If you’ve been arrested for a crime and you have never been in trouble before, it is not the end of the world.  In Part 2 of our series on diversionary programs, we will explain ARD along with its requirements and benefits.  Pennsylvania has a program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or ARD.  ARD is a program that is available in every county in the state.  The legal source of ARD comes from 234 Pa. Code. Rule 300. (  It is intended to encourage people to start over and possibly help them keep their criminal record clean of any convictions.

ARD is available to first time offenders who are charged with relatively minor offenses.  In Philadelphia, it is available to offenders that may require a lengthier period of supervision than the AMP program provides.  (To learn more about the AMP program, click on the word AMP to read our previous blog post).  ARD is often used for DUI, misdemeanors, or minor drug offenses.  However, these are not the only charges that are eligible.  Acceptance into this program, as with all diversionary programs, is at the sole discretion of the District Attorney’s Office.  Participants in ARD must first agree to give up certain rights such as the right to a speedy trial while their case is being considered.  Once accepted into the program, the conditions of ARD generally include: payment of court costs, participation in rehabilitative classes and/or community service, and payment of restitution.  The program may last anywhere from 6 months to, no more than, 2 years.  The specific length is based upon the nature and crime of the charge.  Participants must also remain arrest free throughout.  After the requirements are met, participants must submit proof of completion and the case against them will be withdrawn, at which time the case becomes eligible for expungement.  (The process for expungement differs from county to county.  To learn more about expungements, read our previous blog post.  Just click on the word expungement and you will be sent directly there).  If a participant fails to comply with the requirements of ARD, their case will be removed from the program and scheduled for trial.

Is ARD right for you?  It may be.  If a person has no criminal history it can be an excellent way to have your case dismissed and expunged.  However, you should not accept ARD if you want to fight the charges.  With all the different options and the variety of defenses that may be available to fight the government’s version of events, it is important to discuss any charges with a competent lawyer so that you can receive the best possible outcome.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, you need to hire an experienced attorney NOW.  At DiMuzio Zerounian, LLC we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through all aspects of this serious and very trying process.  Call our offices for a free consultation 267.479.4044.1o8pcb

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