Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD, is a program for first time offenders charged with relatively minor offenses such as DUI, theft, or simple assault in Pennsylvania. Eligibility for ARD is ultimately determined by the District Attorney's Office. For defendants with no prior contact with the criminal justice system, ARD is often an attractive alternative.
Avoid a criminal conviction
Defendants who successfully complete the ARD program will avoid a criminal conviction and may have their charges expunged from their criminal record. ARD also allows defendants to avoid large fines, incarceration, long license suspensions, and other harsh consequences that come with a criminal conviction.
ARD for DUI charges
ARD is not a walk in the park, however. You will be placed on probation for 6 months to 2 years. If you are charged with a DUI, your driver's license will be suspended. You may be required to pay fines, restitution, court costs and supervision fees. Most defendants are required to undergo a drug and alcohol treatment evaluation and complete any recommended treatment. Other classes, community service, or reporting requirements are common.
If you fail to meet the requirements of the ARD program, the District Attorney may ask to have you removed from the program. In that event, your charges will be reinstated and you will be scheduled for a Formal Arraignment.
Know your rights
Even if you qualify, ARD might not be your best option. Make sure that you know all of your rights before you make any decisions that could have long-lasting consequences. If you have been charged with a DUI, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you to carefully weigh your options.
Contact us today
If you have questions about ARD in Pennsylvania, contact one of the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates today. Our offices are located in downtown Pittsburgh, Cranberry Township and Southpointe (Canonsburg), but our experienced attorneys handle cases across all of western Pennsylvania. Contact us today via email or call us at 1-855-827-4529 (1-855-VARI-LAW) or 412-281-9906.