First Time Marijuana Possession And A Second Chance

By Goodwin Como, P.C.

If you got caught with a small amount of marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania and it’s the first time that you have been charged with any violation by law enforcement, you may qualify for a second chance.

Consequences of Possession

Possession of a small amount of marijuana in Pennsylvania is defined as 30 grams or less. The consequences of a possession charge are a fine of up to 500 dollars and up to 30 days in jail. In addition, for a first-time marijuana possession offense, you’ll automatically lose your driver’s license for six months. With a good defense, it is possible to get probation instead of jail time.

A Chance To Clear Your Record

Another option you can pursue is a diversionary program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). ARD is available for possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI, or possession for personal use, county-based ARD programs hold your sentence while you complete requirements by a deadline. One huge benefit of program participation is that you do not have a driver’s license suspension because you do not get formally convicted.

Completion of all requirements will remove your violation from your criminal record. Requirements can include community service, supervision by probation personnel and payment of the prosecution, restitution, and supervision. Participants are usually given a year to fulfill all requirements.

With ARD, start can be within your reach, and you can continue to be out in the community while you fulfill your program requirements.