Pennsylvania ARD Program Eligibility
ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition and is defined by Pennsylvania DUI statute § 3807. Basically ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition and it’s a probationary program for DUI offenders only within the state of Pennsylvania.
The ARD program allows PA DUI offenders (who successfully complete the program) the benefit of not having anything recorded to their criminal history, as if the DUI never happened. If the program is successfully completed the initial charges will be dismissed.
So if you end up getting busted for a DUI in Pennsylvania how do you go about getting into the ARD program?
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Getting Into The ARD Program
To get accepted into the program you must be recommended to it by the district attorney in your county and then approved and authorized by the courts. But how do you get the district attorney to recommend you for the program?
The DA will make the recommendation based on the facts of the case and a thorough background investigation that will be conducted. Part of this background investigation will be the district attorney notifying the victims of the DUI (if any) of his intent to recommend the ARD program for the defendant and to seek any feedback/objections if they so wish to file them.
If there are no objections generally the DA will notify the defendant that he intends on recommending the ARD program and gives the defendant a court date to appear at a hearing. At this hearing the defendant will appear with his attorney, the victims (if any), the DA (or a representative). At this hearing the courts will officially determine whether or not the defendant is eligible for the DUI ARD program.
Here are the general guidelines that they are looking at when deciding whether or not to allow you into the program:
- No prior charges within a 10 year time period of the date of the current charge.
- No accident occurred in connection with the DUI offense and resulted in a serious bodily injury or death.
- There was not a passenger 14 years of age or younger in the car.
If those criteria are met and there are no substantial objections from the victims generally you will be accepted into the ARD program.