The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program was designed to allow first-time, non-violent offenders the opportunity to avoid jail time or harsh penalties. Criminal sentences and large fines are meant to punish the offender for their crimes. The ARD program focuses on rehabilitating offenders. While DUI charges are common for people who enter the ARD program, they also could be charged with other minor offenses such as minor drug possession or theft.
An attorney from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can help you with your Montgomery ARD application. DUI and other convictions can stay on your record forever. By completing the ARD program, you will no longer have to worry about the long-term consequences of a conviction.
What Is the Montgomery County ARD Program?
Montgomery County offers the ARD program to non-violent offenders. If you are accepted into the ARD program, your case will be put on hold while you fulfill the requirements. If you fulfill the requirements of the ARD program during the timeline you are given, your case could get dismissed. This means you would not have a criminal conviction on your record.
There are several benefits to participating in the ARD program. They include:
- Avoiding time in jail. Non-violent crimes and a DUI could lead to a sentence of up to one year. If you participate in the ARD program, you could avoid jail time completely.
- If your driver’s license has been suspended, participating in the ARD program could reduce your license suspension.
- Avoiding a conviction on your criminal record. If you successfully complete the ARD program, you can avoid having a conviction on your record.
The ARD program gives people who made a mistake a second chance at a fresh start. We want to help those who have been charged with a non-violent crime or DUI during the ARD program application process.
Requirements of the ARD Program
Once you are approved for the ARD program, you will be assigned requirements you must complete. The Montgomery District Attorney’s Office will set the requirements for program completion. In Montgomery County, the program requirements can be different for each individual based on the circumstances of their charges. Requirements could include:
- Complete the required community service hours.
- No alcohol or illegal drug use. You must pass all of the required alcohol and drug tests.
- Depending on the type of offense you are charged with, you must complete an alcohol or drug evaluation program.
- You must complete an alcohol or drug treatment program.
- Pay the costs for the ARD program on time. This could include court fees, supervision fees, or restitution. Within one week from the ARD hearing, you will be mailed a payment plan by the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts. They will provide the schedule for your payments and the payment amounts.
People in the ARD program are supervised by a probation officer. Although supervised by a probation officer, the ARD program is not considered probation. Probation would mean you have been convicted of a crime. If you complete the ARD program, you could avoid a conviction. You will regularly report to the Montgomery County Probation Department.
How to Get Admitted Into the ARD Program
Pennsylvania allows each county to come up with its own requirements to apply for the ARD program. In Montgomery County, the application requirements include:
- Your attorney must submit the ARD application on your behalf to the District Attorney. The application must be submitted within 30 days from your hearing date.
- Your attorney must speak to the prosecutor and arresting officer at the preliminary hearing. The attorney must convince them you would be a good candidate for the ARD program.
Attorney David McKenzie from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. was previously a criminal prosecutor and has insider knowledge of how this process works on the prosecution side. After becoming a criminal defense attorney, he has helped many people who have been charged with non-violent crimes get into the ARD program.
How to Fill Out the ARD Application
To fill out the ARD application, answer each of the questions it asks throughout the form. An attorney from our firm will assist you if needed. The form consists of the following:
- The Rule 600 Waiver explaining you understand your case will be removed from the county court schedule while you are being considered for the ARD program. That your case might be delayed from being brought to trial if your ARD application is denied. You are mostly waiving your right to a speedy trial during the time your ARD application is being reviewed.
- You will provide your contact information, prior record information, domestic information, education, military status, and employment status.
- You will provide the name, address, and telephone number of a character reference who would provide evidence on your behalf to speak to your character in support of you getting accepted into the ARD program.
- You will provide a personal statement explaining why you should be placed in the ARD program.
- The Community Services Division has included a form where you will fill out your contact and emergency contact information. You also agree that you understand if you are late or fail to appear at the community service location, more hours could be added to your sentence.
- You will provide physical limitations and medications you are taking that would hinder your ability to perform certain types of community service.
- The Community Service Division provides their conditions where you agree to follow their requirements.
Once you are our client, we will answer any questions you have and guide you through the process of filling out the ARD program application.
Contact Our Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been charged with a non-violent crime, a Montgomery ARD attorney from our firm can help you with the ARD application process. Contact us today for a free consultation at (610) 680-7842. We can review your charges and determine if you are eligible for the ARD program. If you are eligible, we can help you with the Montgomery ARD application process.
Someone from our firm will be available to answer your call. Our attorneys are very responsive through phone, text, email, and social media. Once you are a client, you will always be able to get ahold of your attorney. We will represent you in and out of court and explain all of your legal options throughout the entirety of your case.