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Posts tagged "ARD"

DUI and Underage Drinking Charges against Amish Teens

DUI charges are not limited to those who drive motor vehicles on public roads. In fact, a Pennsylvania Amish teen recently learned the hard that you can get a DUI operating ANY vehicle on a public roadway, including a horse-drawn buggy. Pennsylvania State Police recently filed charges of DUI and underage drinking against an 18 year old Amish man in Indiana County. The police pulled over the buggy when they saw two young men riding on the roof. All four buggy passengers were under 21 and were charged with underage drinking. amish.police.jpg

ARD for Third DUI Sought by Pennsylvania Senator


Pennsylvania State Senator Pat Browne is seeking ARD for his third set of DUI charges. These charges arose from a motorcycle accident in the Lehigh Valley earlier this year in which Browne was injured, and allegedly had a BAC between .08 and .10. ARD stands for "Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition." Those who successfully complete the ARD program can have their charges dismissed and expunged, while also receiving a shorter driver's license suspension and avoiding mandatory jail time. ARD is usually available to first time offenders who are charged with relatively low-level offenses like DUI, possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia. senator.pat.browne.jpg

How Would Local Marijuana Decriminalization Affect Penn State Students?

With Philadelphia poised to decriminalize marijuana, it is not surprising that Penn State's large community of marijuana users is optimistically speculating whether State College Borough may adopt a similar policy, and if so, what affect it would have. Quite frankly, the Philadelphia model of marijuana decriminalization would not really benefit most Penn State students caught with a small amount of marijuana, but the exact same approach should certainly help victims of marijuana prohibition in Philadelphia. gavel.pot.leaf.jpeg

Does a Marijuana-Related Criminal Charge Mean My Child Needs Drug Treatment?

As a criminal defense lawyer a mere five minute walk from the Penn State campus, I have represented countless Penn State students charged with marijuana-related offenses. More often than not, the initial phone calls or emails come from the students' parents, rather than the students themselves, because the parents are the ones who will be hiring a criminal defense attorney. A commonly raised concern among parents is whether they should be worried about deeper problems than the small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia charge, and whether they should get their child into drug treatment.
The favorite answer of lawyers to most questions is "it depends," and it is the most appropriate answer in this scenario. Sometimes, marijuana use is a symptom of bigger problems, like depression, while other times it is harmless, occasional recreational use. We really need to know more before we can ascertain whether criminal charges arising from marijuana use are just the tip of the iceberg. weed-college.png

Former Penn State LB Recruit Enters Favorable Plea Agreement

Zayd Issah, an erstwhile highly touted linebacker in the 2013 Penn State recruiting class, has accepted a favorable plea offer, which will spare him a violent felony conviction and additional jail time. During Arts Fest in downtown State College last summer, Issah was involved in an altercation with police, leading to two counts of aggravated assault on police officers, one count of simple assault, five counts of resisting arrest and one count of possession of small amount of marijuana for personal use. Pursuant to the plea agreement accepted by Judge Pamela A. Ruest of the Centre County Court of Common Pleas, Issah pled guilty to simple assault, resisting arrest and possession of a small amount of marijuana for a sentence of five days to 23.5 months. Issah previously served five days before posting bail, so he will serve additional jail time in this case only if he violates parole. zayd.issah.jpg

Why Pennsylvania Drug Felonies are Rarely ARD Eligible

As a criminal defense attorney who represents a lot of Penn State students, there is one characteristic common to all of my college student clients: they want to avoid a criminal record. ARD, which stands for "Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition" is a program for first time offenders in Pennsylvania. Successful completion of the ARD program allows a defense attorney to file a motion seeking dismissal of charges and expungement of the defendant's record. gavel.pot.leaf.jpeg

Pennsylvania Coach and Teacher Charged with Drug Paraphernalia Keeps Positions

In a moment of sanity among elected officials, the South Middleton School Board unanimously voted to retain Boiling Springs wrestling coach and driver's ed teacher Rodney Wright, who has a pending charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. This is a welcome decision at a time when so many school districts take a zero tolerance approach to drugs and alcohol, without looking at the individual facts of a case. The fact that Mr. Wright received overwhelming support form the Boiling Springs community is also quite refreshing. Mr. Wright has had a stellar record as a wrestling coach, and his $2,663 annual wrestling coach salary is a mere pittance when one considers the number of hours he spends coaching. Boiling.Springs.High.School.jpg

Pennsylvania Coach and Teacher Charged with Drug Paraphernalia Keeps Positions

In a moment of sanity among elected officials, the South Middleton School Board unanimously voted to retain Boiling Springs wrestling coach and driver's ed teacher Rodney Wright, who has a pending charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. This is a welcome decision at a time when so many school districts take a zero tolerance approach to drugs and alcohol, without looking at the individual facts of a case. The fact that Mr. Wright received overwhelming support form the Boiling Springs community is also quite refreshing. Mr. Wright has had a stellar record as a wrestling coach, and his $2,663 annual wrestling coach salary is a mere pittance when one considers the number of hours he spends coaching. Boiling.Springs.High.School.jpg

Pennsylvania DUI Suspect Detained By McDonald's Employees

Underpaid McDonald's workers seeking a living-wage have a stronger argument, at least in Halifax, Pennsylvania, where McDonald's employees recently made a "citizens arrest" of an intoxicated man who had driven to the fast food joint with his minor child in tow. In fact, given how many people drive drunk to McDonald's locations around the world, perhaps detaining DUI suspects should become a standard part of McDonald's training. The Mickey D's employees acted out of a concern for the safety of the child, and called police after detaining 32 year old Nicholas Apostolopoulos. And because a child was in the car, Apostolopoulos faces charges in addition to DUI. ronald.mcdonald.jpg

Can Marijuana Possession for Personal Use Lead to Jail Time in Pennsylvania?

As a criminal defense attorney in State College, Pennsylvania, where marijuana use is ubiquitous among Penn State students, I am frequently asked whether people actually get jail time for merely possessing marijuana for personal use. The simple answer is yes, it happens all the time throughout Pennsylvania, but not nearly as much as did in less enlightened times. That being said, this question requires a more thorough explanation. Marijuana.Handcuffs.jpg