Pennsylvania offers Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition to residents who are charged with minor, non-violent offenses. The ARD program gives those with a clean (or very limited) record the chance to keep their record clear after completing court ordered requirements.
This pre-trial diversionary program is unique to Pennsylvania and is a common way to dispose of DUI charges in this state. The program encourages offenders to make a fresh start and offers the possibility of a clean record following successful completion of the program.
How does the program work?
While you’re not technically on probation, ARD is similar to probation because the county will monitor you to ensure that you are obeying the program requirements. If you violate the requirements, you may be asked to leave the program and your charges will reappear. While most DUI offenses result in some sort of jail time, participation in ARD can help you avoid this.
The program‘s requirement may vary by case but generally are as follows:
- Community service
- Completion of counseling – drug and alcohol
- No further charges
- Pay the costs
- No alcohol or non-prescription drug use
If you meet said requirements, the DUI offense will not be on your record. Fortunately, this means that you do not have to disclose your offense on job applications. You’ll want to consider if the ARD program is right for you. In most of first-time cases, the answer will be yes. Seeking advice on the matter can help determine if the program is an appropriate option to resolve your case. It is also possible that your attorney will see a good chance at trial and advise fighting the charges in court rather than completing ARD.