What is Probation Without Verdict (PWOV)?
An Alternative-to-Jail Program for Drug Offenders in Pennsylvania
When facing drug charges, even a misdemeanor conviction could mean spending years in prison, depending on the charges. In order to keep first-time, non-violent drug offenders out of jail, Pennsylvania allows some defendants the chance to also keep a misdemeanor off of their record by entering the Probation Without Verdict or PWOV Program.
This is a drug diversion program or alternative-to-jail program that aims to help the defendant get back on track with their life and avoid spending time behind bars. However, the person will be placed on probation, with plenty of other rules that must be followed in order to fulfill the requirements of the program. If program requirements are not met, a person can be tried on the original charges and sent to jail.
Under 1972 Act 64, Section 17, the court may place a person under probation without verdict, if the person pleads nolo contendere (no contest) or guilty to any nonviolent offense under this act and the person proves he is drug dependent.
Not everyone who applies for the program is accepted. Certain qualifications must be met. An experienced drug lawyer can help you with the court proceedings and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
*** Our goal is to avoid jail for our clients. Call Ketchel Law Today.***
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An Arrest is Not a Conviction.
Qualifications for the Probation Without Verdict (PWOV) Program
In order to be considered for the PWOV program, a person must:
- Be a first-time drug offender;
- Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony previously;
- Not be charged with multiple offenses that could be charged separately, and;
- Not be designated as a dangerous or violent offender.
In order to participate in PWOV, you will have to fulfill all program requirements.
- You will be required to plead guilty to the non-violent drug offense;
- You may be required to prove to the court that you have a drug addiction or dependence problem, and;
- You will be placed on probation for a time that is not to exceed what your max sentence would have been had you been convicted in court and sentenced.
Failure to complete all of the requirements of the program, or violating the terms of your probation, could result in the court entering judgment against you and proceeding with re-sentencing in the normal course.
Talk to an experienced Pittsburgh Drug Lawyer about your case.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED
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Will PWOV Keep Your Record Clean?
If you successfully complete the program, the charges against you will be dismissed and you can seek expungement from your record. In accordance with the PA Code for Section 17, the law states that fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court will dismiss all proceedings without adjudication of guilt and not constitute a conviction.
The law under Pennsylvania Code reads as follows:
(3) Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall discharge such person and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal shall be without adjudication of guilt and shall not constitute a conviction for any purpose whatever, including the penalties imposed for second or subsequent convictions: Provided, That probation without verdict shall be available to any person only once: And further provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of this act, the prosecuting attorney or the court, and the council shall keep a list of those persons placed on probation without verdict, which list may only be used to determine the eligibility of persons for probation without verdict and the names on such lists may be used for no other purpose whatsoever.
How Ketchel Law Can Help
At Ketchel Law, our number one goal is to have your case dismissed and charges withdrawn. If that is not possible, there are numerous ways of attempting a reduction in sentencing such as probation vs. jail.
Our Pittsburgh Drug Lawyers fight for a reduced sentence or charges to be dismissed completely.
We are skillful attorneys and know how to negotiate with the best interest of our clients in mind. We work with you to find optimal solutions and the best way for you to retain your freedom.
We successfully handle cases involving:
- First-Time Drug Offenses in PA
- Simple Possession of Drugs
- Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID Drugs)
- Marijuana Charges
- Heroin Charges
- Ecstasy, Meth & PCP Charges
- Synthetic Drugs / Designer Drugs
Learn More About Drug Charges in Pennsylvania: