A jail sentence is life-altering. You could lose your job and relationships with those you love after being charged with a crime. If this is your first offense, you may have the option of entering the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program to avoid jail time and possibly clear your record.
The ARD program is a chance for non-violent first-time offenders to start fresh. A Newton ARD program lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can evaluate your case to see if you qualify for the program. We can also help you apply.
What Is the ARD Program?
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is a diversionary program for first-time offenders. If you committed a non-violent crime and this is your first offense, you may qualify for the program. The Bucks County Office of the District Attorney states that the following types of crimes may allow you to qualify for the program:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance (DUI)
- Possession of a controlled substance
You cannot have any convictions on your record in Pennsylvania or any other state to qualify. Your acceptance into the program is a decision made by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office after the evaluation of your application.
Benefits of Hiring a Newtown ARD Program Lawyer To Handle Your Case
A lawyer from our firm can help you apply for the ARD program in Newtown. Some of the benefits of choosing McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. to handle your case include:
- We offer free consultations so we can explain whether you qualify for the ARD program.
- We will help you obtain and complete the necessary forms to apply for the program.
- We are available to answer your calls 24 hours a day because we know that being able to communicate with a lawyer is crucial.
- We will communicate with you regularly to provide updates on your case and respond to your messages.
- We know how the prosecution works because our firm’s founder is a former prosecutor.
- We will defend you in court if necessary and work to discredit any evidence the district attorney presents against you.
A lawyer can walk you through the legal process and protect your rights. We urge you to consult a lawyer to learn about your options, including the ARD program. The ARD program is not just an alternative to jail, it’s an opportunity to change and safeguard your future.
What Clients Say After Working With Our Attorney Serving Newton
After working with our team, former clients say:
- “David is the man! He shares upfront the good and worse outcomes possible depending on your situation. He goes above and beyond to get the best results for his clients. He understands the legality of case law. He turned a bad situation around into outstanding results. If you need a lawyer he is the one, and his price is reasonable and worth every penny you spend.” – P. Thomas
- “David was a great help. Always returned a prompt reply to questions. Very knowledgeable lawyer. Makes you feel at ease. Highly recommend.” – Jim Mead
A Lawyer Can Help You Apply To Enter the ARD Program in Newtown
There are a few steps you must take if you plan to apply for the ARD program. When you work with our criminal defense attorney, they can guide you through each step of the application process.
To apply for the ARD program, you must:
- Waive your preliminary hearing: A preliminary hearing is a hearing in which the prosecutor presents evidence to the court to demonstrate that there is probable cause to try you for committing a crime.
- Submit your ARD application: You must fill out and submit an ARD application and return it to the Magisterial District Court prior to the date of your preliminary hearing. You must enter details such as your name, address, and contact information. Signing the application means you understand the terms and certify that all the information on the application is true.
- Submit your ARD Information form: Finally, you must complete and submit an ARD Information form along with the ARD application to the Magisterial District Court. The information you must provide includes contact information, education, employment, and military service (if applicable).
If the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office rejects your ARD application, you can file a reconsideration request.
How Does the ARD Program Work in Newtown?
Once you’re accepted to the ARD program, you may be expected to:
- Complete a set number of hours of community service
- Undergo a drug and alcohol assessment
- Regularly report to a probation officer
- Submit to drug and alcohol tests and pass them
- Pay court costs and fees
- Attend and pass driving courses
Upon completion of the program, the court will dismiss the charges against you and may expunge your record. ARD is not a conviction. It’s an opportunity to choose rehabilitation as an alternative to a jail sentence. If you refuse to waive your preliminary hearing and fail to submit the application and information form, your case could go to trial and the judge could sentence you to serve time in jail.
Cost of Entering the ARD Program
According to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, the cost to enter the ARD program is $1,100 for defendants who retain private counsel and $550 for defendants who have a public defender representing them. If you are entering the program for a non-DUI offense, you must pay $350.
Consult an ARD Program Lawyer in Newtown Today
Our law firm understands what it takes to qualify for the ARD program, and we can help you submit an application on time and with the correct information. The ARD program keeps first-time offenders out of jail.
We will include the ARD program as one of your options to consider. Keeping you out of jail is a priority, as we know how much it can impact your future. Contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today to learn more about your legal options.