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Woman Charged with Corruption of Minors After Using Teen's Urine to Pass Drug Test

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Criminal charges were recently filed in a Centre County court against a Philipsburg woman after allegedly obtaining urine from a teenager and submitting that urine to Children and Youth Services (CYS) to pass a drug test. How does one segway to a conversation about borrowing some urine? Possibly a posting on Craigslist?  Regardless of how the woman convinced the teenager to surrender the urine, the woman's use of someone else's urine led to the filing of twelve misdemeanor criminal charges, including Corruption of Minors, Obstructing the Administration of Law, Furnishing Drug-Free Urine, and Fabricating Evidence.

Corruption of Minors Charge

A charge of Corruption of Minors, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301, is very broad in its coverage in that it prohibits a person from committing "any act that corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any crime, or who knowingly assists or encourages such minor in violating his or her parole or any order of court." This charge is routinely filed in Furnishing Alcohol to Minors cases in which the underage drinkers are under the age of 18. A charge of Furnishing Alcohol to Minors is the lowest level misdemeanor, a misdemeanor of the third degree, whereas the Corruption of Minors charge is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, the most severe misdemeanor charge. The difference in penalties is substantial, as a third degree misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 6 months incarceration and a $2,500.00 fine, and a first degree misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 5 years incarceration and a $10,000.00 fine. As a first degree misdemeanor, a conviction of Corruption of Minors would also result in the imposition of collateral consequences, such as a lifetime prohibition on the possession of firearms under Federal law.

Crimen Falsi Charges

The charge of Furnishing Drug-Free Urine, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7509 is somewhat silly. It prohibits a person from selling, causing to be sold, giving, using, or attempting to use drug-free urine to cause a deceitful result in a drug test. While the charge sounds silly, it is a misdemeanor of the third degree, so a conviction would result in a criminal record. I believe the charge would also fall into the category of a crimen falsi offense, meaning a crime involving dishonesty. This is the same category as theft, perjury, forgery, identity theft, and Possession of a Fake ID, and such offenses on a criminal record make it much more difficult for a person to obtain a job.

First Time Offfender - ARD Program

If this person has never been in trouble before or has a limited record, she may be approved to participate in the first time offenders program known as the Centre County ARD program. ARD is a "probation without verdict" or "pre-adjudicative disposition" program, which basically means that a person accepts a  punishment from the court, and, upon completion of the punishment, the charges are generally eligible to be dismissed and then expunged from a person's criminal record. The ARD program generally imposes a period of supervision by the probation department, community service, payment of costs and fees, and possibly counseling or other educational programs. Some offenses like DUI, Underage Drinking, and Possession of a Fake ID also result in a suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. By avoiding a conviction, participation in ARD also generally avoids the imposition of collateral consequences as well.

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