The client, a Penn State Altoona student, was charged with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Blair County. At the preliminary hearing, an agreement was reached between a criminal defense attorney and the Blair County District Attorney to have charges dismissed if the client was willing to plead guilty to a summary charge of Disorderly Conduct. In accordance with the agreement, a non-traffic summary citation for Disorderly Conduct was issued, the client pleaded guilty to the summary offense, and the misdemeanor offenses were dismissed. Regrettably, the drug defense lawyer that appeared with the client at the preliminary hearing did not conform with the district attorney that an expungement would be permitted under the circumstances.State College criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle filed an expungement petition with the Blair County Court of Common Pleas and sought to have the dismissed charges of Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia expunged from the client’s records. The Blair County District Attorney objected to the expungement. The district attorney argued that expungement was not appropriate under the circumstances because the charges were dismissed based upon an agreement with the district attorney and not because the client was innocent.
Attorney Dunkle conceded that expungement was discretionary under the circumstances and not mandated by law, but Attorney Dunkle argued that expungement was appropriate under the circumstances. The experienced criminal defense and expungement lawyer argued that the Blair County Court should order expungement because of weaknesses in the prosecution case and because the entire misdemeanor case had been withdrawn. The criminal defense attorney also argued that had the Blair County district attorney wanted to prevent the expungement of the misdemeanor offenses, the district attorney could have refused to withdraw the misdemeanor offenses and instead simply added the Disorderly Conduct charge to the complaint that listed the misdemeanor charges. The Blair County judge agreed with the argument of Centre County criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle and granted expungement of the withdrawn drug charges.