Pennsylvania ARD Program Details
If you are a first-time offender, you may qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program in Pennsylvania. Entering this program keeps you from entering the criminal justice system in the state. It encompasses driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol as well as drug charges. Once you are part of the program, the state will suspend your charges provided that other conditions are met. Some of the conditions include counseling for alcohol or drug use, restitution to the injured party/parties or community service. You are supervised while you are part of the program and must complete all requirements completely.
ARD Eligibility Requirements
The following are requirements you must meet to enter the ARD program:
- You must be a first-time offender
- Have not been in the ARD program previously
- Have not had a DUI in the past 10 years
- Have not injured another person seriously or killed someone in a DUI crash
- Did not have a person under 14 in the car at the time of the DUI accident
The district attorney decides who will enter the program and may even set up additional conditions that you may not meet.
Why Entering the ARD Program Is Beneficial
After successfully finishing the program, the charges will be dismissed by the state. In 30 days, you may ask that the record of your arrest and ARD program participation be expunged. You will not have been incarcerated or have a conviction record, nor will you lose your license at the end of the program. The amount of time your license is suspended until you completed ARD will be determined by your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. The higher the level, the longer the suspension, however, it cannot exceed two years. The average suspension is about one year.
Once the program is successfully completed, your conviction dismissed and the record expunged, you will not suffer the problems a conviction entails. For instance, you will not have to discuss the drunk driving charges you incurred when applying for a job because they will be gone. Convicted persons face an uncertain future because of this, and many are unable to be employed.
What If You Get Another DUI After Completing the ARD Program?
If this happens, you will be considered a second offender. That is to say, the program will be looked upon as a former offense, and the court will enhance your sentence because of it. If the second crime is a DUI, this will be considered a second offense, and you will be imprisoned for 30 to 90 days.
Reasons for Removal From the ARD Program
Removal from the ARD program occurs for the following reasons:
- You committed another crime.
- You failed to take and complete the highway safety school program.
- You did not pay restitution.
- You violated one or more of the ARD program conditions or terms.
- You did not take any program ordered for you.
If you are removed, the DUI charges apply once again. You will face the charges and possibly be convicted. All of the benefits of the ARD program will be stripped away.
Travis Law Firm in Pennsylvania
If you have been charged with a DUI, call the Travis Law Firm at (814) 277-2222 for help. You can also contact us online. We explain the benefits of the ARD program and its eligibility requirement and work with you to find the best solution. ARD is not for everyone, and we will provide you with the benefit of our experience. If you choose to enter the ARD program, we will work with you to qualify and we will have your back every step of the way.