remove the defendant from the conditional discharge program and have them tried on the original charges.

Why are DNA samples required after release from a conditional discharge?

When certain crimes such as felonies and misdemeanors are committed, DNA samples must be collected. It is part of the requirement of your discharge, which you must fulfill. DNA sample collection is simple. They will use a q-tip and swab the inside of your mouth.

No special test, screening or process is done on this sample, other than entering it into their database as a records. The reason this is done is to have a record to compare to any DNA which is recovered from a crime scene in the future. This type of database is called a DNA index and helps solve crimes. If you refuse to agree to the test, you could be held in contempt of court and be jailed. Contempt of court is a felony.

Can a company terminate employment because of a conditional discharge,  without an arrest or conviction?

contract of employment is what determines your fate in the company. Without this important document you are an “at will” employee who can be terminated for any reason, except for factors such as age, race, religion, gender, disability, and so on. If chooses to terminate over your conditional discharge, they have the right to do so. 

Conditional discharge can be a blessing after being charged with a criminal offence. It is a way to correct mistakes while avoiding severe punishment or jail time, provided the stipulated conditions set by the court are completed. To learn more about your specific situation, ask Lawyers on JustAnswer for advice, any time, day or night.

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