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Most first-time offenders charged with driving under the influence (DUI) are eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. The purpose of the Delaware County ARD program is to allow first-time offenders and other law-abiding citizens a chance to avoid criminal prosecution and ultimately have their case dismissed. After successful treatment, rehabilitation, and probation, the person is entitled to file a petition to expunge the case.
For a first-time arrest for DUI or any other eligible crime, ARD could be the best option to resolve the case.
Acceptance into the ARD program is not automatic, and there is no constitutional right to participate in ARD. The District Attorney will consider the facts of the case, the defendant’s criminal history, the seriousness of the charges and receives input from the officers and any alleged victims involved. Eligibility is determined by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office on a case by case basis. Having an experienced attorney can help you get accepted into the program and complete it as quickly as possible so that your record can be expunged.
If you were recently arrested for a DUI or any other criminal offense in Delaware County, PA, then you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in the borough of Media to see whether you may be eligible for the ARD program. Skinner Law Firm helps individuals achieve the most favorable outcomes to their criminal cases, including successful admission and completion of ARD.
Our Delco defense attorneys are experienced with various ARD cases, including DUI, drug possession, and theft offenses. For a review of your case, call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free, confidential consultation in our office conveniently located in Media, PA.
To be eligible for ARD, a defendant must waive his Preliminary Hearing. After the Preliminary Hearing, a defendant is scheduled for a Formal Arraignment. A defendant must also waive this Arraignment. An ARD application and all other appropriate paperwork must be submitted to the Delaware County Court Administrator FOURTEEN DAYS before the Formal Arraignment date.
A delayed pre-trial conference will be scheduled for approximately six months later. If a defendant is accepted into ARD, he or she will not need to attend this conference. If a defendant is not accepted into ARD, he or she will need to attend this conference. In limited circumstances, an attorney may be able to request reconsideration for a denied ARD application.
If a defendant is accepted into ARD, an ARD hearing will be scheduled. ARD takes place on Wednesday mornings. At the end of the hearing, a defendant is officially placed on ARD and will remain on ARD until the probation period ends.
The majority of cases which are accepted into ARD in Delaware County involve DUI, drug possession, and theft cases. However, this list is not exclusive. Felony drug cases and DUI involving a serious accident or bodily injury may be rejected. An alleged offender also cannot be charged with a violent crime. It is important to consult with an attorney early in the case to discuss eligibility for ARD.
Every alleged offender who participates in the ARD program will need to complete a term of probation of at least 12 months, perform community service, pay all fines and costs, and possibly serve a license suspension.
In DUI cases, the minimum terms of the ARD Program in Delaware County are as follows:
An alleged DUI offender can get his or her community service hours reduced if he or she completes all of the following within 60 days from the date of his or her preliminary hearing:
Alleged offenders are expected to pay all fines and costs for participating in the ARD Program. This can include a monthly probation supervisory fee as well as possible restitution.
ARD participants must comply with all rules and conditions of the program in order to successfully complete it. Upon successful completion of the program, the alleged offender will be eligible to have his or her arrest record expunged.
However, failure to comply with the conditions of the program can result in the original charges being reinstated and set for trial. Common ARD program violations include, but are not limited to:
Delaware County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Unit — This section of the District Attorney’s website lists the people who serve as the Chief and Supervisor of the county’s ARD Program. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and download the ARD Program application forms.
Office of the District Attorney
Delaware County Courthouse
201 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063
PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 14-631 — This March 29, 2014, supplement to the Pennsylvania Code lists the changes to the ARD Program in Delaware County. You can review the full text, which includes accelerated rehabilitative disposition program administrative guidelines, minimum dispositions for DUI applicants, and additional requirements for reduction in community service.
After you successfully complete ARD, you will be entitled to file a petition to expunge the driving under the influence charges. There are multiple agencies in Delaware County and throughout the state that may have some record of your case. Having an experienced attorney guide you through the process to ensure a more efficient outcome is always beneficial. At Skinner Law Firm, we help our clients beyond ARD by assisting with expunging the charges arising out of the case.
Are you facing criminal charged in Delco for the first time? It is critical for you to immediately seek legal representation for help being admitted into the Delaware County ARD Program.
Skinner Law Firm helps clients get into the ARD Program in Chester County and Delaware County, PA. Our Delco defense attorneys can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (610) 436-1410 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.