Can I participate in a first-time offender for Underage Drinking?

Centre County Diversionary Programs for Summary Offenses

Many first-time offenders of summary, non-traffic offenses like Underage Drinking, Public Drunkenness, Possession of a Fake ID, Retail Theft, and Disorderly Conduct are permitted by State College judges to participate in a first-time offender or pre-adjudicative disposition programs that allow for the dismissal of the charge.  A dismissed charge remains on the government records, but a dismissed charge is immediately eligible to be expunged.  In order to expunge, the person must file the appropriate petition with the Clerk of Courts to start the expungement process.   State College diversionary programs often require a person to pay court costs (no fines because the person is not convicted), complete community service, and complete counseling or education classes.  The precise requirements of a diversionary program vary from judge to judge across the state of Pennsylvania, and the programs even vary amongst the State College judges.

Do I need a lawyer?

While these types of cases and resolutions are not complicated for an experienced criminal defense attorney, they are much more complicated for a normal person that is not familiar with the legal process and legal jargon.  If a person makes a mistake and fails to complete the diversionary program, the person is convicted of the offense and cannot expunge the conviction for a period of time.  After things go wrong, it is often impossible to fix a problem after the fact.  Many people want peace of mind, meaning they want the Penn State student to focus on school and not focus on trying to figure out the criminal process and Penn State’s disciplinary process.  These cases are not as simple as a speeding ticket, meaning a legal issue in which many people do not hire a lawyer.

The attorneys at the State College criminal defense firm of JD Law have been representing Penn State students charged with criminal offenses since 2004.  Contact the JD Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION regarding your Underage Drinking or other summary charge by calling (814) 954-7622 or by email.