Q: Retail Theft
If a person (18.3 ysr) is given non traffic citation for 'Retail Theft' in Chester county in PA a day agao. What should be done to reduce the repurcussion to minimal so that there is no record and his studies and future career is not impacted.By what time next step has to be taken.
A: If you have no prior criminal history, you and your attorney should consider applying for the Acc elerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. ARD is a pretrial program designed for non-violent and non-felony offenses whereby you agree to be on probation, you pay a fee for entry into the program, pay restitution and fines and comply with conditions of the ARD program which are usually community service, counseling or treatment and paying restitution and your record will be expunged upon successful completion of the ARD program.
It is important that you apply for entry into the program early in the process because you cannot have your record expunged after you are found guilty or plead guilty, unless it is a summary offense and you wait 5 years to have it expunged. If you get accepted into the ARD program, you can have your record expunged in less than a year and this won't cause you too much harm.
You should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer ASAP.
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