How Do You Qualify For A Diversionary Program?

At my law firm, the Law Office of Ronald F. Saupe, Esq., I frequently help college students and recent graduates seek alternatives to a guilty plea. As your lawyer, I can advise you or a family member about two common diversion programs that can resolve your arrest charge without it appearing on your record.

How The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program Works

The first of the two programs is known as the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. ARD is aimed at first-time offenders charged with non violent offenses, including possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated. This is a pretrial diversionary program, provided by every county in Pennsylvania, that can keep the offense of your permanent criminal record if successfully completed.

The precise requirements for participating in ARD vary from case to case and charge to charge, but can include:

  • Several days of 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

You will be asked to complete these requirements during your supervision period. If successful, the court will certify your case may be dismissed and removed from your permanent record.

How The Youthful Offenders Program Works

The second diversionary program, the Youthful Offender Program (“YOP”), focuses on offenses related to underage drinking and related summary offenses. It has the aim of helping minors with alcohol-related offenses avoid a permanent criminal offense from appearing on their records.

To participate in the YOP program, I can assist you as your attorney in following these steps:

  1. Requests for participation in this program must be made to the presiding district judge before entering a plea.
  2. If your request is approved, you will pay court costs only. No fine will be assessed.
  3. You may be required to attend about 13 hours of classroom instruction. There will be an exit interview at the end of those sessions.
  4. After you have completed all requirements, the district judge can then dismiss the citation.

Discover A Brighter Future – Call 814-983-0017 Today

I can help you find diversion program alternatives to a criminal sentence for which you or a family member may qualify. I work with clients in State College and Centre and surrounding Counties. To set up a free appointment to learn more, call 814-983-0017 or email my office.

AV | Preeminent | Ronald F. Saupe | 2013