If you were arrested for a first-time DUI or another non-violent offense, you could qualify to participate in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. This program offers a way to avoid having a conviction on your record and get a second chance despite your arrest.
A criminal defense attorney in Plymouth Meeting from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can assess your qualifications and determine if you may qualify for the ARD program after your arrest. Our Plymouth Meeting ARD program lawyers represent clients who participate in this program regularly and understand how to navigate the application process.
What Is the ARD Program in Plymouth Meeting?
Our criminal defense lawyer can help you understand how this program works and decide if it might be an option in your case. This is a pre-trial diversion program focused on rehabilitating those who do not have previous criminal records and face a recent arrest for a non-violent offense. The program is most commonly used for drunk driving, minor drug possession violations, and other non-violent crimes by first-time offenders.
All counties in Pennsylvania offer the ARD program. It offers a route to avoiding a conviction on your record following a first-time arrest. Not everyone who applies will be accepted into the program.
The terms of your program will be specific to your case, but could include:
- Completing alcohol highway safety classes
- Completing community service
- Reporting to the probation department in Plymouth Meeting
- Completing a drug or alcohol evaluation program and treatment, if recommended
- Undergoing regular alcohol or drug testing throughout this period
When you are accepted into this program, the courts pause your case. The charges are dropped for participants who complete all requirements of the program. While the charge and dismissal will appear on your record, you will not be convicted. This means the issue will not interfere with getting a job, renting an apartment, or holding a professional license like a conviction might.
It is also possible to file to have your record expunged of this arrest and the charges. This could provide you with a clean record when someone runs a background check. Our attorneys may help you navigate the expungement process, too.
Our Plymouth Meeting ARD Program Lawyer Can Assess Who May Qualify
At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., our DUI attorneys assess clients for the Plymouth Meeting ARD program regularly. We know that many people with first-time charges will qualify. This is particularly true for DUI offenders who were stopped for a traffic violation and arrested.
While we can determine if you might be a good fit, there is no guarantee you will get approval for the ARD program. You must meet the specific conditions for the program and be accepted based on an application we can help you complete. Your Plymouth Meeting ARD program attorney can also weigh other options with you in case you do not receive approval for ARD program participation.
If any of the following apply to you, you may not qualify for ARD:
- You have been charged with DUI before
- You have other criminal convictions
- You were already enrolled in ARD or a similar program
- Your DUI caused an injury accident
- You have pending charges that involve a violent act, such as assault or a weapons crime
- You previously faced charges of domestic violence, stalking, sex crimes, or other similar accusations
- You had someone younger than 14 years old in your car at the time of your DUI arrest
Some people could qualify for the Plymouth Meeting ARD program for other offenses, too. This could include minor drug offenses, driving under the influence of drugs, and more. Our team can help navigate the application process if we believe you are a good fit for this program. If not, our criminal defense attorney will develop a strategy to handle your case and pursue a fair outcome.
Our Plymouth Meeting ARD Program Lawyer Can Explain the Program’s Benefits
There are numerous reasons why someone would want to participate in the ARD program instead of taking their case to trial or accepting a deal that requires them to enter a guilty plea. Not only does the ARD program allow them to keep the conviction off their record, but the requirements are easier to manage and allow you to move on with your daily life, such as going to school or working.
When you participate in the ARD program in Plymouth Meeting, you will not face the serious consequences that come with a criminal conviction. This could include:
- Jail time, including up to one year behind bars
- A lengthy driver’s license suspension
- A permanent criminal record
The ARD program does not require any jail time and does not leave you with a criminal record. You can continue to work or attend classes throughout this process. Once you complete the program, our lawyers may help you expunge the charges from your record so there is nothing to show when someone checks your criminal history.
Your Plymouth Meeting ARD Attorney Will Advocate for You as You Complete the Program
Your Plymouth Meeting, PA, ARD program lawyer will ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your program. These could be somewhat tailored to your individual needs and the circumstances of your case.
If you fail to comply and complete the ARD program, you could face serious consequences. The District Attorney will likely remove you from the program and allow your charges to proceed. You could face a conviction and sentence if convicted.
You must meet all requirements set for you when you are accepted into the program to successfully complete it. Violations could include getting arrested for another offense, absconding and failing to report when required, or otherwise failing to uphold the terms of the program.
Discuss the Plymouth Meeting ARD Program With Our Team Today
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can assess your case to determine if the ARD program might be a good option for you. We will help you weigh your options and develop a strong approach to getting an appropriate outcome for you.
Contact us now to speak to a team member about your legal options for fighting your criminal charges.