Understanding Section 17 Probation

Individuals who face charges of drug possession in Pennsylvania, and who have no prior criminal record, may be eligible for a program that permits them to undergo a period of probation after which the charges are legally dismissed. This is called Section 17 Probation, because the result is provided in paragraph 17 of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act in Pennsylvania. This program in similar to the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition program.

Individuals who successfully complete the Section 17 program or ARD program may petition the court to have their criminal record expunged. Such criminal records should be expunged so that employee background checks do not uncover records of the arrest and Section 17 disposition. To do this, one must obtain a court order providing that all records connected with the charge or Section 17 /ARD disposition be expunged and destroyed. This order should direct all recipients to produce an affidavit assuring that all documents relating to the arrest - including arrest photographs and fingerprint records — have been destroyed. It is important to retain an attorney who will be diligent in making sure the agencies follow through with their court-ordered directives and destroy these records.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn have extensive experience helping Pennsylvania residents with all aspects of the Section 17 system. To schedule a consultation at our Philadelphia law firm, contact us online or call 866-657-7318.