You may qualify for a diversion program if you are facing certain charges. These diversion programs require you to complete certain conditions. Once the defendant meets the conditions, either the prosecutor or the court will dismiss the charges.
If you are a college student facing criminal charges for drugs or alcohol, you'll want to be aware of the two common diversion programs that can resolve your arrest charge without it appearing on your record.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
Pennsylvania has a unique program that is available for those who are facing minor, non-violent offense charges - aimed at first-time offenders charged with possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated.
Provided in every county in Pennsylvania, ARD gives those with a clean (or very limited) record a chance to keep their record clear after successfully completing court ordered requirements. The program encourages offenders to make a fresh start and change their lifestyle.
The requirements may vary by case but can include:
- Community service
- Completion of an alcohol/drug treatment program
- Payment for the cost of probation and ARD supervision
- Driver's license suspension
- Agreement to no alcohol or non-prescription drug use
The Youthful Offenders Program
This diversionary program focuses on offenses related to underage drinking and related summary offenses. It aims to help minors with alcohol-related offenses avoid a permanent criminal offense from appearing on their records.
YOP is not a treatment program. If the registrant is dealing with serious issues like addiction, that registrant should seek long-term counseling. If an issue is evident during the pre-interview or during group discussions, the instructor will provide the appropriate referrals and encourage long-term counseling.
If you are facing non-violent criminal charges, you may qualify for a diversion program. An experienced attorney can help guide you through this progress and determine which program is right for you.