The options that a first-time offender may have in Pennsylvania to resolve his or her case will vary both based on the nature of the offense and also, where the alleged crime took place. ARD or the Accelerated Rehabilitative Diversion program is a program for first-time offenders that is across the state of Pennsylvania. Certain offenses are more likely to be considered for ARD than others. Certain offenses would be automatically excluded. There are other diversion programs, for example, in cases involving domestic violence, Philadelphia has the Domestic Violence Diversion Program.
They also have the Accelerated Misdemeanor Program also known as AMP one and AMP two. In Pennsylvania counties, there may be certain diversion programs for certain offenses such as underage drinking. Even if there's not an established diversion program for a first-time offender, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will be able to help you potentially negotiate an alternative resolution to a case, which could put a first-time offender in a good position, that sense of avoiding a conviction or a conviction or their criminal record.
Having an experienced attorney in your corner will help you best understand and navigate the process. They'll be able to help you best understand the possible options for first-time offenders, and they should be involved from as early as possible in the process.