What To Know About The ARD Program in Pennsylvania

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Please read on, then contact an experienced Pittsburgh first DUI lawyer to learn what you should know about the ARD Program in Pennsylvania.

What is the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD, Program is a unique program, approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, generally reserved for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions. The program is supervised by the ARD Chief, who reviews criminal cases for potential admission. The program is intended to encourage offenders to make a fresh start after participating in a rehabilitative program and offers them the possibility of dismissal of charges and the expungement of the offender’s arrest record upon completion of the program.

Are DUI cases eligible for the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?

That will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. A DUI offense is eligible for ARD under the following conditions:

  • The DUI is a first offense within 10 years
  • No person, other than the offender, was killed or seriously injured
  • There was no passenger in the offender’s vehicle under the age of 14 at the time of the offense

If you are accepted for ARD in a Pennsylvania DUI case, you will be under the court’s supervision – similar to probation – for 6 months. You will also be required to pay restitution if ordered and all court fines and fees. If the circumstances of your case warrant it, you may be subject to license suspension for 30 to 90 days. However, it is possible to avoid a suspension altogether in some cases. Lastly, you will be required to complete an alcohol highway safety class at your cost and undergo alcohol and/or drug treatment if recommended by the court. For the record, if your insurance does not cover treatment, you will have to pay out of your own pocket.

Please keep in mind that should you fail to meet the requirements after being accepted into the ARD Program, the charges against you will be reinstated and you will be prosecuted for driving under the influence.

What happens if you do not get into the ARD Program?

While ARD can bring a satisfactory outcome to your first-time DUI case, it is not your only option. You may also be able to reach a favorable plea bargain or even successfully defend against your charges in court.

In order to achieve the best possible outcome, whether it is through the ARD Program or some other means, you should strongly consider retaining the services of a skilled Allegheny County DUI lawyer who will fight for you and your future. Please give us a call today.

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The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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