The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (ARD) is a diversionary program offered in Berks County. It is available for DUI’s and non-DUI crimes (click on the links to read more about each program). The purpose of the ARD program is for the defendant to be rehabilitated rather than punished. An ARD program participant will probably be expected to complete treatment (if recommended following a drug and alcohol evaluation) and community service, pay court costs and refrain from re-offending. If all of the requirements are completed then the defendant’s record will be expunged. This is a hugely beneficial program for many people. It is generally only available to first-time offenders, although there are exceptions made in certain circumstances. An ARD application is usually submitted after the Preliminary Hearing. A DUI ARD application is completed at the Preliminary Hearing. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Berks County and think that you might be eligible for the ARD program, contact our knowledgeable criminal law attorneys at 610-372-518 or [email protected] before your Preliminary Hearing so they can evaluate your case for ARD eligibility.
So what happens if you’ve applied for the ARD program in your DUI or non-DUI case, but your application has been denied? One of our Reading, PA criminal law attorneys can evaluate your case to determine if an ARD Reconsideration letter would be beneficial. In this situation, your ENM Law attorney would ask the District Attorney’s office to give your ARD application a second look. Our attorneys will bring to the DA’s attention positive, new information about you that indicates why you are deserving of the opportunity to have your record expunged. If there is restitution owing in your case or you have outstanding fines and costs on another case, you may be asked to pay those before your ARD application will be reconsidered. If your Berks County ARD application has been denied, you should have one of our experienced criminal law attorneys evaluate your case to determine whether ARD reconsideration is an option. Contact us today at 610-372-5128 or [email protected]
What happens if you’ve been accepted into the Berks County ARD program, but you’ve failed to complete all of the requirements? The District Attorney’s Office will schedule your case for an ARD Termination hearing. At this hearing, the DA will argue to the judge that you should be terminated from the program because you have not followed the rules of the program. Examples of reasons for termination can include failure to pay restitution, receiving new criminal charges, and failing to complete treatment that was recommended. Your ARD Termination hearing is a time to ask the judge for additional time to complete your responsibilities. It is important to have a competent Berks County criminal law attorney representing you at these hearings because termination from the ARD program will mean that you can no longer have your record expunged. If you are terminated from the program then you will need to either plead guilty or litigate your case. If your case has been scheduled for an ARD Termination hearing, contact our Reading, PA criminal law attorneys at 610-372-5128 or [email protected] today to discuss your best plan of action.