Bompadre Law

Are There Any Alternative Programs Available For Drug Offenders?

Most counties have a drug court that serves as an alternative program for drug offenders. The requirements for admission vary widely. First-time offenders who were found in possession of a small amount of drugs may have the option of what’s called the Section 17 Disposition ( which is under Section 17 of the Controlled Substance Drug Device and Cosmetic Act), which is a period of probation. More specifically, it’s called “probation without verdict.” It’s very similar to the ARD program for first-time DUI offenses. It essentially means, that if you successfully complete the short probationary program, you are considered to never have been actually convicted of a crime, and the record of your arrest gets expunged.

Some people choose not to participate in drug court because of the burdensome requirements. There are many hoops to jump through, which can be difficult for people who have employment responsibilities. In fact, in some cases, many people would have to quit their jobs in order to fulfill all of the requirements that drug court sets forth. In my experience, it seems more applicable for someone who needs full-time drug treatment. I don’t really see the drug courts as being applicable to recreational users. For people who have maintained employment and need to provide for a family, drug court may not be a viable option.

What Sets You And Your Firm Apart In Handling Drug Related Cases?

Due to the fact that I worked as a police officer, I have quite a bit of training that most attorneys don’t. I’ve had additional local drug training with the District Attorney’s office and have attended numerous seminars on the topic of drug identification. I have also had drug training through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which helped me to understand how the drug trade works, where it comes from, and which countries are involved. I know at which angle to attack certain cases, and I have had a lot of experience litigating drug issues, both as a prosecutor and defense counsel. Due to my training, I know where some of the cases might be faulty with regard to the identification and packaging of drugs.

Police officers will sometimes make assumptions that are not based on real knowledge. For example, just because someone has a plastic bag in their pocket doesn’t mean that there were drugs in it at one time. Understanding the nuances of how to negotiate these cases is very important. Oftentimes you can get into technicalities with regard to how the commonwealth applied the quantity to the charges. For example, the circumstances under which drugs are discovered will pay a role in determining how the crime will be charged. Due to the significant amount of experience and training that I have received over the years, I look at cases in a different and more effective way than many lawyers who do not have my level of experience and knowledge.

Additional Information On Drug Charges In Pennsylvania

Most drug charges end up being felonies, which result in serious and non-negotiable jail time. If the District Attorney seeks the minimum mandatory sentence, then a person could be facing years in jail. What may seem like a small violation in the eyes of a defendant can, in fact, lead to a significant amount of jail time. The accused should not take these charges lightly.

Once a person has received a drug conviction, it can be very difficult to obtain employment. In addition, the convicted individual will lose his or her right to vote and may be prevented from attending college. Drug convictions can have a significant impact on a person’s life. You can’t always beat the charge, but the right attorney may be able to help you mitigate or minimize your exposure to penalties.

For more information on Alternative Programs For Drug Offenders, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (484) 854-3371 today.

(484) 505-0188