Since I have never been in trouble before, am I eligible to participate in a first-time offenders program such as ARD and thereby have my drug delivery charges dismissed and expunged?
First-time Offenders Program
A common misconception is that a person charged with a crime for the first time is entitled to participate in a first-time offenders program that will allow the charge to be dismissed and expunged. Regrettably, there is no such entitlement. The district attorney in every county is the “gatekeeper” or decision maker with regard to which persons are admitted into the general first-time offenders program known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). While ARD is sometimes permitted in felony drug cases, it is relatively rare and often only occurs in unique situations. In Centre County, criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle is unaware of any felony drug case being resolved via participation in the ARD program. While the possibility always exists that the Centre County District Attorney could approve a felony drug case for acceptance into the ARD program, it is highly unlikely to occur and thereby should not be expected. If you are charged with any drug offense, you should contact an experienced drug lawyer such as State College criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle.