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How do I defend myself at my judicial hearing?

Indiana, PA |

I have applied to the ARD program after an incident one night on my college campus. I was in violation of the following:Harrasment, Disorderly Conduct, Underage Consumption of Alcohol off campus, Consumption of alcohol on campus, excessive use of alcohol, and non compliance. I have never drank before and have few remembrance of the night of the incident. I will have my hearing in a few days but I'm unsure of what to say to defend myself. I have no previous offenses and a clean record. What impact does me applying for the ARD program have on the hearing? When at the hearing what should I say to defend myself? I have a few witnesses who are willing to speak on my behalf to explain how I act on a daily basis and to try and convince that during that night I was completely out of character.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

It is difficult to provide you with an answer to this question as it is not clear what hearing you are scheduled to attend at this stage (preliminary hearing, status conference hearing, ARD hearing). You would defend yourself at a preliminary hearing but would rarely do so by calling witnesses on your own behalf. You would not defend yourself at an ARD hearing as it is a consent pre-trial diversionary program offered by the district attorney's office. What is clear, however, is that this is a very serious matter that could have a long term effect on your career aspirations and should not be taken lightly. You have likely invested countless hours investing in your education along with the tens of thousands of dollars spent on tuition. You should definitely contact a qualified attorney to insure that you move through this situation in a manner that will not jeopardize your future.

The Answer to this Question by poster is intended to be used as general information only, is not to be considered legal advice and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely upon such Legal Information. You should speak to an attorney for more specific counsel after consideration of all pertinent information. Attorney Liotta maintains a license to practice law in PA only. If you wish to discuss your question in greater detail, please feel free to contact Attorney Liotta by way of the contact information included on his profile. If you found this post to be helpful, please show your appreciation by upvoting it.


The other answer provided is true in that without knowing your stage of the proceeding a full answer is difficult. However, I would not bother bringing witnesses as it seems that you will hear about whether or not you will get into the ARD program. Of course you should consider hiring, or at least consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney, as there maybe other alternatives. Good luck!