Pennsylvania has a diversionary program for certain first time offenders called ARD, which stands for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition. Under the rules of this program, the accused does not admit guilt, but generally must agree to pay fines, restitution, and serve a term of probation among other conditions. In exchange for abiding by the conditions of the ARD program, the accused can earn a complete dismissal of the criminal charges. You must consult with an attorney as early as possible after your arrest, as timing is critical.
Many potential employers and schools now require that you subject yourself to a criminal background check before they will even consider you for a position or admission. If you previously have been convicted of a criminal offense, you may find it difficult to pursue the career or educational opportunity of your choice. Fortunately, you may be eligible for an "expungement" of your criminal record. Under some circumstances, we may be able to erase all record of your arrest, including your fingerprints, mugshot, police reports, and subsequent conviction and sentence information. In order to do this you must have been admitted to the ARD program, or another diversionary program and completed it appropriately.
Erie County has two other specialized programs to help those accused of offenses who are addicted to illegal narcotics or who have mental health conditions for which they need treatment. Erie County Drug Court and Erie County Mental Health Court are options that may be available to persons accused of non-violent offenses and who have drug addictions and/or mental health issues in need of treatment. These programs allow you to avoid jail while getting you the treatment you need for your problems. Contact Attorney Hopkins today to see if these programs are right for you.
At our firm, we understand that good people make bad choices. You will be treated with the respect you deserve in combination with the representation you need. Contact us by calling 814-455-3100 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
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Damon C. Hopkins, Attorney and Counselor at Law
504 State Street, Suite 300
Erie, PA 16501-1190
Telephone: 814-455-3100 | Fax: 814-459-2257
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
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