First of all, we need to discuss what what is a criminal record
, and then we will get to expungement
Here, he is being charged. He has not yet been convicted. When someone is charged, they are accused
by the state of the criminal act. If the Judge or Jury agrees that they are guilty (or if he pleads guilty), he would receive a conviction. If he is found not guilty, the charge is dismissed, and/or some agreement is entered into for a non-conviction disposition, then there is no conviction.
A record typically consists of:
1) An indictment (charge); and
2) A conviction.
The conviction is the damning part. This is what he likely wishes to avoid.
The good news is that this is a very minor charge, and given his clean record, the prosecutor is very likely
to offer him pretrial diversion
. For a good explanation of how this works, see here
. Essentially, it is an agreement between the prosecutor and the Defendant (i.e. him) that if he stays clean, reports regularly, does not get into trouble, take some drug classes, and pays a fine, the matter would be DROPPED.
Now this is not a guarantee, but pretrial diversion is often offered to individuals with minor offenses and who have little/no criminal record, like your son.
Once it is dropped, there is no conviction, and then he can petition to SEAL the original charges as well. It would be as though this never happened.
An attorney is recommended, of course! May I recommend the PA Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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