What Does ARD Mean?
ARD stands for “Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition”. If you have been charged with a first offense Pennsylvania DUI, you may be eligible for Pennsylvania’s ARD program. If so, and you complete the program, you will have resolved your first offense DUI without a criminal record.
ARD was adopted to emphasize rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration. Although each county may differ on certain eligibility rules, the general rules are you cannot partake in ARD if
- You have been convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania in the last ten years.
- If you were involved in a crash that caused serious injury or death.
- Or if you had a child under the age of 14 in your car at the time of your arrest.
A Small Price To Pay To Dismiss a DUI Charge
If you’re accepted for ARD in a Pennsylvania DUI case, you’ll be under the court’s supervision for up to 12 months. You also may be required to pay restitution, court fines, and fees.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be subject to license suspension in Pennsylvania for 30 to 90 days. However, it is possible to avoid suspension altogether in some Pennsylvania DUI cases.
You will also be required to complete an alcohol highway safety class, and the court may recommend that you undergo alcohol and/or drug treatment. Luckily, your insurance may cover treatment, but if not, you’ll be responsible for the cost. Although this may seem like a tiring process, it is a small price to pay to dismiss your Pennsylvania DUI charge.
If you complete all of the requirements for the ARD program, your Pennsylvania DUI charge will be dismissed and you won’t have a criminal record from your first offense Pennsylvania DUI. You may then also be able to expunge the DUI arrest from your criminal record.
Failure To Meet Requirements While In The Program
However, if you fail to meet the requirements after being accepted into the ARD program, the charges against you will be reinstated and you’ll be prosecuted for driving under the influence. The ARD will stay on your driving record for at least ten years. If ever asked on an employment application or by anyone if you have been convicted of a crime you can say no as ARD is not considered a conviction. However, if asked if you are arrested you should say yes as the ARD will show up on your driving record.
The ARD program can bring a satisfactory outcome to your first offense Pennsylvania DUI case, but it’s not your only option. It may be possible to reach a favorable plea bargain or successfully fight the DUI charge in court. It also may be possible to avoid license suspension altogether.We do not automatically assume or always suggest that ARD is the way to go.
How We Can Help You
Brian Manchester has been a criminal defense attorney for 18 years and he and his law firm law firm has helped well over one thousand people just like you be placed into the ARD program.
He has extensive training in DUI defense and is even a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Brian Manchester also regularly attends seminars that specifically focus on DUI defenses, and he was also the Educational Chairman for the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys.
For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878 or you may visit our Contact Us page and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.