What is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)?21 Mar 2017, by Criminal Defense in
Written by Timothy Czekaj
For Pennsylvania residents who have been charged with minor, non-violent offenses, Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) might be a great option. The ARD program gives those with a very limited or no criminal record an opportunity to keep their record clear after completing various court ordered requirements. Among other charges, ARD is very common for people who have been charged with a DUI or are facing theft charges or minor drug charges.
If you or a loved one are facing charges for a minor crime, the ARD program might allow you to have the charges dismissed and keep your record clear. An experienced Central Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can help you get placed in this program. To discuss your options, call a New Bloomfield attorney today at (717) 275-9770 .
Details of the ARD Program
The ARD program for your case will be run out of the office of the district attorney’s office in the county where the offense was committed. While you will not technically be on probation, ARD is similar to probation in the fact that you are monitored by the county to make sure that you are complying with the program requirements. If you fail to meet the requirements of your ARD program, you may be kicked out of it and then the charges against you will return.
The specifics of each ARD are unique, and your criminal defense lawyer can work with your case and the district attorney’s office to make sure that you get the most out of this opportunity. Whether you are in Juniata or Perry County, your New Bloomfield lawyer will be able to use their experience to assist you during this process. ARD programs are usually one year in duration, and the court ordered requirements may include:
- Completion of counseling – Drug and alcohol counseling is usually required for certain drug offenses or DUIs with high blood alcohol levels.
- Community service – This is required for most cases and its details vary greatly by offense and location.
- No further charges – If you are charged with any other offense during the ARD process you will likely be disqualified from the program and the original charges will be reinstated.
- Pay costs – You will possibly be required to pay prosecution and supervision costs which could be over a thousand dollars. Your lawyer can request the district attorney’s office offer a payment plan if that suits you best.
- Abstain from alcohol or drugs – If you were charged with a drug or alcohol offense, you may have mandatory testing to make sure that you are abstaining from such substances.
Admission to the ARD Program
If you or a loved one are facing charges, it’s important that you seek a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your New Bloomfield lawyer can assess your case with you and determine if the ARD program is ideal for your situation. If so, your lawyer can speak with the prosecutor in your case and advocate for your admission to the program. Every prosecutor is different, and your lawyer will have to use their experience with Central Pennsylvania prosecutors to best negotiate your case.
After your lawyer fills out your ARD application, you and your lawyer will be required to attend your ARD hearing. Here the judge will review your request for admission, and together you will review your rights and responsibilities. You will not have to plead guilty to your charge, but you will have to waive your right to a speedy trial since the court will have to take time to review your record and make sure that you qualify. After this hearing your admission will be determined by the district attorney, and you will be enrolled in ARD at your next court hearing if your application is approved.
How Your New Bloomfield Lawyer Can Help With Your ARD
Completing the ARD program can help you delay and eventually dismiss your charge for a minor and non-violent offense. Since every case is unique, and admission is not guaranteed, it is important to have a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who can help you apply for the ARD program. After successfully completing the ARD process, you will be able to enjoy a fresh start, and an expungement lawyer can even help you expunge the arrest and dismissal from public records.
Your time to begin the ARD program is limited once you are charged, so do not delay in contacting Czekaj Law to discuss your options. To begin speaking with an experienced criminal lawyer, call us today at (717) 275-9770 .