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Avoiding a conviction for drug charges in Philadelphia


Drugs are so appealing for many people because of the way they make people feel good. Many drugs can also be very addicting. Theses addictions can be very dangerous for the person using the drug and can lead to a number of other problems in the person's life as well.

Drug addiction can lead to criminal charges, such as drug possession. Most of the time the criminal charges are a direct result of the drug addiction. If the person was not addicted to drugs, in many instances the person would not be charged with a crime.

There can be ways that these people can avoid a conviction and ultimately have the criminal charges dismissed. First, the criminal charge must be for a non-violent crime and the person must be addicted to drugs. But, it is a little more difficult than simply stating that a person is addicted to drugs. They must undergo an examination from a physician trained in drug addiction to determine the addiction and to make recommendations regarding treatment as opposed to criminal penalties.

The prosecutor then reviews the recommendations from the physician and decides whether to suspend the prosecution and allow the person to go through treatment instead. Prosecution can be suspended for either the statute of limitations for the crime or the maximum sentence for the crime. As long as the person follows the recommendations and completes treatment during that period of time, the charges will be dismissed.

Many people struggle with drug addiction in Philadelphia and sometimes the addiction leads to criminal charges. Pennsylvania residents may be able to avoid a conviction if they successfully complete drug treatment. There may be other defenses available as well, depending on the facts of the case. Understanding the defenses and options available is very important.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health, "The controlled substances, drugs, device and cosmetics Act, Section 18" accessed on July 19, 2016

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