Second Chances For Second Time Offenders?

“If I got an underage gambling charge which is considered a disorderly person’s offense in the state of New Jersey will I be ineligible for the ARD program in Pennslyvania?”

ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, and it is a program for first-time offenders in relatively minor cases. The District Attorney controls who gets into the program, but if an individual is accepted and meets all of the conditions of the program (paying court costs, staying out of trouble for a particular amount of time, etc…), then the case will be dismissed and there will be no criminal conviction.

The question here involves someone who has a prior conviction. I say this to the questioner, and to anyone in his or her position:

You are not automatically disqualified by having this very minor prior contact. In some situations, I have been successful in persuading the DA to give someone a second chance with ARD. However, there are no guarantees, and your lawyer will need to put together a compelling mitigation package for the DA’s review.

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