Help Is Available For First-Time Offenders

Being cited for a violation of the law or charged with a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense can be a devastating event. The stress alone of an uncertain future can create significant problems with your family relationships, your schooling, your military career or your employment. Will your ex-spouse file for custody of the children? Will the department of student conduct recommend a suspension or expulsion from school? Will your employer terminate your position at work? These are all questions that a first-time offender may ask. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, there are diversionary programs that may be available for a first-time offender who is charged with an alcohol or drug-related offense. For example, the Minor Diversionary Program may be available for a college student who is cited for underage drinking; the ARD Program may be available for a hard-working individual who is charged with driving under the influence; the Probation Without Verdict Program may be available for a business executive who is charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana; or counseling and drug treatment in lieu of criminal prosecution may be available for a family member or friend with a life-threatening addiction to controlled substances. These are only a few examples and the eligibility is not based on your social or economic status.

Understanding Alternative Sentencing Programs

If you are a first-time offender, these programs may be an alternative to reduce the possible criminal penalties or to earn a dismissal of the charges against you. In some cases, the successful completion of a diversionary program can even result in the expungement of your criminal record. However, in many instances, there are strict time constraints and applications that must be filed with the court. Do not assume that the police officer, the prosecutor or the judge will offer enrollment in these programs to you. You must contact an experienced defense attorney for legal advice regarding your eligibility for these diversionary programs and the application process. The Law Office of Joel D. Peppetti, P.C., in Altoona, Pennsylvania, offers aggressive and compassionate legal counsel for first-time offenders in Blair County and beyond. Attorney Peppetti has represented college students, working-class people, business professionals and other first-time offenders in hundreds of different alcohol and drug-related cases. 

Take Charge Of Your Future — Contact The Law Office of Joel D. Peppetti, P.C.

Contact the law office immediately at 814-201-6287 or email us to schedule a consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable defense lawyer regarding your first-time offense.