Theft, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance – having one or more of these offenses on your record can seriously impact both your personal and professional life. Even for first-time offenders, the penalties of a DUI, for example, can include but are not limited to months of probation, hundreds of dollars in fines, up to six months in jail, and driver’s license suspension.
Whether it be theft, a DUI, disorderly conduct, or any other non-violent offense, if you’re experiencing a first-time arrest and no one was injured, Bucks County DUI defense lawyer Keith J. Williams can help you earn a second chance through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.
What is the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program?
A pre-trial intervention program offered exclusively to first-time offenders in the state of Pennsylvania, the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program helps divert eligible persons from entering into the criminal justice system. If accepted, the Commonwealth will drop the charge if a series of court-ordered conditions are completed by the offender.
How do I know if I am eligible for the ARD program?
To be eligible for the ARD program you must be a first-time offender, and the District Attorney must approve you. Sometimes the term “first-time offender” can be ambiguous, so to make things clear, a first-time offender has never been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony crimes in the state of Pennsylvania or any other jurisdiction across the nation.
Other eligibility factors include:
- Charges are non-violent
- No persons were harmed or killed (for drinking and driving convictions)
- Have not already been convicted at trial
- Application for admission is submitted by deadline
What offenses are eligible for the ARD Program?
- Driving Under the Influence
- Retail Theft
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Criminal Mischief
- Disorderly Conduct
If you feel you meet all of the eligibility requirements needed to participate in the Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program or would like further information, contact the law firm of Keith J. Williams – Warminster, PA’s most dedicated DUI defense lawyer, today.