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NOTICE:

All employees and visitors entering a First Judicial District facility will no longer be required to wear a mask. All unvaccinated Exempt employees and members of the public must continue to double mask. All jury trial participants will still be required to wear a mask. Click here for full notice.

Diversion Programs & Problem Solving Courts

If you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony, your case could be referred by the District Attorney’s Office to a Diversion Program or Problem Solving Court. These programs offer supportive alternatives like treatment, services, and training, instead of jail and prison time. You might be able to shorten your sentence, get out early, or avoid incarceration completely.


The court or your lawyer will let you know which programs you qualify for. You must be referred to a program, you can not apply. If you are interested in participating in one of these programs, please contact your lawyer.

You can also find the same information by searching for recently filed cases or for upcoming court dates.


Diversion Program

Accelerated Misdemeanor Program

If you were charged with a low-level misdemeanor, your case will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office and you may be eligible for the Accelerated Misdemeanor Program (AMP). The AMP program gives you options other than going to jail. The cases are dealt with quickly. Your options may include court fees, social services, mental health/substance abuse treatment, and community service in the neighborhood where the crime occurred.



Problem Solving Courts

The Philadelphia Treatment Court

The Philadelphia Treatment Court (PTC) is a structured program with drug treatment, health, housing, literacy, educational, and vocational services. The program offers support instead of time in jail, hoping to deal with the root causes of criminal activity. Most participants in the PTC program are dealing with felony charges for having or trying to sell drugs. The program generally accepts participants that have limited criminal records and no violent offenses. The District Attorney's Office decides who gets to participate in the program.


Program services include:

  • substance abuse assessment
  • inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • individual counseling
  • group counseling
  • recovery support group
  • drug testing
  • transportation support
  • other supportive services

The PTC program will also provide you with a case manager for:

  • employment counseling
  • training referrals
  • education and literary assistance
  • referrals for health care services
  • recovery housing services and/or placements
  • referrals to social services
  • vocational training

You will be evaluated for drug treatment before entering into the program. You will have to plead no contest and be assigned a case manager. During the program, you will be expected to:

  • attend regular treatment
  • attend meetings with your case manager every other week
  • get at least one drug test per week
  • go to court once per month

If you do not meet the program requirements (including if you use drugs), you might face consequences at your court dates. If you successfully meet the program requirements for at least a year, you will regularly get rewards. If you successfully complete the program, you get:

  • your charges dismissed
  • no criminal conviction
  • no jail sentence
  • your record cleared (expunged)
  • employment and education opportunities
  • a graduation plaque
  • sobriety
  • better relationships with family and friends
  • better understanding of self
  • positive outlook on life
  • become a contributing member of your community

Matthew Schmonsees, Coordinator

Phone: 215-683-3788​​



Philadelphia DUI Treatment Court

Philadelphia DUI Treatment Court (DUITC) program is for participants with a non-violent history. The program helps participants keep their jobs and access treatment services while minimizing the financial impacts of DUI charges. The DUITC program supports recovery, employment, education, and resolving legal issues.

If you were charged with a DUI, you may be eligible for the DUITC program. The DUITC accepts participants facing 90 days or 1 year in jail for DUI charges. Your lawyer will tell you your specific charges. Your charge will depend on your history of DUI convictions and the evidence in your current DUI arrest.

If you are facing 90-days in jail for your charge and you participate in the DUITC program, you must spend 10 days in jail and 80 days on house arrest. If you are employed, you can spend the 10 jail days on 5 consecutive weekends so that you can continue to go to work. If you are unemployed, you must spend 10 days in a row in jail.

If you are facing 1-year in jail for your charge and you participate in the DUITC program, you will spend 90 days in the jail work release program and 275 days on house arrest. The Work Release Program is a prison program with lower restrictions. You can go to work, help support your family, and go back to the prison when you are not working. The program is designed for participants with a non-violent history.

