Email or Call (215) 564-0644

    First Time Drug Offenses in PA – Is Drug Court Right for You?

    Drug Court or Drug Diversion Programs in Philadelphia, Delaware County & Chester County

    Individuals in Philadelphia, Delaware County or Chester County who’re facing drug possession or drug dealing charges may consider drug court or diversion programs. These programs are essentially drug treatment programs overseen by courts. A person enters the program by submitting an application, pleading no contest and agreeing to all conditions of the program. Upon completion of the program, the charges are dismissed. Cases may later be expunged.

    Drug Court Eligibility

    Each county has their own eligibility requirements. However, these drug court programs usually apply to first time offenders charged with drug possession or drug dealing. In some cases, second time offenders may be allowed. Prior or current charges for violent crimes or crimes involving guns (VUFA) will usually disqualify you from the programs.

    Drug Court Program Conditions or Requirements in Phila., Delco, Chesco

    While every county has different requirements for their drug court programs, the conditions are pretty strict and often include:

    • mandatory meetings with a case worker or probation officer,
    • mandatory drug tests,
    • mandatory drug court appearances,
    • attend drug or alcohol counseling/support groups,
    • obtain employment/go to school, and
    • pay all fines and costs associated with the program.

    Failure to follow the conditions often result in certain sanctions like jail time or court attendance. Continued violations will result in being removed from the program, at which time the case will proceed through the normal court process.

    In addition, individuals who enter drug court lose certain rights. Because the participant is effectively on probation, the probation officer can search the individual’s person, property and home. In addition, home visits may be required as part of the program.

    Time or Length of Drug Court Programs

    Drug court programs usually last about 2 years or more. In Philadelphia, the length is 12 months. In Delaware County, the length of the program is 30 months, and in Chester County, it’s 12-24 months. In some cases, a person’s participation may be extended due to violation of a term/condition.

    Can the Case Get Dismissed? Get a Criminal Lawyer’s Assessment Before Entering Drug Court. FREE CONSULTATIONS (215) 564-0644

    Is Drug Court Right for You?

    Wanting to get treatment and having a support system are two of the most critical factors that lead to successful completion of a drug treatment program in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, some folks simply aren’t ready for drug court or for other reasons may not do well in a very strict, heavily supervised treatment program.

    Because of the length of the treatment programs and the odds of failing or getting kicked out, an individual considering a drug treatment program should speak to a criminal lawyer about their case BEFORE making a decision. The case could be dismissed due to mistakes made by police during search, seizure or arrest. Visit our law library for more info on search and seizure law in criminal cases.

    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"

    Not guilty on 1st Degree MURDER CHARGE (dec. 2022, Pottsville, Pa)

    Mr. Nenner's client faced first degree murder, third degree murder and various other charges. The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Whitted stabbed and killed a driver after an incident at a red light in West Brunswick Township. Throughout the trial, Mr. Nenner argued...

    MURDER, Att. Murder CHARGES – Negotiated Significantly Lower prison sentence (Feb. 2022, PHILA)

    Mr. Anderson faced murder and attempted murder charges after an incident in Northeast Philadelphia involving the shooting death of Anderson’s sister’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s roommate who was shot 5 times and survived. The decedent had previously beaten the...


    The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Shelton shot and seriously injured a male in a bar in North Philadelphia called Circles. There was video of the shooting which happened outside the bar. However, Mr. Nenner presented witnesses who testified that the person in the bar...


    Mr. Nenner's client was charged with multiple crimes (murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.) after a shooting death occurred at a gambling house in North Philadelphia. At trial, Mr. Nenner successfully presented a self-defense argument and convinced...


    Mr. Nenner’s client was charged with murder and gun charges in Philadelphia. The client was accused of shooting and killing another male on Arch Street near the 5600 block of Ithan Street in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty after deliberating...

    Drug Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – Possession of a Controlled Substance

    In most criminal drug cases in Philadelphia, there are two common charges or offenses: Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver. In addition to these drug charges, there are other drug related charges, such...

    Drug Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – What is “Possession”

    Page last reviewed and updated: October 20, 2019 One of the most common types of criminal state (PA) cases in Philadelphia is possession of drugs. Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (PWID) often...

    Pennsylvania Second Degree Murder (AKA: Felony Murder) Law

    Philadelphia criminal lawyer David S. Nenner discusses the current status of second degree murder law in Pennsylvania. This is also known as the felony murder rule. Get info about PA court decisions and the agency theory. Not every case of death during the commission of a felony will result in a second degree murder conviction in PA.

    Philadelphia Murder Cases – Police Investigation Tactics

    Questioning Police Officer Tactics in Philadelphia Murder Cases Within the last 10 years, there have been several murder Philadelphia criminal cases in which the accused individuals were acquitted of the crimes. In these cases, the individuals spent months, if not...

    Murder Charges in Pennsylvania – Murder Law in Pennsylvania

    An explanation of Pennsylvania murder laws including Section 2502. What is murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree and murder in the third degree. Get a summary of the definitions under Pennsylvania criminal law.