Pennsylvania’s ARD Program FAQ
If it’s your first time being arrested or charged for a DUI in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, you likely have many questions about what your options are to minimize penalties and protect your future.
At The Law Offices of Kevin M. O'Neill, LLC, I can evaluate your case to help you find out if you qualify for Pennsylvania’s accelerated rehabilitative disposition, or ARD. The program is for first-time DUI offenders who, after following certain stipulations for a period of time, may petition to have their charges dismissed and their case expunged, giving you a clean slate.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about the ARD program.
What Is Pennsylvania’s ARD Program?
The ARD Program is a pretrial intervention program that allows nonviolent offenders the chance to take steps to keep their records clean and prevent future or similar incidents. Most people who enter the program have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance for a blood alcohol content level of .10 percent or higher.
How Does The ARD Program Work?
1. You apply for the program and are screened by the district attorney’s office to determine if you are accepted into the program.
2. You meet certain conditions for a period of time as ordered by the court, such as:
- Completing substance abuse treatment
- Making restitution and paying fines ranging from $300 to $5,000
- Attending 12.5 hours of Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Lose your license for up to 90 days
- Completing community service
3. You remain under court supervision — similar to probation — for up to two years. If you do not follow the conditions of your program, your case could go to trial.
3. You do not have to admit any wrongdoing, but you must plead guilty to summary offenses.
4. After completing the program, you may petition the court to have your charges dismissed and your case expunged.
How Can The ARD Program Help Me?
By going through the ARD program, you eliminate the need to spend money and time on court proceedings related to your DUI charges. You also have the chance to petition to have your charges dismissed and your case expunged, protecting your criminal record and your future.
How Can An Attorney Help Me Qualify For The Program?
Because the district attorney’s office closely screens ARD candidates, an attorney can help show you how to meet certain conditions to qualify for the program. In addition, at attorney can help make sure the conditions the court orders for your program are in your best interest or reasonable enough for you to meet.
As any evidence or suspicion that you are not meeting the conditions could get you removed from the program, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side could help you be successful in completing the program.
Find Out How We Can Help Minimize Penalties
Having a criminal defense lawyer who is local and knows every district attorney in Delaware County can help you get approved for this program and make the program as smooth as possible, while minimizing penalties and consequences. Call my Media office today at 484-464-2052 or visit my Contact page.