For first time offenders, the Pennsylvania ARD Program offers a second chance — Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.
ARD is a program that is designed to keep first time offenders from entering the criminal justice system. Basically, the courts offer a “get out of jail free” card for a first time offender who has the potential to be rehabilitated quickly. When a defendant enters the ARD program, he or she must complete certain court-ordered conditions before the arrest will be expunged from their record. Additionally, the defendant will be supervised by the court for the duration of the ARD program.
In Pennsylvania, admission into ARD is not automatic: the District Attorney determines who is accepted into ARD. If you have been charged with a DUI and are interested in entering ARD, contact the DUI defense lawyers of Bickerton & Bickerton at 412.596.8124 for a consultation today.
Benefits of the ARD Program
- Unless you get another DUI, ARD does not count as a conviction.
- Your license suspension period will be shorter.
- ARD can reduce the required number of community service hours.
- ARD allows you to answer “no” to questions about whether you’ve ever had a criminal conviction on job applications.
- Since Bickerton and Bickerton charges fees according to the complexity of the case, ARD clients qualify for a low flat fee
“Disadvantages” of the ARD Program
- ARD will count against you as a conviction if you are ever arrested and convicted for a crime later on.
- However, the only way to avoid having a drunk driving offense count as a prior conviction is to fight the charge and win.
- ARD will count as a prior conviction under the DUI mandatory sentencing laws
- Again, the only way to avoid having a DUI count against you is to fight the charge and win
The attorneys of Bickerton & Bickerton have extensive experience in representing ARD clients. In some circumstances, Bickerton & Bickerton’s DUI defense lawyers can help you get a “bread and butter license” (Occupational Limited License).
If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence in Western Pennsylvania, contact Bickerton & Bickerton at 412.596.8124 for a free initial consultation.