If you were convicted of a crime in Upper Darby, PA, you may have a shot at redemption after a conviction through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. This program is targeted toward non-violent first-time offenders who wish to avoid jail time.
Being arrested and spending time in jail can come with serious consequences in your personal and professional life. Our Upper Darby ARD program lawyer can explain whether you qualify for this pre-trial intervention program. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we can also walk you through the steps of applying.
What Is the ARD Program?
According to the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services, the ARD program allows first-time offenders to have a clean slate. This program is intended to encourage those who have committed a crime to change their ways rather than face punishments like jail time.
Those who qualify for the program could have their charges dismissed and their record expunged after completing the program. This could allow you to keep your job, secure housing, maintain custody of your children, and avoid having a criminal charge follow you for the rest of your life.
How Our Upper Darby ARD Program Attorney Can Help You
If you were convicted of a crime, there are several ways our Upper Darby criminal defense lawyer can help you. When you choose to work with our firm, we will:
- Remain in contact with you throughout your case. You won’t have to spend time wondering how your case is progressing. Your attorney will be available to you through email, social media, phone, and text once you sign on with us.
- Help you apply for the ARD program. The application process can be tricky on your own. You don’t want to forget to include essential information or make errors that could lead to the denial of your application. Let our team guide you through the process.
- Be available 24/7. After being convicted of a crime, you may feel worried or overwhelmed. Our team can take your call 24/7 to answer any questions you have and offer advice.
- Speak with you during a free consultation. You can contact us to speak with a member of our team about your case without committing to working with us. We can talk with you about how we can help you and communicate about your case without using any legal jargon.
- Help you stay out of jail. The ARD program is an opportunity to avoid trial and stay out of jail. We can explain whether you qualify and ensure you submit your application correctly.
Who Qualifies for the ARD Program in Upper Darby?
You may qualify for the ARD program if you are a first-time offender of a non-violent crime such as:
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
According to the Delaware County Office of the District Attorney, other requirements to qualify for the program include:
- Hiring a lawyer – Your application will not be considered in Delaware County if you do not have an attorney working with you.
- Waiving arraignment – You and your lawyer can work together to complete the Entry of Appearance and Waiver Arraignment form.
- Getting fingerprinted – You’ll have to have your fingerprints recorded, and you will need to report the name of the fingerprinting agency and the date you were fingerprinted.
- Paying program fees – Depending on the crime you were convicted of you will generally have to pay between $1,600 to $1,800 to be enrolled.
Our team will review your case and determine if you qualify to apply for the ARD program.
How to Apply for the ARD Program
Applying for the ARD program requires a few steps, which include:
- Completing a form to waive your arraignment
- Completing the ARD Rule 600 Waiver Form
- Completing the ARD Application
After your application is accepted, you will be expected to complete at least 10 hours of community service. You will need to submit a letter proving that you completed this mandatory community service requirement.
If Your ARD Application Is Denied
If the District Attorney does not approve your ARD application, there is still hope. Our team can help you appeal the decision by submitting a reconsideration request. This request must be mailed or dropped off at the District Attorney’s office before your trial date.
Who Is Ineligible for the ARD Program?
If you were convicted of certain crimes, you are not eligible for the ARD program. In DUI cases, these include:
- Leaving the scene of an accident you caused
- Your actions put another person’s safety at risk
- An accident in which another party suffered a serious injury
- You caused an accident with a child under 14 years of age in your car
- You are uninsured
In a case that does not involve a DUI accident, the following crimes may make you ineligible for the ARD program:
- Cases that lead to death or serious injury
- Sexual offenses
- Drug manufacturing or sale
- Theft that exceeds a $10,000 value
- Human trafficking
You Could Have Your Record Expunged After You Complete the ARD Program
After you successfully complete the ARD program in Upper Darby, you can petition to have your case expunged. This would remove the charge from your record.
Your record may not be automatically expunged, however. Our team can work with you to complete the necessary forms to apply for record expungement.
Reach Out to Us to Work With Our Upper Darby ARD Program Lawyer
After you were convicted of a non-violent crime in Upper Darby, PA, you may be eligible to apply for the ARD program. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we can help you apply for the program, which allows you to avoid spending time in jail.
You can learn more about the ARD program and how our lawyer can help you when you reach out to us. A member of our team is ready to take your call 24/7. Call us today to get started on your case.