The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is a diversionary program available in all sixty-seven Pennsylvania counties. The ARD program is available to most first-time offenders, or offenders who have led law-abiding lives for a substantial amount of time. Under the terms of the program, defendants can avoid mandatory jail time and other consequences.
Upon the defendant's completion of ARD, he/she can petition the court to expunge his or her case. This essentially allows a defendant to have a “clean slate” and avoid having a criminal record. Many types of criminal cases proceed into the ARD program, however, the majority of ARD cases involve driving under the influence (DUI) offenses.
Every county in Pennsylvania has different requirements for the ARD program. Read more about the county specific requirements of the ARD program for Chester County and the ARD program in Delaware County, PA.
As I indicated above, each county regulates its own ARD program and eligibility is granted at the sole discretion of the the particular District Attorney’s Office. It is important to remember that ARD is not a right, but a privilege. Each case is painstakingly reviewed for consideration into the ARD program. It is importantly to remember that the arresting agency and any alleged victims will also have an opportunity to comment on a defendant’s eligibility for ARD.
Again, the District Attorney’s Office for each county sets its own rules and regulations regarding eligibility for ARD. For example, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office has published an ineligibility list for certain cases. While this list is not exclusive, certain facts of a particular case may render a defendant ineligible for the ARD program.
Every DUI defendant who is accepted into the ARD program must serve a mandatory term of probation, complete the Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluation, and the Alcohol Highway Safety School (AHSS) program. The CRN evaluation used by the Commonwealth to monitor DUI defendants and any need for further treatment (e.g., drug and alcohol treatment). The AHSS is a safe driving program that educates defendants on the risks of drunk driving. A comprehensive drug and alcohol assessment (along with any recommended treatment) may also be required in some cases. Defendants may also be required to perform community service.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you may be eligible for ARD. It is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible. Every county, including Chester County and Delaware County, has its own rules and conditions for ARD. Contact the Law Office of Wesley W. Legg, Esquire LLC at (484)401-7079 to discuss your DUI arrest and eligibility for the ARD program in Pennsylvania.
Most DUI defendants will be subject to some form of license suspension. The driver’s license suspension under the ARD program is as follows:
A defendant whose license is suspended because of ARD cannot apply for an Occupational Limited License (OLL). In addition, refusal to submit to chemical testing carries an additional one-year mandatory license suspension. This additional one-year suspension is on top of the 60 day license suspension for ARD.
Upon successful completion of ARD, defendants can petition the court for an expungement of their case. Each county has multiple agencies which hold some record of an ARD case. For DUI offenders (who successfully complete the ARD program) the DUI charge will remain on their Pennsylvania driver’s history for ten years. After 10 years, the DUI charge will be removed from the record.
If you have been charged with a DUI or any other offense in Chester County, Delaware County, or Montgomery County, you may be eligible for the ARD program. It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the particular facts of your case.
Call (484) 401-7079 to schedule a confidential consultation with the Law Office of Wesley W. Legg, Esquire LLC.