For those who have committed certain crimes in the state of Pennsylvania, most commonly driving under the influence (DUI) or other traffic violations, Pennsylvania has implemented a program known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.
ARD is intended to promote rehabilitation of the person who committed the offense, as well as dispose of the need for a criminal proceedings. Because ARD is a pre-trial intervention, meaning that it is done before a person is even convicted of the crime, it is both timesaving and potentially beneficial for the person who enters the program.
Who qualifies for ARD?
In most cases, ARD is reserved for those who have committed a traffic violation or DUI, although special circumstances can be made for those who have been accused of other crimes. It is important to realize, however, that only those people who have committed nonviolent crimes are eligible for the ARD program. Furthermore, according to Chapter 3: Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) in the Pennsylvania State Code, ARD is also reserved for those with no previous criminal record; those with previous convictions will not be eligible.
If a person wants to enter the ARD program, he or she must agree to certain restrictions and conditions.
How ARD Works
As mentioned previously, ARD is intended to provide rehabilitation to the accused as well as eliminate the need for a criminal proceeding.
Some people who enter ARD will have to make restitutions for their crime by paying compensation or other charges, may have to do community service, and may be required to take a drug or alcohol substance abuse course.
During the time when someone is in the ARD program, he or she is under supervision, which is similar to being on probation. A person may remain under supervision for up to two years. In the case that a person does not adhere to the conditions made by ARD or does not pay all costs in full, then he or she may be dismissed from the program. If this occurs, he or she will have to go through criminal proceedings normally.
Additionally, under Pennsylvania Code Rule 320, the defendant’s arrest record for the crime will be expunged unless there is any compelling reason why the arrest record should be retained.
Seek Legal Recourse Today
If you’ve been arrested for a nonviolent crime such as a DUI or traffic violation, you should take all action possible to ensure that your case is handled in the best manner possible. Additionally, because ARD can lead to an expungement of your crime from your permanent record, it may be the best route for you to take. The lawyers at ARM Lawyers can help.
If you have been arrested for a crime, call us today to get started on building a comprehensive defense. Call us at 570-257-4509 (Stroudsburg), 484-765-8140 (Palmerton) or 610-849-2788 (Bethlehem) to start building your defense today.
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