The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (“ARD”) Program is a unique program, approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions. The primary purpose of the ARD program is the prompt disposition of charges, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trials and other court proceedings. The program is designed to recognize those offenders who are amenable to treatment and rehabilitation, and effectively remove their cases from the criminal justice system, thereby freeing resources better utilized elsewhere.
Generally, individuals wishing to be placed into the ARD program must submit a written application to the District Attorney’s Office within 30 days of the preliminary hearing. Generally, an individual must waive their preliminary hearing and formal arraignment to receive ARD. All parties involved with the case (i.e., police; victim(s)) then have the opportunity to comment upon the application. If approved, the applicant is normally placed on probation, ordered to pay fines and costs, and complete community service. Successful applicants are admitted into the ARD program by a Common Pleas Judge.
Upon successful completion of the ARD program, the applicant may petition the court to expunge their record. All cases are examined on an individual basis. ARD is a discretionary program managed exclusively by the Office of the District Attorney; therefore, the District Attorney is the sole authority as to who is approved for the ARD program. All facts and circumstances regarding the case are taken into account when reviewing an ARD application.
If you are accused of a crime, you may be eligible for the ARD program. Contact the Law Office of Edward M. Galang for a risk free consultation to determine your options as it relates to the ARD program.