Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is a program in the state of Pennsylvania specifically designed to offer first-time criminal defendants the opportunity to make a fresh start. ARD program participants also have the opportunity to have the charges against them dismissed and their criminal record cleared. It also benefits the state by avoiding costly trials and legal proceedings.
When you want to avoid the penalties and stigma of a criminal conviction and are prepared to work hard to fight for your future, our criminal defense team is prepared to fight with and for you. We will explain Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, how you qualify for and participate in the program, and how it benefits you.
What Happens If I am Accepted Into the ARD Program?
Not everyone arrested on criminal charges will be permitted to enjoy the benefits of the state’s ARD program. Participation will require you to follow the court-ordered rules and adhere to many conditions. According to 75 Pa. C.S. § 3807(b), enrolling in the program means you are required to:
- Participate in an alcohol highway safety school
- Participate in an alcohol treatment program, if applicable
- Remain under court supervision for up to a year
- Make financial restitution if your actions caused financial losses
- Pay specific municipal costs associated with your offense
- Pay all other required fees, surcharges, or costs
We help you prove your eligibility for the ARD program and help you comply with its requirements. We also support you throughout the program and until successful completion. If you are not accepted for ARD participation, you will be subject to the usual criminal penalties of your arrest and potential conviction.
Does Participation in ARD Mean My Record Is Expunged?
A primary appeal of the program is its ability to provide criminal defendants with a clean slate and a fresh start. Upon successful completion of all the components and conditions of the program, your criminal record will be cleared. According to 234 Pa. Code Rule 320, successful completion of your ARD program means the presiding judge can order:
- Dismissal of the charges against you
- Expungement of your arrest record
You reap a plethora of benefits from having your criminal record expunged. You can apply for many professional licenses and maintain eligibility for government benefits and programs, including education-based financial aid and rental assistance. You also avoid conviction and the embarrassment that can accompany it.
How and When Can I Reach Your Law Firm for Updates on My Criminal Case?
Our ARD lawyer understands the tension and stress you may experience while waiting for a resolution to your criminal case. We want you to be able to reach your lawyer or a member of our criminal defense team at all times. Once we have reached a representation agreement, we provide you with:
- Email access
- Text access
- Telephone access
- Social media access
Our law firm believes in open and ongoing communication with our clients and transparency in our fee structure. Therefore, we provide you with timely and ongoing updates on your case and work hard to ensure you receive the support you need in a comfortable and judgment-free environment.
Would Clients You Previously Defended Recommend Your Legal Services?
Looking for a criminal defense lawyer can be challenging because the need usually comes in the midst of a stressful and panicked situation. Recommendations from previous clients attest to our support for criminal defendants. They say:
- “I would recommend David to any person facing a DUI or another criminal charge. He was very knowledgeable of the entire process from start to finish. This helped to put me at ease through the long wait to be admitted into ARD.” – Matt
- “David is an awesome lawyer…My fiancé needed his services and he explained everything clearly which made me very comfortable to work with him…If you [have a] license-related or DUI-related issue, David is a good asset to retain…I strongly recommend him.” – D. B.
- “I had my first (and last) DUI recently – and did not know where to turn – I called several attorneys. The only attorney who called me back immediately was David McKenzie. He was respectful, professional and guided me through the complicated journey of the ARD program…I would highly recommend David McKenzie.” – Nicholas
Building an effective defense for you is as important as the defense we developed for these clients. Our team fights hard to ensure you get the most effective defense and achieve the best possible outcome of your case.
Call Us to Learn More About the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program
At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we believe in second chances. If you are a defendant who is willing to participate in a program that helps preserve your reputation and your future, we are ready to help. Find out if you can benefit from Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program by contacting one of our team members at (610) 991-7219.