You will be evaluated for drug and/or alcohol treatment before entering into the program. You will have to plead guilty and be assigned a probation officer. During the program, you will be expected to:

  • attend regular treatment
  • attend weekly meetings with a probation officer
  • get at least one drug test per week
  • go to court once per month

Program services include:

  • substance abuse assessment
  • inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • individual counseling
  • group counseling
  • recovery support group
  • drug testing
  • other supportive services

The DUITC program will also provide you with a probation officer for:

  • employment counseling
  • training referrals
  • education and literary assistance
  • referrals for health care services
  • recovery housing services
  • referrals to social services
  • vocational training

If you are successful in the program for at least one year, your probation will end. You will also receive a graduation plaque for your accomplishment.


Matthew Schmonsees, Coordinator

Phone: 215-683-3788​​



The Choice is Yours (TCY)

The Choice is Yours (TCY) is a program for non-violent felony drug offenders offering social services and support instead of a trial and potential prison time. The TCY program provides participants with skills, helping them become productive and employable without the stigma of a criminal record.

Most participants in the TCY program are charged with having and trying to sell drugs. The program generally accepts participants that have never been charged with a felony drug crime before. The District Attorney's Office decides who gets to participate in the program. Participants receive a variety of services such as:

  • Job readiness training
    • Resume preparation
    • Networking skills
    • Interviewing
    • Job search
    • Job placement and advancement
    • Computer classes
  • Education and skills training
    • GED
    • College classes
    • Technical classes
  • Community service
  • Mentoring from community members
  • Regular check-ins (progress listings) with the TCY judge.

Participants have to complete community service hours, communicate with social service providers and case management regularly, and go to regular court sessions for at least 12 months. Successful participants will have their criminal charges dismissed and become graduates of the program. Graduates who do not get arrested within one year of the program will have the original arrest removed (expunged) from their criminal record.


Matthew Schmonsees, Coordinator

Phone: 215-683-3788​​



Philadelphia Veterans Court

The Philadelphia Veterans Court is a program that provides services for veterans involved in the criminal justice system.


Veterans meet with staff from veteran service organizations, who are on site in one of our courtrooms. The treatment staff help decide the needs of the veterans and what support service they might benefit from. Services may include treatment (alcohol, drug, mental health or medical) as well as housing, job training and job referrals.


Veterans are also paired with a mentor. The mentor can help the Veteran with working toward a successful resolution of the criminal charges, including a change in life choices and navigating the criminal justice system.


Lesha Sanders, Coordinator

Phone: 215-683-1584



Domestic Violence Diversion Program

The Domestic Violence Diversion Program provides support for individuals charged with domestic violence crimes. The program links participants with services such as education, housing, clothing, and employment. Services support treatment for anger management, underlying substance abuse and mental health related issues.


Lesha Sanders, Coordinator

Phone: 215-683-1584



Project Dawn Court - Prostitution Initiative

The Project Dawn Program is for women who are charged with prostitution. The program offers treatment, housing, therapy, and other services.


Lesha Sanders, Coordinator

Phone: 215-683-1584


Mental Health Court

If you have a mental health issue, the District Attorney, the Court, and your lawyer will try and work together. They will try to coordinate evaluations, find you treatment, or drop your charges. Some cases might require you to complete treatment or be supervised. If you are placed in a community treatment program, you will have access to case managers and social workers to support you. After returning to the community, Judges will monitor your progress at hearings.


Forms

Expungement Petitions

If you were found not guilty or if your case was withdrawn or dismissed, you can erase the case from court records. This is called expungement. You or your lawyer can submit an expungement petition.

Limited Access Petitions

If you were found not guilty or if your case was withdrawn or dismissed, you can limit the access to the charge or the case from court records. Limited Access blocks out charges or case information from public view.

For general Court information, contact 215-686-7000.

Contact

Business Hours

  • Monday-Friday: 9am - 5pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
  • Bail Acceptance: Open 24 Hours

Criminal Division Information