Q: What happens if I am in ARD in Green County and have been charged with small possession of marijuana while still in the program? I was charged with a DUI and small possession in May 2015. I started the ARD program in November 2015 and was charged last night with another small possession. I was wondering what will most likely happen next? Should I hire an attorney? Jail time because it is a subsequent offense? What are the chances that I can get the case dropped?
A: In Allegheny County, this new misdemeanor arrest could get you kicked out of ARD. You need to hire a lawyer and see if he can turn the Possession charge into a summary charge at the District Justice level. Taking this measure could keep you in ARD, but no guarantee. My experience in Allegheny County is that you can receive ARD on a DUI even if you have a prior Probation Without Verdict (PWV) on a drug charge, but not the other way around. Another problem is that since you had a prior possession of drugs with your DUI ARD, you cannot get another diversionary program like PWV after your ARD if your new charge is held for court. You need to have this new possession charge pleaded down to a summary.