In New York, a conditional discharge is imposed when the court determines neither jail nor probation is appropriate given the circumstances of the case. As part of a conditional discharge, courts often impose conditions which require, for a period of time, the accused to not break any laws, complete a particular program, or to refrain from contacting certain persons. It is also possible that the judge simply imposes a fine, or the judge may require the accused to pay a fine on top of the other charges.
A conditional discharge is preferable to an unconditional discharge in situations where the court has a desire to loosely monitor the progress of individual and make sure he or she stays on the right side of the law.
So long as the accused abides by all of the terms and conditions during the required time-period, he or she is cleared of all charges and does not have a criminal record. However, for certain employment positions with the government, the charge would likely show up on a background check. But with regards to the ordinary background check conducted by a private employer, it is extremely unlikely that any charges would show up, unless a mistake was made.