ARD Program in Pennsylvania
About the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program
Entering the criminal justice system can be a frightening and traumatic
experience. The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program was
designed to keep first-time offenders out of the system and actually serve
to rehabilitate. A first-time
DUI offense in Pennsylvania will normally qualify for the program, but you will need to apply.
First-time charges of theft and simple assault can also qualify for ARD.
A Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can greatly enhance your chances
of acceptance in the program. A successful completion of the program will
normally result in expungement of the crime, and if not, your attorney
can work to resolve any issues that are preventing it.
DUI Attorney in Pittsburgh Explains ARD Basics
The first thing you need to know is that the ARD is a recommended alternative
for most cases, but not all. Your attorney can evaluate these factors
and help you to determine if ARD is right for you:
- Strength of the case against you
- Weaknesses of your own case
- Your prior criminal record and/or DUI record
- The effects of jail time on your life
- Any other relevant circumstances in your life
Your decision should be an informed one and your attorney will provide
you with the full scope of information needed to make that decision. If
you decide to apply for and are accepted into the program, the charges
against you will be suspended until the successful completion of the court-ordered
conditions. These can include counseling, community service and restitution
for injury or damages caused.
The original crime will be dismissed after the program is completed. 30
days following completion you can formally request expungement of the
arrest and the ARD participation. The ARD record will, however, remain
with the District Attorney's office and a future conviction will be
counted as the second, not the first. There are many factors to consider
before you make your decision. You will benefit from the trusted counsel of your
criminal defense attorney.
If you are considering the ARD program after a first-time DUI arrest, or
you have questions concerning the pros and cons for your situation, contact a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer
at our office today.