State College PA Law Firms

What Is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition?

All of us, adults and youths, can make mistakes or bad choices. Recognizing this fact, Pennsylvania created the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program, or ARD. This process offers a corrective alternative for a first-time offense, as a pretrial intervention.

The attorneys of Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C., work regularly with district attorneys and the courts to place clients in the ARD program. Because the program addresses issues that led to the arrest and does not impose a long-term criminal record, it is especially effective in ensuring that a one-time mistake does not lead to lasting negative consequences.

Who Can Qualify For ARD?

ARD is available for those being charged for the first time with the following low-level criminal offenses:

  • Retail theft
  • DUI
  • Marijuana possession
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Bad checks
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Defiant trespass

Other offenses may also qualify for ARD. But charges relating to firearms, sex offenses and domestic or elder abuse are not eligible for the program.

How The ARD Program Works

The following is a broad overview of how ARD works:

  1. If your defense attorney agrees that ARD is the best resolution for your case, he or she will discuss the possibility with the district attorney’s (DA’s) office.
  2. Your attorney will help you fill out the ARD form for your county and file it with the DA’s office before your preliminary hearing.
  3. If you are accepted into the program, you will have up to two years to fulfill several requirements related to your specific offense, which could include community service, counseling, drug rehab interventions, paying restitution to victims and being tested to ensure that you do not engage in alcohol or nonprescription drug use.
  4. You will be supervised by the local adult probation office during your time in ARD.
  5. If you meet your ARD program requirements in the mandated amount of time, your case will be dismissed and your record expunged.

Mistakes Can Be Corrected — Contact Us To Find Out More

Our lawyers will always fight for the best outcome for you. Let us advise you on how ARD or other options may minimize the consequences of a criminal charge. For a free, confidential case consultation, call our State College office at (814) 234-8834 or email the firm.