What is ARD?
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program basically has a person plead not guilty to criminal charges but agree to accept a punishment from the court. By completing the punishment, the person is able to file paperwork to have the charges dismissed and then expunged. The “punishment” portion of ARD often includes a period of supervision by the probation department, completion of counseling classes and programs, payment of program costs and fees, and community service. The preciese requirements of ARD often vary depending upon the criminal charges, and the ARD program often varies from county to county. In order to determine the precise ARD requirements, you should discuss the matter with a criminal defense attorney that has experience in handling cases in the county in which the case was filed.
Some people think of ARD as being a first-time offender program, meaning a person that has been in trouble in the past cannot be approved for ARD. That is not necessarily the case. A prior criminal record or a prior ARD are factors that are considered when determining ARD eligibility and approval. Some prosecutors will permit ARD if a person has only had minor scrapes in the past with the law. The more lenghty the criminal record, the less likely it is that a prosecutor will approve ARD.
ARD for DUI, Marijuana Possession, Furnishing Alcohol to Minors
Many people charged with relatively minor, non-violent misdemeanor offenses such as DUI, Furnishing Alcohol to Minors, Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana or Possession of Paraphernalia, Theft, Possession of False Identification, or False Reports to Law Enforcement are approved to participate in the ARD program in many counties across Pennsylvania. Many counties do not permit ARD participation for felony drug delivery or possession with intent to deliver charges.
If you have any questions about ARD or any criminal charges you may be facing, please contact State College ARD attorney Jason S. Dunkle today for a free consultation at (814) 689-9139 or via email.