Some residents here in Pennsylvania, especially those who follow football, may have heard about the arrest of running back Le’Veon Bell for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. He had been pulled over by police and was later charged with marijuana possession and DUI. Now, he is attempting to undergo dismissal and expungement of the marijuana charges.
The 22-year-old recently entered into a court-administered program that will allow the charges to be dismissed if he successfully completes the program. The program is called the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (ARD). It is primarily for first-time offenders and only involves crimes that are non-violent. If certain requirements are fulfilled, the charges can be dismissed and expunged from a person’s criminal record, which keeps the person from having a conviction on his or her permanent record.
For Bell, he must undergo recommended treatment, avoid drugs and alcohol, complete a driving class and pay any court costs and other fees associated with the charge. The program for him will last for 15 months. Upon successful completion of the program and the aforementioned criteria, his marijuana charge will virtually disappear.
For those who have been criminally charged and convicted in Pennsylvania, there are a number of consequences one may face, such as trouble gaining good employment. For first-time offenders, this expungement program can help one erase a conviction and ultimately avoid those consequences. It essentially serves as a second chance and a clean slate in order to get one’s life back on track. It is an opportunity to ensure that one’s mistake does not follow him or her around for the rest of his or her life.
Source: post-gazette.com, “Le’Veon Bell gets ARD for DUI, marijuana charges“, Paula Reed Ward, Feb. 6, 2015