State College ARD Attorney

What is ARD?

ARD is the acronym for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program and is the generic phrase for a pretrial diversionary program that is used in counties across the state of Pennsylvania. With ARD, a participant pleads not guilty to charges, but instead of proceeding to a trial, the person accepts ARD in the pretrial phase of the case.  The precise conditions and requirements often vary from county to county, and the requirements may even vary within the same county based upon the difference in charges and difference in fact patterns.  By completing the ARD requirements, the person successfully completes the program.  Upon completion of ARD, the charges are dismissed, and the dismissed charges can normally be expunged from the records.  Most counties do not expunge the records automatically upon completion of ARD.

What Charges Are Eligible for an ARD Disposition?

While some Pennsylvania laws or rules do exclude people charged with certain criminal offenses or involving particular facts from being eligible for ARD consideration, the majority of ARD eligibility decisions are made by the district attorney for the county in which the charges are filed.  As a general rule, many district attorneys in Pennsylvania allow for ARD participation or participation in similar programs for non-violent misdemeanor offenses such as:

ARD is sometimes used in cases for Theft, Assault, and Criminal Mischief, depending upon the severity of the incident.  Obtaining ARD for felony charges is often more difficult, but, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case, some district attorneys will allow for ARD disposition in such criminal cases.  An experienced defense attorney will generally know the prosecutor’s tendencies for approving or denying ARD, and such a lawyer knows the best way to present an ARD application and supporting materials to the district attorney to increase the likelihood of ARD approval.  For more information, check out the ARD Q & A page.

Free Consultation to Discuss ARD Eligiblity

State College criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle has been representing clients since 2004, and many of those clients have been approved to participate in ARD.  Attorney Dunkle uses his knowledge and experience in handling criminal cases to explain your legal rights and recommend a course of action.  If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense, you should contact JD Law by email or by calling (814) 689-9139 to schedule a free consultation