Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is a unique legal option. It primarily targets first-time offenders of non-violent crimes. Understanding this program can significantly affect the course of your legal journey. But what exactly does ARD entail? Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Pottstown criminal defense lawyer from Cohen & Patel to learn more about this program and how it may benefit you. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Who Qualifies for the ARD Program?
Not every offender is eligible for the ARD program. Specific criteria must be met to qualify. Generally, the ARD program is reserved for those with no prior criminal record. Crimes eligible for ARD typically include DUIs, minor thefts, and other non-violent offenses. However, the final decision rests with the district attorney’s office.
How Does ARD Benefit Defendants?
Enrollment in the ARD program offers numerous advantages. Firstly, it leads to quicker resolution of cases. Participants avoid lengthy trials, which can be stressful and time-consuming. Successful completion of ARD often results in dismissed charges. This means no criminal record, which is a significant relief for many.
The program involves supervision, similar to probation. Participants must adhere to specific conditions during this period. These conditions could include community service, restitution, or attending educational classes. Failing to comply with these terms results in removal from the program. In such cases, defendants face traditional criminal prosecution.
Financially, the ARD program might seem costly initially. But compared to the expenses of a trial, it’s often more economical. Moreover, the program’s duration varies based on the offense. Typically, it ranges from six months to two years. A shorter program period benefits defendants looking to move past the incident quickly.
An essential aspect of ARD is its impact on employment prospects. A criminal record can hinder job opportunities significantly. ARD’s successful completion allows individuals to avoid such hurdles. Additionally, participants can petition to expunge their arrest records upon completion. Expungement further improves one’s chances in future endeavors.
However, ARD is not a “get out of jail free” card. Participants must recognize the seriousness of the program. It’s a second chance, but not a pardon for the crime. Commitment to the program’s requirements is crucial for its benefits to materialize. Defendants should consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Competent legal advice ensures an understanding of all aspects of the program.
If you have any further questions about the ARD program in Pennsylvania or how it may potentially benefit you, please don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated legal team here at Cohen & Patel today. We are here to fight for your future and freedom, every step of the way.