The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is a special pretrial intervention program in Pennsylvania for nonviolent offenders and those convicted of their first offense of driving under the influence (DUI). This is a unique program to the state only for first time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions. The purpose of the ARD program is for the prompt disposition of charges without the need for time and money-consuming court proceedings. As a first time offender, the ARD program can be incredibly beneficial for you personally and professionally, and an experienced attorney can work with you to get into the ARD program after a DUI charge.
How to Get Into the ARD Program
A person who has been charged with a first offense DUI crime can apply to their District Attorney’s Office within 30 days of the preliminary hearing. Generally speaking, the person applying for the program must waive the right to a preliminary hearing and formal arraignment in order to qualify for the program. All parties, including the applicant, police, and any potential victims are allowed to comment on the application before a decision is rendered. If approved, the person is placed on probation and ordered to pay fines, costs, and complete community service.
Benefits of the ARD Program
If the applicant to the ARD program successfully completes the requirements set forth by the court, the judge in the case will expunge the record of the offense. There is never a conviction of a crime and the charges are dismissed in the case. If you have been charged with a first-time DUI offense, successful completion of the ARD program in Pennsylvania can be incredibly beneficial. Your record of driving under the influence is expunged, and so long as you do not commit another offense, the crime will never show up on your record.
If you fail to complete the ARD program or do not qualify, conviction for even a first time DUI can have disastrous effects on your life. Personally and professionally, a DUI conviction can do a lot of damage. Your driver’s license can be suspended, you can serve jail time, and pay fines in the thousands of dollars. The conviction will show up on your criminal record for every background check for the rest of your life. It can affect whether you receive certain clearances, licenses, and job opportunities. It is in your best interest to hire an attorney with experience applying for the ARD program in your area if you are charged with a first-time offense for DUI.
Call a Lawyer Today
If your underage child has been arrested for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, call or contact the Martin Law Firm today to discuss your legal options.